White Robes and Pointy Hats (We have WAY more to worry about than the Supreme Court)

Regardless of where you fall in the recent Supreme Court nomination debacle, there is plenty of disappointment to wrap oneself in.

I suppose it is going to be easy for anyone to see themselves on the “winning” side or the “loosing” side, but there is even more likelihood of all of us ending up on the losing side.

I have great concerns about “due process” or the lack thereof in the entire proceedings.

There seemed to be no presumption of innocence until “proven” guilty. Perhaps there is time for that, but it was not a component of the discussion as much as many people seemed to think it was.

Both sides, and all opinions in between, seemed loaded with “knowing” the answers as opposed to recognizing there were, there are, simply way too many questions.

The real danger is the vigilante mentality that runs amuck today.

We use words like, seems credible, does not seem credible, X did this, Y did that, and draw conclusions according to one’s agenda regardless of the actual truth of the matter. In many instances these conclusions could not be supported by the facts even if we knew them. To further support our position, we turn what we “make up,” the conclusions we come to, TO BE THE FACTS.

We all seem to have forgotten the basic stuff we learned in Kindergarten.

We have forgotten, perhaps the only useful tenant of any of the religions around the world, living by the Golden Rule. If only more Christians acted like Christians. I am not going to add in the other religions, because we live in a predominantly Christian country and that fact appears to make it more part of the problem than part of any solution.

We are deeply divided in this country and it is not logical that 50% are wrong and 50% are correct.  Is either side ready to accept the possibility they are wrong?  The only option for movement that I see is for both sides to recognize they are both wrong and both right.

Our laws are in place to protect all of us.

If those laws rub up against one’s personal beliefs, is it the laws that are wrong or the beliefs that are wrong? If we bring God into the conversation, and there are probably just as many that cling to God on the left as on the right, can there actually BE a conversation?  How can God possibly be on both sides?

In this adult version of “my dad can beat up your dad,” we have my beliefs can beat up your beliefs, or are better than your beliefs, or are more important than your beliefs.

Perhaps, it is beliefs that is the problem to begin with and not the solution at all.

Theoretically we build laws that allow each of us to be who we are, so we can belief what we want to believe, become what we can become, while doing no harm to others. When those laws rub up against our own personal beliefs, we must ask the question, do they prevent us from having our own dream? Many people seem to think it is the “superior dream” that wins. This is America, everyone’s dream is equal.

Of course, there are grey areas that only time can sort out. We must wrestle with “public good” vs “individual good.” Sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the individual, and yet we must also avoid the tyranny of the masses.

Sometimes it is our greed that overrides taking care of our neighbors when they need a helping hand. There is an extremely dangerous assumption among those that “have,” that they could not in the blink of an eye be among those that “have not.”

This blindness, this denial, this head-in-the-sand mentality will always have a reckoning. If not in our lifetime, perhaps our children’s.

We defend our illusion with denial of science. We support what we want to believe with junk science. We see ourselves embracing superstition over logic, and fear over bravery. We see the pursuit of knowledge as dangerous to our way of life.

We must move past the lynch mob mentality, as we refuse to wear the white robes and pointy hats. We must be vigilant in making sure we are not embracing tyranny clothed in the appearance of righteousness—religious or otherwise.

We obviously need good laws to protect ourselves from each other, but more important to protect ourselves from ourselves.

We are obviously, as the past weeks have proven, not to be trusted.

Charles Buell