Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Jesus and Mary, please help me win a million dollars!"

We watch The Amazing Race, and one of my favorite things is to choose teams to root for, and against. Usually it's the teams that are horrible to each other that I like to wish disaster on. But in the most recent episode, I realized that Gary and Mallory were running way behind, and I really didn't care. I would have felt bad if the doctors or the home shopping gals got chopped, and Gary and Mallory share a lot of their positive qualities - almost always being upbeat, interested in their surroundings, and friendly. So why didn't I care whether they won or lost?

Well, one factor is that Mallory has a really offensive habit. She's a wealthy, privileged beauty queen in a reality show race to win a million dollars, and she's constantly praying for help. I know, I know, she's not really thinking about the theological implications, and her invocations probably don't mean much more than when I say, "Oh my god." But truly, it is somewhere between tacky and horrific to pray to Jesus to help you win a million dollars. Especially when He doesn't seem to interested in preventing babies from being born with cleft palates, or cerebral palsy, or Spinal Muscular Atrophy, or scores of other horrible problems.

I'm sure it's very comforting to feel that the creator of the universe is your personal buddy looking out for you. It probably helps people stay calm and get through difficult days, even if "difficult" is just a frantic high stress day, with no life and death issues. But the implications of Jesus caring enough to find you a good parking spot, but leaving millions of innocent children in unimaginable suffering are truly monstrous.

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