Welcome to another episode in my quest to review TPDL by Rick Warren.
In this chapter, he hammers on and on about how we are only on earth for a short time, and the real life is once we are dead, in heaven. This poisonous idea is I think the cornerstone of religion and religious thought, which is why I imagine he spends a whole chapter on it.
A couple of things caught my eye in the chapter:
- He speaks about how in California there are people from other countries, and they get a green card to live in the states. He then says "Christians should carry spiritual green cards to remind us that our citizenship is in heaven." This phrase caught my eye because of the weird logic. Foreigners carry a green card while in America to prove that they belong there. If a xtian has to carry a green card, is this heaven? Then we may be in agreement, because by Darwin's beard I'm convinced this is my only existence ;-) I suspect though that it's just woolly thinking on his part.
- He uses the analogy that being a xtian on earth is like being an ambassador to an enemy nation. He says that in that event, you would have to live among the enemy, and adopt their customs and live like them. But, if you become too comfortable and fell in love with that country and forsake your own, you would become a traitor. So this is how he views theists that have lost their faith. Obviously they are traitors to the lord (tm)!
- Lastly, according to our Rick we will never be fully satisfied here on earth untill we die and go to heaven, because we are meant for so much more! Here I think he is playing (probably subconsciously, because I think he genuinely believes his own nonsense) on the fact that someone that picks up a book about a search for their purpose is probably dissatisfied by their life. With those people, this idea will resonate. I happen to be very satisfied with my life, so it doesn't really stick to me. Also, if I did find that I lacked purpose I certainly would not start with a thousand year old myth about a being of questionable morality. Unless of course I was indoctrinated into it as a child, or had the misfortune to be hypnotized by a persuasive demagogue.
Finally, an observation: This idea of the rewards being in heaven is what prompts young muslims to become suicide bombers, and people to drag their children to go and get screamed at by unbelievers on Sunday mornings (which conveniently reinforces this idea that it is them against the world)