Love can be dangerous
This video, from Crooks and Liars, sums up nicely what kind of man Rick Warren is. At first you might be outraged that he is inspired by Nazi Germany to get his followers to be as dedicated as they were. He defends this statement only by saying Hitler is the personification of evil, and to him, it’s enough. No further discussion needed.
What Rick doesn’t realize, and what most people seem to forget, is the people they call monsters were as fanatically devoted to their ideals as most Evangelicals are. This devotion felt no doubt as important, special, and as good as Warren’s feelings about Christianity. You cannot measure the moral superiority of something by the level of devotion with which it is followed. It is in fact this very devotion that allows murderous ideologies to take such a powerful hold of people. We tend to have the foolish idea that our love for something is always pure and good. It has never occurred to most of us this feeling is just as corruptible as anything else. Men like Hitler and Stalin were deeply in love with the vision of the world they had pictured. Totalitarianism is what results from men and women wanting the whole world to live their own private visions.
Warren wants an expanded Kingdom of God, and for his congregation to do “Whatever it takes”. How frightening is this statement? This Orwellian slogan exemplifies everything that is wrong about religious belief. No, please do not do everything in your power to expand your Christianity in the world. Do not subjugate others, do not try forced conversions, do not deny men and women in Africa access to condoms, and keep your own insane ideas to yourself.
It may seem impossible for you to believe Rick, but it is your love for God that scares me. Love is not a ubiquitous good. Simply because you have love in your heart does not mean you do not have hate there too. In fact, it is this unquestioning love and devotion that often makes your actions so despicable and evil, Mr. Warren. I do not doubt your conviction sir; I am scared to death of it.
The controversial thing here is you may not fully realize it, but it is love that makes men do atrocious things. Love for God will convince a man to strap a bomb to himself and jump in front of a bus full of kids, just as love for an ideology will make people force innocent men, women, and children into gas chambers. Love itself can be a good thing, but it is no guarantee that what we love is itself good. We must abandon the idea of using love as a universal good, and begin to realize it can be manipulated for all kinds of nefarious purposes.