Wednesday, May 12, 2010

So who is responsible?

BP, Deepwater Horizon and Haliburton are all pointing fingers at one another in front of Congress like so many school children accused of cheating on a quiz. Instead of working together they're blaming...and Congress is partly complicit. They're always out to find someone to blame. If they can show themselves to be the ones who caught the culprit they are more likely to be voted back into office, whether they caught the right guys or not.

George Huguely is accused of murdering Yeardley Love on the campus of UVA, and the governor is exploring the options of reporting to avoid anything like this happening in the future. They are asking people, like in the Times Square bombing attempt, to report unusual behavior. But will that not turn us all against one another in the long run? Sell out on our anxiety in the cause of community and destroy community int he process...Hmmmmm.

Seems the system is broken. I think the plummetting trust in public government is a pretty clear sign that we think the system is broken, but the big question is, How is it broken? Tonya Craft was acquitted on 22 charges of child molestation in Georgia. She blames the system for going on a witch hunt, and the parents of the children who brought the allegations blame the system for not dishing out justice. Both are convinced the system is broken because of what it put them through.

There seems to be no sense of democracy, where if the law rules in a certain direction by public process, even though we don't like it, or maybe even don't believe it, we act by it. That tenuous balance between the good of the whole (government) and the rights of the individual (democracy) hold our souls in constant dynamic tension, but tension is never comfortable, and our anxiety often makes it feel unacceptable. So our system feels broken when it breaks us.

I find that I assume that the legal system is supposed to reveal the truth, and as Christ said, "you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free," it will be obvious who is to blame and what to do about it. But we find that the courts are no better at determining the truth than most other institutions in our society. Perhaps Kierkegaard was right in saying that unless God reveals the truth to us in a life-changing encounter we cannot discover it for ourselves, because of our radical subjectivism. Revelation, then, is the source of truth...but even revelation needs "spinning" to make it applicable to life, and therein is the rub. So who is responsible?

You are. I am. We are. Thomas Jefferson said that this American experiment can only work if the general public is educated. Most of us are not. Oh, we hold degrees, but we don't think critically about life. We don't take responsibility for our own actions. We look for someone to blame and we elect people who will help us do that. This was Eve's sin, and Adam's and ours.

Move over Haliburton. Move over, Deepwater Horizon and BP, and governor and Craft and the others. We must take the stand, raise our hands and swear to tell ourselves the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and then to hold ourselves accountable by it. Only then will we be truly free.


嵇ImogeneL_Spielman said...

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韋于倫成 said...