Saturday, November 10, 2012


My friend Brother Bob is depressed and despondent over Obama getting re-elected. We're having coffee near Santa Monica beach. Bob listens exclusively to FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Alex Jones. He once told me these sources are anointed by God to give the Christian worldview on things. He doesn't question what they say. He believes them wholeheartedly. As I watch him bite into his danish, I realize I've known Bob for a while. He's become increasingly involved in his church, a megachurch with a program for everyone and everything. The strange thing about Bob is it seems the longer he's been involved in his church the more self righteous he's become. I hate to say it, but Bob's beliefs have made him nastier than he used to be. Talking to Bob is like talking to a robot. He's close-minded and incapable of looking at another view-point. Here's an excerpt from our coffee time so you can eavesdrop on the conversation:

BOB: This country's going to hell in a handbasket. The God-haters voted against Christian values and put Satan's choice back into office. Now Obama's going to raise taxes to help the takers.

ME: The takers?

BOB: This country has the makers and the takers.

ME: And it's against Christian values to help the takers?

BOB: Yes. The church is supposed to help the takers, not the government.

ME: Didn't Jesus say to help the takers when he said "When I was hungry you fed me?"

BOB: He didn't say the government should do it.

ME: Because if the government did it, it's against Christian values?

BOB: That's right.

ME: So when someone needs help, the government shouldn't help?

BOB: Now you got it.

ME: So Obama and Governor Christie are wrong to try and help Hurricane Sandy victims with government money, they should just tell the churches to do it?

BOB: Yes.

ME: What do you think would happen if New York and New Jersey depended on the church alone to help them?

BOB: They would be doing it God's way.

ME: (pointing to an encampment of homeless people near the pier) There's a lot of homeless there. Are they takers?

BOB: Yes. They should get a job. Look at those losers.

ME: See the guy in the army jacket?

BOB: Yes. Needs a bath.

ME: His name is Michael Pearson.

BOB: You know him?

ME: Yes. He was in a mental hospital. He has severe mental illness. Some evangelical preachers I know influenced the government to cut funding for the facility he was in. They said it was the church's job to take care of those things. Michael was dumped on the street.

BOB: The church can help him.

ME: I know one church that had a big facility. I was a leader at the church and had keys to the building so I opened it up at night and let Michael sleep there.

BOB: That proves my point.

ME: The church board got upset and told me to never do that again. Or the church would get overrun with takers. They told me if you feed one stray cat like Michael you get too many stray cats.

BOB: Your friend Michael sounds like a taker.

ME: Maybe he is now. But when he served in Vietnam and saved the lives of some of his fellow soldiers he was a maker. When he ran his own business during the seventies that brought in $350,000 a year, he was a maker. Then he got sick. Sometimes the makers get sick or old and become takers, Bob. And if you ever get old or sick, I hope for your sake, you have people around you who have real Christian values, not what you call Christian values, Bob.

BOB: I still say it's the church's job, not the government's job.

ME: Because using tax dollars to help people would be against Christian values, right?

BOB: Amen, brother.


Blogger theurbanboy said...

This was powerful to me, Richard. Thanks for writing it. Sounds like a lot of conversations I have had with others.

January 9, 2013 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger theurbanboy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 9, 2013 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Richard Rossi said...

YW urban boy :) Thanks for reading and responding :)

July 4, 2013 at 2:21 PM  

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