Before you click on the video below, I want you to read the following words and examine how they make you feel:
In this life there will be many struggles. You may suffer; you may fall; you may think that you are alone. But fear not, my child. I am with you. I have always been with you. I’ve been with you when you’ve laughed. In your joy, in your sorrow, I am with you. You are a child of God. You are wonderfully made. You are here for a purpose. And I will guide you. I will lift you up; I will carry you; I will rescue you. For I love you and will never leave you, simply because you are my child and I am your Father.
For me, the words represent wishful thinking that is entirely disconnected from reality, and so they evoke no positive feelings whatsoever. I think of the reality of life for a starving child in Africa and I ask myself, “What do the words ‘I will rescue you’ mean to that child?” Absolutely nothing, that’s what.
For a Christian, I suppose the words communicate some vague sense of positivity about their relationship with God – something that provides warm fuzzies without the necessity for any actual thinking about whether the statements ring true in practical day-to-day living.
Now, watch the following video and take careful note of what’s being done to your emotions and why.
With the aid of evocative music and photographs (especially the cute kid at the end), a few empty phrases are turned into words of immense power. Check out the comments on the video:
- “Amazing I near cried at this. This is inspired by the Holy Spirit”
- “AMEN! In Jesus name…This is so comforting!!!”
- “why did this make me almost cry ?”
- “FANTASTIC. Beautiful and inspiring.”
- “Really inspiring , thx & may God shine his Face upon u.”
- “oh wow…. thankyou so much for making this..”
It’s obvious emotional manipulation, using the tried-and-true tactics of commercial television advertising, and yet there’s not a single Christian in the room who is even remotely aware of how he is being played. Those words either have power – raw, honest, rational power coming from truth – or they don’t. If the words have it, then they should evoke the strong feelings without your emotions needing to be artificially stimulated. If reading the words felt different from watching the video, then you are being played.
Like I’ve often said, religion is a tool that preys upon human weakness – in this case, our need to be loved. Many of us will suck on any teat offered, as long as we don’t have to face the painful truth – that we are not divinely protected by God, and anything might happen to us. If you want evidence that religion today is for weak-minded and non-thinking people, look no further.
I feel like putting together a remix of this video, only substituting the existing photos for shots of starving children, victims of abuse, and horrible accidents. I would leave the words and music the same. Now, that would really mess with your head. Bad taste, maybe, but a damn sight more honest.