Sometimes I have to marvel at my own naivete -- that inability or unwillingness to imagine that anyone could be so stupid or cruel. It comes as a surprise ... and then I wonder what suppositions predated that surprise. Who's the dope now, Adam?
Recently, a Baptist minister in Texas introduced Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry at a gathering and in doing so took a swipe at another candidate, Mitt Romney, who is a Mormon. The minister, Pastor Robert Jeffress called Mormonism a "cult," which drew yowls of subsequent complaint from the media and other politicians. I have several ex-Mormon friends who might agree with Jeffress' assessment, but the rule of thumb in public life is "I won't bad-mouth your religion if you won't bad-mouth mine. Religion is personal."
Jeffress followed up his remark with others from the pulpit of his church:
Part of a pastor's job is to warn his people and others about false religions. Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Mormonism are all false religions. And I stand by those statements.Is there really anyone so frightened and so stupid as to make such remarks? Obviously there is, but that doesn't mean my naive jaw doesn't drop. The corruption is so vast that you know that talking to such a person -- someone who probably thinks he's OK and others around him think the same -- would be like offering kindly words to a hungry lion ... stoooooopid!
Jeffress, I imagine, might be quite pleased to think that he was a "lion for Christ" or something equally self-serving and the narrow cruelty of his teaching would not occur to him any more than not eating you alive would occur to a hungry lion.
It's just so vast....
And leaves me sputtering ...
And reminds me AGAIN that the only thing anyone can do about the mistakes of others is to nail this encouragement to the forehead: "Don't YOU do that!"