Paul Ryan is offending a lot of people over what he said he’s giving up for Lent. Catholics typically sacrifice a favorite dessert, meat, or full meals, but Ryan wanted to change something else entirely.
The Washington Post writes that Paul Ryan wants to sacrifice what he considers “character problems” by giving up anxiety and impatience for Lent.
“I gave up impatience and anxiety this year,” Ryan said in a video.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 24, 2016
Lent is aligned time-wise with Easter and is a dutiful time for believers to engage more in prayer, fasting and penance. It’s a tribute to the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert being tested by the devil.
“I used to give up food things, I used to give up, you know, beer, or ice cream or pop,” Ryan said. “Typically what I do is don’t pick those things back up. Ice cream and beer I still have a little bit, but I’ve given up so many things over the years, food-wise, that I decided to witch my Lenten vows to character deficiencies, or problems I’ve had.”
As the new chairman of the House Budget Committee, he was fighting to get a conservative budget approved by the GOP and explained that he tried focusing on behavioral changes then when he gave up fear.
“I gave up fear that year and was able to pass our budget and do it happily, joyfully,” Mr. Ryan said.
Huffington Post reports that Ryan’s statement about impatience and anxiety being a character flaw is “insensitive.” Approximately 40 million people suffer from anxiety disorder and it’s a real struggle for them. To call it a “character problem” is belittling those who aren’t able to just cast it aside for the sake of Lent.
While it’s important for people to manage their worries, implying that it’s a character issue does little to help the stigma of those with mental disorders.
What do you think of Paul Ryan giving up anxiety and impatience for Lent?