Halted (1,235)

August 11th, 2011

It is always one of the more intense scenes in a movie. The hero is about to escape a tragic situation when suddenly an unseen voice from the darkness screams, “Halt!” A chill goes down your spine. You wonder what’s going to happen next. And then, emerging from the shadows is our villain, who inspects some papers or gives a look-see through a bag—and we are convinced that our hero is trapped, beyond rescue. But then the villain waves a hand and the hero is allowed to continue his journey to safety.

There is a great apprehension about being halted when you’re on your way to do magnificent things. Such is the status of our country. We, like our hero, are desperately in need of escaping the foolishness of decades of poor choices and inadequate leadership. But we’re being halted by a scream from the darkness, requesting protocol and reverence to a cause instead of honoring the need for change. It’s all about politics, religion and the blending of the two, which I have told you, I refer to as the “politigous.”

What we have here is the new “POP” culture. It begins with politics, proclaiming Party Over People – POP. What becomes primal in the consideration of those who have been elected as trustees of our better interest is actually maintaining solidarity with their particular organization and playing down the qualifications and integrity of their opponents. People call it “partisan.” I disagree. “Partisan” is something I understand. For instance, having a favored philosophy is human nature and predictable. What is going on in our country is not partisan, but rather, playground. It is bullying at its worst. It is alienating people from being allowed to participate in the games simply because they have different colored hair or because they don’t live in the same neighborhood. It is waiting until the teacher turns his back, to give your comrade a kick in the shins, and then pulling away, denying any involvement. It is beyond childish. It is an irrelevant and irreverent disrespect for the feelings and innovations of others. It is Party Over People.

I do not trust any politician who is not willing to admit the good points of his or her counterpart before they insert their objections. I want to hear the Republicans tell me where they feel President Obama is doing well BEFORE they insert their opinions. I want to hear President Obama admit where the Republicans have brought some fiscal reasoning into the debate before he assails them with a nasty notion of their stupidity.

But as dangerous as politics may be, religion is capable of infecting the very soul of our society—because religion offers its own POP culture: Prayers Over People. When where we stand, what we say, how we sing, who’s in charge, what garments are worn, what candles are lit and what seating chart is acceptable is put into predominance in an experience of worshipping God, we have completely lost our minds and have removed the true value of praise—which is to escape lip service and make better people.

But nothing can be as bad as the pop culture brought by the politician who decides to use religion, creating Propriety Over Progress. I have grown weary of hearing people talk to me about what is proper. The reason? I’ve gotten old enough to know that these folks keep moving the goal posts on me and changing their minds about what is proper based upon whether one of their family members has slid into the pit of the allegedly sinful crime.

There needs to be a great debate over what REALLY is going to progress human beings towards an understanding of themselves, nature and ultimately, God. I don’t have the key, but I am willing to listen to reason and open my mind to the possibility that something I consider to be proper may not actually be usable foster promise.

I don’t know when “progress” became a dirty word. I don’t know when we started classifying “progress” as a liberal or conservative stance. I grew up to believe that it was necessary for people to escape the foolishness of bad attitudes and horrible practices to grow into more fruitful endeavors.

We are halted. We are completely stymied by a POP culture: politics which puts Party Over People; religion which place Prayers Over People, and the combination of the two thrown together in a makeshift tent, which proclaims Propriety Over Progress.

I refuse to join in. I am trying to listen to the voice of my fellow-humans, the yearning of Mother Nature and the still, small uttering from the Spirit of God. I am not smart, I am not special, I am not powerful. But I know that if we’re going to cease being halted, we must out-smart the present inanity by refusing to participate.

Published in: on August 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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