Warren family tragedy & the ugly side of human nature

Cathy Lynn Grossman writes:

Pastor Rick Warren, the best-known name in American evangelism after Rev. Billy Graham, lost his 27-year-old son, Matthew, to suicide on Friday (April 5).

In the days since, uncounted strangers have joined the 20,000 congregants who worship at the megachurch network “Pastor Rick” built in Southern California, Warren’s nearly 1 million Twitter followers and hundreds of thousands of Facebook followers in flooding social media with consolation and prayer. …

But a shocking number are taking the moment of media attention to lash out at Warren on their digital tom-toms. The attacks are aimed both at him personally and at his Christian message. …

“Either there is no God, or God doesn’t listen to Rick Warren, despite all the money Rick has made off of selling false hope to desperate people,” one poster from Cincinnati wrote in to USA Today.

No disagreement one might have with Rick Warren excuses this kind of behavior. As religion writer Elizabeth Eisenstadt Evans notes on her Facebook page: “These commenters, like Milton’s Satan, bring Hell with them everywhere they go.”

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  1. tgflux

    [As I did on the “Skeptics & Believers” thread, a few posts down]

    I again bring up the secular LGBT site “Joe.My.God.” (specifically this thread, here: http://www.joemygod.blogspot.com/2013/04/pastor-rick-warrens-son-commits-suicide.html ). There, you will find many who have no hesitation about expressing zero sympathy for Rick. I don’t agree—I hope that’s obvious—but one has to take this perspective seriously.

    JC Fisher

  2. Bob McCloskey


    You are so correct on this. Such behavior simply exposes the tawdry motives of its writers. I do not think there is probably anything more devastating to parents than the loss of a child under any circumstances.

    Rick Warren is a close friend of Archbishop Justin whose enthronement he attended. Now they share the experience of each having lost a child. I pray for Rick Warren with whom I share precious little theological and social beliefs, and I know that Arbp Justin will offer him deep consolation at this time.

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