Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Cost of a Cause

"Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone's task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it."
- Viktor E. Frankl

So a few days ago I've encountered another one of those evangelists who preach to travelers on city buses. I've noticed that there are two groups of these people: the first kind being those who promote some daily Bible study show and the second kind being those who seek donations for a vague cause.

It's sad that they center their lecture on an appeal to fear (argumentum ad metum) in the hopes of swaying people to the cause. I'm won't pretend to have a good idea on what they should be discussing, but I think people nowadays need more glimpses of hope rather than threats of damnation. That's not the point of this post though, so maybe I'll elaborate on that some other time (a long, long way down the line).

What was particularly interesting about the lady who was preaching that time was that the city was in the midst of another one of those midyear storms. Whether they have some quota to fill or if she was really that devoted to the cause is irrelevant, because either way, it's pretty badass and disturbing at the same time.

Whether one's a deist or not, they'd have to agree that it takes balls to preach in public. It takes brass balls to preach in public transportation amidst urban traffic. It takes balls of steel to preach in public transportation while in full knowledge that once you're done you would be going back to flooded streets to wait for the next bus to hitch on to. And those balls are probably lined with lead if you're competing with a zombie movie that the bus has been playing on the onboard television.

In my opinion, that was not martyrdom. It was foolishness. Being a martyr, by definition, requires some element of persecution, which was not the case here (especially in a predominantly Christian country). I hope that someday she'd realize that getting sick (or worse) from what she was doing wasn't worth it. I'm not taking anything away from her, but a lot of things involving faith require reason to go with it.

I guess part of me felt sorry for that person. Having a personal vision and fulfilling one's vocation is good and all, but there's a clear line between devotion and fanaticism. There's no point in putting one's life in danger when there's a perfectly valid reason to do it at a safer time. I'm certain even He would understand that, for crying out loud.

There better be no one who 'instructed' her to go out on that day, because if so then the people responsible are just asking for dates with Yog-Sothoth when they finally take the dirt nap.

And I'm sorry for putting a Lovecraft reference there. I just can't picture punishment in the form of some prick with a pitchfork.

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