Once in a while a metaphor so perfectly formed is just handed to you.
Todd Bentley won’t be long in the news. He is just a small player in the huge religious economy. Have no doubt, there are bigger guns in the game, for instance Rick Warren, who gave support and encouragement to Christian hate-crime advocates in Africa. The Daily Mail gave a characteristically lurid (and rambling and pandering) descripiton of Todd Bently’s escapades, but you should not be impressed! After all, this is, I think, viewed by most commoners among us as being little more than an anomaly in the larger religious (or, “Christian”) experience, instead of the necessary and inevitable condition, which it is, underpinning mainstream belief.
Shall I provide a list of examples of people who were metaphorically “kicked in the face” with, say, promises of happiness, healing, redemption, salvation? All the faithful who have nothing to show for all that but an equally metaphorical nasty bruise?
I need to ask though, where is all that “respect” for “other ways of believing” we hear of from the Liberal tolerant? No one fears taking the risk in criticizing this pastor, worrying about the prohibition against blaspheme while skewering his methods and beliefs! The Bentley entourage was full of denial anyway:
UK tour organizer, Shanee Lemos, denied spoke of Bently saying, ‘I’ve worked with Todd for a long time and I’ve never seen him kick someone.’
‘Kicking people in the face is not a practice of our ministry and I do not see this happening in the UK.’
It is farse.
Nazir-Ali (ibid) was very specific with regard to the threat to public order this man Todd Bently posed. I cannot help but wonder about the real threats to public order elsewhere. Like Bentley, Rick Warren too tried to distance himself as farcically from his intimate participation with Ugandan government affairs and the raw nature of the anti-gay message promoted from the pulpit. Hundreds of innocent men and women actually died. Some were also kicked in the face.