“Spiritual seeking, when it is done by the false self, might be the biggest problem of all. …. Is it any surprise that America has churches on every corner and yet remains a highly racist, materialistic, militaristic, and superficial culture? We have found the way to feel good about ourselves and to think badly of everybody else that is not like us. Only one thing is more dangerous than the individual ego, and that is the group ego. Religion produces saints and very whole people, but it also produces and protects people with high capacities for delusion and denial.”
From ‘Contemplation’ as the False Self, in Contemplation in Action, Richard Rohr and Friends, A Crossroad Book, 2006 (pp. 80-81)
WOW! What an amazing hyperbolic and factually inaccurate statement reflecting a terribly sad personal and world view. No doubt, America is far from a perfect country. Individually and as a people, we can all be better. And no doubt, throughtout the history of the world, far more damage has been done in the name of God than just about anything else I can think of. And some people are misguided, delusional and crazy, but very religious. But to assert that America is a highly racist, materialistic, militaristic and superficial culture is a leap which ignores the love and beautity and creativity and generosity which can be seen all around us everyday if only Fr. Rohr would open his eyes and heart to see. It is as mistaken (if not much worse) to ignore the goodness and holiness in a people as it is to exaggerate their failings.