"JESUS LOVES YOU, but I'm his favorite!"
What a coy little thing to say. It's funny because it's close to the truth, even though it stings just a bit as an afterthought. However, the more I've thought about it, the less funny and cute it is. I'm sure it never was intended to be social commentary on what's wrong with religion, so maybe I should just lighten up, but actually it's been kind of an 'en-lightning' rod for me.
In just a few words this little statement effectively points out to me why I'm uncomfortable with my church's veiled attitude with gay folks. . . or feminists, or Democrats, for that matter. It's that righteous knowing you're better than someone or something else. And you know it's true because everyone else believes it too.
But it's not just Mormons who do this kind of thing. Oh no, we certainly have no exclusive franchise on self-righteousness. We can easily see it expressed by other 'saved' religions or maybe Muslim extremists, but what about by political parties, by movie star celebrities, by our devotion to super-premium brands, or even by the 'gay agenda'? It's that whole 'I'm Right and you're Wrong' mentality. And the truth is I find little ways to practice it myself, just about everyday.
So now I'm making a conscious effort to catch myself at it. I'm trying not to be better than you, or smarter than you, or sexier than you, any more. And Jesus, I don't want to be your favorite. I just want to be one of the billions you know and love, who also loves you too.