Friday, January 09, 2009

post-parade soapbox

i expect this kind of "evangelism" at morally questionable events - marti gras, spring break, the las vegas strip, etc. - but what makes these people think that rose parade participants want to be preached at, or that the feel guilty for spending family time together on a beautiful sunny day?

this kind of witness to your faith tradition seems to create more enemies than converts. the example of jesus i read about in the bible is not a guy with a catchy slogan on a street corner, but rather someone serving the poor, needy, and the outcasts of society. how are these people following that model?

although i have to give these guys credit - at least their signs don't say "jesus caused 9-11" as we saw earlier in the day - almost as objectionable as these people.

sorry about my ranting, but this stuff gets me all fired up. also, i apologize if i have offended you with today's post.


Jim said...

Not offended here. Does the Rose Parade allow anyone to march?

altadenahiker said...

Well said Ben. They can't possibly, possibly believe this will sway anyone. So what's the point? Attention whores?

ben wideman said...

Jim, prior to the parade anyone can march down the street. Same goes with after, at least until the cars start driving on the road again.

Altadenahiker, spot on! I guess the danger is that in loudly ridiculing these people we become exactly who we are speaking out against. Ah the joys of free speech!

Trish said...

Ben---well written and expressed.

A lot of these people are angry---angry with themselves, with G-d, with others for not doing EXACTLY as "G-d" intended. If we would just "do as they say" the world would be fine. Reality is, people have free will and there will still be bad folks out there and bad things that happen to good people. I personally don't think we need signs warning of that "fact".

I do agree with you on the Westboro folks---they picket funerals, weddings, name a few. The URL of their website gives you a clue about their intentions. I don't know about you, but every Bible I have ever owned, borrowed, read or seen does not have that statement in it, nor does it have "Hate thy neighbor because of (X)".

You're right about the picketers and haters---how does that promote faith? I have found it just drives the people away who dislike the anger.

Thanks for sharing

Cafe Observer said...

Bw, they are just taking advantage of the crowds like anyone else. Although it's true the messenger often gets in front of the message. Therefore, people will react to them rather than the word.

The Jesus I read about was one who taught & served those who welcomed him with an attitude of being poor, needy, and outcasts relative to Gods Kingdom. Certainly not those who think they are entirely self-made and have it all together here on the post-parade trash-littered streets.

Hey, bw, is that your friend Tim in that pic?? Hohoho! said...

Everything in moderation. These people are obviously extreme wackos. They are our sisters and friends and relatives who think they've found Jesus... some contorted view of Jesus that elevates themselves above everyone else.

I have a sister like this. Never cared for church, and then when mom died last year she "found god" all of a sudden for financial gain after she learned what my parents are really worth. Talk about psychology on my dad when he is at his lowest. Whatever. For me religion is just another form of mind control. Its programming. Im all for rules and the ten commandments, and Jesus, and a Savior... but when people start humping their bibles in one hand, rosary in another... it looks a bit absurd, like they are trying to cover up or make right all their previous wrong doings.

Miss Havisham's Tea Party said...

That's so Catholic, shirtees. HAH! I say that as a happy outcast of the Catholic Church, or maybe I was never an incast? I don't know.

My question: Why was there such a brouhaha over the people that wanted to protest and carry signs at last year's parade? There were such stern and frightening messages issued against any show of protest of the Beijing Olympic themed Chinese float entry that the protesters only wore tee shirts. No offense.

Tim and Deb said...

Ben - the Rose Parade IS morally disgusting. One million people gawking at and celebrating millions of slaughtered, beautiful roses. God HATES flower killers my friend and those signs give the needed judgement to the spectacle! ;)

I like what wrote about religion. Jesus didn't come to start a new religion. Unfortunately - Christians kinda stopped being followers of Christ and started being Churchians - followers of Church. and what do you know - we started a new, judgmental religion. I think we all can gain to look inward and see if we're being like Jesus or if we're being like the pharisees that Jesus was so passionately outspoken against. Ok - I'm done preaching now :)

Miss Havisham's Tea Party said...

PS. I never noticed how gigantic that Office Max building is. It doesn't seem that big from inside. In your photo, it rivals the Lincoln Monument.

ben wideman said...

Obviously this is an issue which my blogging friends get fired up about too!

Trish - spot on as usual.

