A series of Facebook comments brought this to mind again today;
What is it that makes us stop asking questions? Is it beaten out of us as children? “BECAUSE I SAID SO” only works until we grow up – right?
Many people chose to vote for one of two candidates in the last election, and whether their person won or not, they seem to not ask questions of that person now – if they ever did. The diehard Hillary people still think she’s #1, and the Trump folks still believe he’s “draining the swamp!” But, there seem to be a lot of issues with both. Are they afraid of being seen as having been wrong? This is the question I ask myself;
Why is it perceived as not okay to question our leaders, especially people that we support or have supported?
This is true in so many areas of life, and not just Federal politics. You can see the very same thing happening in the dialogue about abuse in law enforcement. Most people think you have to be either for or against the police. There is no other way to look at it, no objectivity. Do we agree with every single thing our siblings think or do, or our friends and spouses? Generally, not. So why do we think we have to go in with authority figures, hook, line, and sinker? Why do we think we can’t call them out?
I always wonder how much of this is the fault of the modern church. Remember, not too long ago a majority of Americans attended on Sunday. It seems that for a very long time we have been teaching people to submit to all authority, come what may. This is a form idolatry, in my opinion. I was initially taught Romans 13 just like most other people as simply; “submit to authority.” No caveat. No mention of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. I am not by any means a scholar of church history, but I think most knowledgeable people have some understanding of past grievances in the Catholic church, stemming far beyond the modern day abuse scandals. Not that this is unique to the Catholic church, it is just easy to pick on them. It must have been simple to get medieval peasants to pay for blessings, and free tickets to heaven, when they had no clue what the good book actually said. We can look back on history and think; man, those people were easily mislead. But, we have the benefit of knowledge that they didn’t have. We can read the book. And in regard to the not so distant abuse issues… aren’t we looking at the same thing? What’s our excuse?! We trust the clergy – whatever our brand of faith. We do this to a fault. They are supposed to be somehow more “enlightened” than we are. It’s like we are giving over our own salvation into the hands of men rather than the hands of God. So, when someone alleges abuse; GASP! We just can’t believe that is true – don’t let anyone see!
We do the very same thing with government. It’s like we are giving our own liberty over into the hands of a president, rather than keeping it in the hands of the people. In both cases we are shirking our responsibility, and failing to protect others.
Some folks have a gift of teaching. Others make excellent leaders, it’s true. But what should true leadership look like? And do we believe everything we’re taught? People in authority should always be questioned. That doesn’t have to be done in a rude, hateful, or disrespectful way. The truth is, however, that power corrupts. We all know this to be true. So, why do we think it will all go perfectly, once our person gets elected, appointed, or rises to a place of power over others? I don’t have power over anybody, and sometimes I still need my friends to tell me like it is. Don’t you? We really need to stop acting like this isn’t the case for whoever our gilded heroes are. This has led us to a very, very bad and precarious place. In fact, Trump isn’t right most of the time, (neither was Obama), and neither would any other glorious leader be in his position.
“Where there is no counsel the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors, there is safety.” ~Proverbs 11:14 (NKJV)