I just read this article in The Los Angeles Times. A religion columnist for the Times questions his faith after the stories he covered deeply affected him: ex-Mormans ostracized by their friends and family for leaving the Church, the Catholic Church molestation and cover-up scandal, exploitation of the desperate by TV evangelists, etc.
Part of what drew me to Christianity were the radical teachings of Jesus — to love your enemy, to protect the vulnerable and to lovingly bring lost sheep back into the fold.
As I reported the story, I wondered how faithful Mormons — many of whom rigorously followother biblical commands such as giving 10% of their income to the church — could miss so badly on one of Jesus’ primary lessons?
I sought solace in another belief: that a church’s heart is in the pews, not the pulpits. Certainly the people who were reading my stories would recoil and, in the end, recapture God’s house. Instead, I saw parishioners reflexively support priests who had molested children by writing glowing letters to bishops and judges, offering them jobs or even raising their bail while cursing the victims, often to their faces.
TBN [Trinity Broadcasting Network]’s creed is that if viewers send money to the network, God will repay them with great riches and good health. Even people deeply in debt are encouraged to put donations on credit cards.
“If you have been healed or saved or blessed through TBN and have not contributed … you are robbing God and will lose your reward in heaven,” Paul Crouch, co-founder of the Orange County-based network, once told viewers. Meanwhile, Crouch and his wife, Jan, live like tycoons.
I highly recommend reading it. These are issues that caused a lot of people to lose faith in their religion – or at least faith in members and leaders of their religion. Happily, many have found a home here. I find these sorts of articles way more interesting than those by atheists and the anti-religious. Anyway, read it if you have a chance.