RE: “Distracted” – Satan Didn’t Post That Picture, I Did.


Your post blew up today. Christians on Facebook and Twitter have been reposting your article like crazy, which I’m sure has pleasantly surprised you.

You are probably both a kind and intelligent person, but your article is neither of those things.

Here is a portion of what you said:

This Friday is called Good Friday, because we remember what God did for us by sacrificing His Son upon that cross. But do you remember? Or are you still trying to figure out who’s right and wrong on that legal issue?

Well played, Satan. Well played. You dangled the bait (and we all took it) for believers and nonbelievers/ believers and believers/ nonbelievers and nonbelievers to turn on each other, draw lines, AND DISTRACT EVERYONE FROM THE GOSPEL. You made it as simple as posting a picture on a social media site to make everyone lose focus of what this week is really about.

Because your post was made public, I think it calls for a public response.

Here it is.

To use Jesus to shut people up isn’t exactly new, but it isn’t classy either. And that’s exactly what you’re doing. Your article tells the folks who care deeply about the events in the Supreme Court this week that Satan is using them. That Satan is using their convictions, their hearts, and their online relationships to further his agenda. You’re saying that they are a part of the problem.

They aren’t.

I think it sucks that so many of us Christians get upset and lament our frustration when our society doesn’t afford our religion the respect we think it deserves. We could stand to be a bit more long-suffering.  Besides, I doubt Jesus gets upset when the Distracted People “should be focusing on his resurrection”… that lucky guy has two birthdays every year.

And if Jesus had a Facebook account, he’d probably have changed his profile picture too.

As for your audience, the “Nonbelievers” you mentioned aren’t celebrating Easter in the first place, so it seems pointless to tell them how distracted they’re getting.

SATAN (Photo credit: lori_la_tortuga)

More importantly, you have judged everyone’s actions and found them wanting (even calling it participation in the demonic). Do you really think you can say something like that? Do you really think that all this discussion is for nothing- for something negative? That nothing good is coming of people talking about human rights?

Of course you can. Because that’s all this is to you. A distraction.

Heather Anderson (another concerned Christian) put it this way;

I just… I can’t. Human rights aren’t a ‘distraction’… they affect the day-to-day quality of life of SO MANY people. But if it doesn’t affect you, it’s just a ‘distraction’. Right? Like that distracting issue of slavery? Or those distracting women that wanted to vote?

This week (and the whole year for that matter) isn’t just about celebrating Jesus and making sure everyone else is celebrating Jesus, it’s about taking the Way of Jesus into regular-old life. It’s about being Jesus.

Caitlin, I’m glad you’re putting yourself out there in the public arena and sharing your thoughts… just remember to allow others to do the same without attributing their thoughts to Satan.


Allen Marshall O'Brien

Allen Marshall O’Brien is the pastor of a UCC church in Northern California and co-host of the Irenicast. He believes in the importance of education, peace, and ecology, throws things to his border collie Sonata, and writes for multiple platforms.

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  • Shawn Tolley

    Allen, I think you have a well thought out impassioned statement here and I agree. What I think you missed is the pure fact of the nature of Christs’ sacrifice. Jesus chose to die once, for all, the perfect sacrifice of the paschal lamb. The choice by Christ to give himself freely up was one that knows no boundaries between sinner and saint since we are all sinners, but was given to all people. On Golgotha Christ was stretched out with his hands reaching both to the prisoner who was, at that moment, sanctified by his plea to Christ and to the other who sneered and rejected. Yet we often stand with our own hands stretched to the sanctified and just out of reach of those we deem sinners. To be a Christian is to emulate a loving God who looked on sin, something that he was not affected by, as something he was willing to suffer to fix. It was an act of pure love which those who have changed their profile pictures are emulating even in a small way and whether or not they even know. Many, myself included, who stand in solidarity with marriage equality are not directly impacted by this decision. My marriage to my wife will not change one bit if marriage is made equal for everyone. Yet we stand as representatives of the Christ we serve in the knowledge that his love and grace were already granted to everyone.

    My friend it has been a long time, but I see these posts and am happy to see the caring Christian you were has blossomed and grown.

    • You make a really good point- Jesus’ actions themselves lead people to engage in this conversation and the nature of his sacrifice-for-all calls us to care about the struggles of all.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, Shawn 🙂

  • Kenny

    Marriage equality its not about rights its about making people comfortable in there sin and stumbling others who might be confused.
    As a society we can affirm the Gay community’s rights with civil union laws But that is not the issue because in their hearts they know that something is not right. They need and demand that society tell them that their sin is OK.
    As Christians we have only 2 commandments Believe in Jesus and love
    our neighbor.
    We can and should love the sinner without condoning the sin. Their sin is between them and God.
    Affirming someones sin is not an act of Love,as every parent knows.
    We dishonor God when we don’t stand for the truth.
    We can and should respect them as people without validating their lifestyle choices .

  • I wonder what jesus’s position — or Buddha’s — would be on the primitive crane fly? what am I talking about? you will have to look at

  • I am not sure what Distracted meant. If I were to try to construct a defensible position from her words, I would say this: that Christ’s work in Holy Week and Easter Week and eternity is the work of Reconciliation, and the pink equals sign with pink crosses- I saw one pink does not equals sign- brings it to a matter of confrontation. Heat not light. Satan not Jesus.

    I hope your Supreme Court finds for equal marriage. We have objectors in the UK, but the Conservative party in government is very keen on legislating it. It is going through now. And- if only we could talk about the issue, and respect across the divide more.

  • Jseus’s position on many matters is quite liberal: people do not refer enough to his wonderful Sermon on the Mount with its enumeration of the Eight Beatitudes — like Buddha’s Eightfold Path. There is something magical about the number 8. and btw have a Happy Easter 🙂