Ungenerous Complaining

I hate this story. I hate the Christian supremacy of our daily paper running story after story after story about Christians and their god doing even the most mundane crap people in a religion are supposed to do as if that’s news and nobody with other belief systems gets to have those belief systems presented to the public as an ordinary force for good in the community. I also hate that God is quoted as if He’s a person but that the reporter then never follows up with the Source.

So, we get to hear all about what God told this pastor to do, as if it’s a real thing, but there’s no fact checking?

I mean, if I told a reporter that Bill Clinton said I had nice hooters and therefore I was going to go work at Hooters, even if I did indeed go working at Hooters, wouldn’t the reporter want to check to see if Clinton said that to me? There’s no “Lyle said God told him…” or “Lyle interpreted the dream to mean…” It’s all “God said…” “God wanted…” Did the reporter talk to God?

(This story would be awesome if the reporter did. It could have also been salvaged with “When asked to speak on the record for this story, God had no comment.”)

And I’m sorry but who has ever heard of God saying “Go do this hard crap for four days and here’s exactly why.”? I defy you to show me one place in the Bible where anyone gets called to do anything difficult and they are given a full and clear explanation of why they should do it and what they should get out of it, let alone that they only have to do it for a few days and then they get their lives right back how they were.

I mean, my god, when Jesus told the rich kid to take all he had and give it to the poor, he didn’t mean “And then go out and get your old life back and go on with things.”

When God decides to fuck with you, you stay fucked with. You don’t do four days of unpleasantness and then make a triumphant unveiling like something has happened to you. Either that or God has dropped his standards. I mean, how convenient that you don’t even have to miss a Sunday of work?

And why couldn’t the pastor just go talk to the homeless people in his community and see what they need/want? He could have gone to them as a member of the community, not as a tourist playing homeless.

Plus, I’m sorry. But the problem with being homeless isn’t that you have to sleep outside or navigate charities or hide from the police. It’s that you have to do those things without knowing when or if you will ever be able to stop doing them. Four days on the street, when you KNOW your wife is coming to get you on Friday, when you KNOW you could call her at any time to come get you right then, isn’t a reasonable approximation of homelessness. It’s urban camping.

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4 thoughts on “Ungenerous Complaining

  1. You know that I’m basically in agreement with everything you say here, but let’s be honest: what the Tennessean does consistently is get a press release, call the person who issued it to get a quote, and then incorporate the quote into the press release and call it a news story worthy of being printed. Why should their so-called “Faith and Values” “reporting” be any different?

  2. You know the apparently true 1889 Johnstown flood reporter story, yes? Eventually celebrated reporter Bob Considine, then a total newbie, was the only one who’d been able to get into the PA town, and his bosses waited breathlessly as he managed to telegraph out his copy, which arrived as: “God sat on a hillside overlooking Johnstown today, and looked at the destruction He had wrought.” His wire service editor famously cabled back: “Forget flood. Interview God.”

  3. Rachel Reams beat me to it. I figure he had his “prophetic dream” (i.e. hook for advertising his church) after that tommyrot went around FB a couple of weeks ago about the pastor who disguised himself as a homeless person and then shamed his congregation.

    Frankly, anything that most younger pastors do now is something I’m leery of. Because churches are hurting for revenue and they (the pastors) are mixing up what is a call to ministry with what is a call to get more donors into your services. It’s all stunt pastoring and that’s what this seems like. And why the Tennesseean thinks it merits a news story is beyond me.

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