Sunday, December 12, 2010

San Diego's Holy Men at work for the Season

Back in 1984, San Diego Chargers defensive back Miles McPherson used religious faith to help overcome drug addiction, and then entered the ministering field himself in the early 1990's.  First he founded an evangelical organization called "Miles Ahead", and then in 2000 he created The Rock Church.   The first service drew over 3,000, and the nascent church quickly found a place in the modern megachurch movement.  Today The Rock Church boasts an average weekly attendance of around 12,000.  Fun Fact:  The Rock Church facility on Rosecrans Street is 443 feet long and 45 feet high, just like Noah's Ark (300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, 30 cubits tall, with a cubit about 0.5 m).

Like other modern megachurches, The Rock Church presents a positive message and a focus on good works without much political commentary.  Yes, at base they are trying to believe in tales that are as made up as Star Trek (but with less applicability to the modern world).  But they are also able to motivate large charitable campaigns, such as park clean-ups, involving thousands of person-hours of work.  And this week was their annual Christmas-themed event of giving away 10,000 toys and 60,000 pounds of food.  So good for them, and let's hope that they can keep their beliefs in place.  As Humanists, however, we can also see that religion is bound to take over more and more of one's life and interfere in society.  Also, just as the religious feel compelled to proselytize, we can argue for the need to use secular reasoning when setting policy.

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