REGARDING Christians defending American football star Adrian Peterson who inflicted bruises and lacerations his four-year-old son primarily on the basis that the Bible God says that if you spare the rod you hate your child.

I think religion next to politics, encourages and facilitates a culture of enabling. People tend to feel okay about letting others do evil they would not do themselves. That proves them more concerned about looking good than being good.

Every religion has doctrines that many members do not like or find too difficult. Avoid the dishonesty of picking and choosing doctrines as if from a menu and to respect the Church and its people by refusing to act like a loyal member when you are not. Cherry-pickers like to claim that the religion will improve if more members become like them. But that assumes the religion is just a social club. People who are lied to by a religion or who are victimised, feel even more victimised when they see others tacitly supporting that religion and going to its services and wearing its symbols. Cherry-pickers speak for themselves and not the religion and every religion has cherry-pickers. So how can they make out that they really are working in the proper manner for change? They are not. They hurt the cause of change with their hypocrisy and they enable a culture of deceit in a religion. They make a religion that opposes and ignores truth far worse. They antagonise the loyal believers by using the religion for their own ends and make them more trenchant . Their hypocrisy is an advert for taking the religion seriously. A cherry-picker is a poor advert for a religion that requires you to take it seriously but he or she is still an advert. To oppose your religion’s teaching or undermine it, you have to admit that it is your religion’s teaching and that you are not a faithful member . If the Catholic doctrines are revealed by the God of truth as that Church claims, then cherry-picking is not an option. A person who has the honesty to leave the Church politely and with respect and who dialogues with it if he wants change, is the one to be praised not the cherry-picker.


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