It is no secret that I am a huge Anne Lamott fan. I also enjoy Donald Miller and Laura Winner. They all write from a place of honesty and humor that isn’t always appreciated by everyone. I just came back from Atlanta, Ga where Anne Lamott spoke to a full house. We were able to buy her new book “Help, Thanks, Wow” that was released just two weeks ago. NPR interviewed her about her new book for a Thanksgiving spot.
In searching for some information on the new book, I came across a blog post about Anne,her new book, and the NPR interview. I understand that not everyone is going to agree with her writing. I fully appreciate that not everyone agrees with me. The blog post itself was simply a review of the NPR interview Anne did for Thanksgiving.
What blew me away were the over 100 comments. People were bashing Anne Lamott, denominations, and each other. They were hostile and mean all in the name of defending their own view of Christianity. They even started insulting each others grammar. Here are just a few comments shared between “Christian” brothers and sisters: (I am leaving the spelling and grammatical errors in tact)
1. “As long as you are openly gay (like colm Toibin) or supportive of homosexual marriage (like Anne Lamott) then you get your books promoted on NPR. It’s an AGENDA, people.”
2. “What a simplistic and very scripturally wrong view of God”.
3. “With all the incredible writing on prayer in just the Christian tradition alone, NPR puts on this vapid piece of crap.”
4. “Wow, reading the comments below, it’s apparent that some do worship two things: smugness and condescension!”
5. “So, Ms. Lamott is an alcoholic who managed to stop drinking. I send her my heartiest congratulations for that. But because of that she is now an expert on “essential” prayers for all the rest of us? If I wanted to listen to blowhards who pass off their ignorant opinions as facts, I’d watch Fox News and listen to Rush Limbaugh.”
6. ‘In your introduction, you presented Lamott as a Christian; I heard little or no evidence of this in her description of prayer. What I heard was just another Northern California flake with an addictive personality who has figured out a way to make money off of it. Put this one in the cringe file!!!”
7. “White person wearing dread locks – why should I take her seriously?”
This is just a small sampling of comments. No one escaped the onslaught including Catholics, Puritans, and Jews. People attacked each other to prove their view of God, Jesus, prayer, and scripture was the right one. Sadly, I see this type of behavior from Christians over many issues; some big and some small. I am sure we are going to see name calling and hatred spewed because someone said Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. It would take volumes to discuss some of the really hot issues.
One of the last comments came from a non believer. It simply said, “Thank Goodness I’m an atheist!!!” Is this really how we hope to share God’s love and our relationship with Jesus with others? It isn’t working. Maybe we could try following Paul’s advice to the Ephesians.
Ephesians 4:31-5:2 4: 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 5: 1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
This blog post is part of NaBloPoMo. The theme for November’s NaBloPoMo is blogging for blogging’s sake.