Cafe - on point, especially for a dog. You need to ask Tim if that is him in the photo - he was with me on that day, but not marching to my recollection!

shirtees - I like it, everything in moderation. That does beg the question, are the parade floats in moderation??? Your sisters case is tragic, yet happens so often!

Ms. H - I had forgotten about the protests last year. I wasn't around for the parade so it slipped my mind. I was just lamenting that I didn't get to see the Dodgers 50th Anniversary float. Also, I hadn't noticed how looming Office Max was either!

Tim (I doubt that comment is from Deb) - you are so money with your comments. Keep preaching!

altadenahiker said...

You're right Miss H. Some kind of giant cathedral where one can worship the stapler and paperclip (Norwegian invention), and confess to childhood transgressions on xerox machines.

Kathryn Lymburner said...

Ahh Westboro...I believe they were up here recently in Uxbridge protesting the Laramie Project (film about gay hate crime). Radio station Edge 102.1 gives air time to some lady from Westboro on a semi-regular basis, and it's nothing but vitriolic hate. Not what my God is about.

The scheduled hatings they do are really scary. It seems like they have a steady stream of protests at various embassies in DC on the 19th. Apparently they're hating Canada from 2:00 - 2:30pm that day. Be glad you've escaped the Land of Sodomites Ben. ;) Apparently there is DNA evidence against us up here.

I wonder what the brainwashing entails for this group? Any argument from them lacks logic or an ability to properly reason what they stand for.

Petrea said...

I'm with you guys. Let's start our own religion.

I always thought Jesus was a super-decent guy. If I'm right, he doesn't need advertising.

You didn't offend me, Ben. That link sure did, though. I've been seriously put off by people like this. I am not put off by people of faith like yourself. I am put off by many organized religions and hateful religious movements, however.

Have you ever been in Office Max? It's huge.

pasadenapio said...

I'll never forget when Darrell Lewis came to Pasadena to be the planning director several years ago.

He was an openly gay man, very nice guy, and it was only a matter of time before Fred Phelps and his band of freaks came to Pasadena City Hall to picket with their disgusting signs, plus there were horrible, libelous posts about Darrell on Phelps's "God Hates Fags" website.

They stayed on the Euclid side of City Hall, which I presume was intentional because All Saints is right across the street. It was truly sickening. Of course the L.A.-area press was all over it. I wish they would have ignored Phelps completely, but the news business has its dark side.

Darrell resigned after a couple of years to to concentrate on some medical issues. I have lost track of him but hope he is well.

Miss Havisham's Tea Party said...

That is some pretty despicable behavior you've described by Mr. Phelp's group. I have to admit, until your comment, I thought the group was so over the top they had to be satire--or some kind of arty instigators of thought and reflection.

It is very hard for me to take them seriously, but it is telling that they positioned themselves near enough to All Saints to make their presence known but not close enough to reflect an association. What a dark cloud of negative energy. The roses all must've drooped, the vine cringes.

ben wideman said...

AH - all hail the church of office supplies!

Katherine - Canadians are polarizing, you either love 'em or hate 'em! :) I'm only partially joking.

Petrea - starting our own religion... hmm, how long would it take before we had our own wackos?

PIO - I had no idea that group was hitting so close to home, and to try and link to All Saints, one of the most loving and welcoming churches in the area is despicable!

Ms. H - I hear you. Sometimes I think this has to be a joke.

Anonymous said...

I miss the Hare Krishna. Better colors, tambourines, melodic chanting and a nice little skip in their step.

Mister Earl said...

I was going to call that 800 number those Jesus people were advertising, but I forgot to write it down.

Kathy H said...

I don't know anyone who was converted because they saw a person carrying a large sign. I think these folks would be more effective if they showed Christ's love at a homeless shelter.

Petrea said...

Good point, Kathy.

Ben, you crack me up. Tell you what. If you and I start a religion I'll be the first wacko, say, for the first month. Then you can be the wacko for a while and we'll trade off.

altadenahiker said...

Yes Earl, don't blink, for destiny can pass you by.

ben wideman said...

PA - hare krishna is still around if you look hard enough!

Mr. E - you snooze you lose!

Kathy - Spot on! Well said.

Petrea - in my mind it has already begun!

AH - hilarious, simply hilarious!

MG said...

I like the Krishnas. Good food when you're really hungry. Nice people. Generous.

Cafe Observer said...

Yes, the krishmas were good with the food. A great culinary institution. Agree with the MG.
Veggie soup was great.