It has always been an interesting phenomenon to me.
As someone raised by preachers (a lot of preachers), I’ve always found it intriguing that people seem to love to be called out by someone. There’s almost something masochistic about our response to someone dressing us down. It’s weird. My father always got more “amens” when he was chastising the audience than when he wasn’t.
I get a few people a week who want me to “rant” about something in a blog. It’s always something they are grappling with, therefore, they think “I” am grappling with the same thing, for some reason. Most of the time (like, 97% of the time) I’m not grappling with their issue at all. Most of the time, I’m fine with whatever is going on.
Only on certain occasions will I throw my hands up and yell at the universe. THOSE are always the blogs that get the most attention. And it’s dumbfounding to me. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is we need to hate about ourselves, and what it is we respond to when our transgressions are called out.
This past week, I’ve been seeing this Jon Stewart video shared and lauded and praised. And it’s kinda funny to me.
The truth of the actual matter at hand is that no-one is going to NOT vote for this fund Jon is promoting. It has bi-partisan support and it gets funded every year. And it will get funded this year. There might have been some attempted fraud related to it, so people are looking into that. But at the end of the day, literally NO ONE doesn’t want to help 9/11 first responders.
But the committee chamber was empty when Jon showed up. And that’s what actually got him angry; the lack of an audience. So he railed on them and took the moment to slice and dice in a way only he can. It was great theater. And for those not realizing that his hearing was scheduled directly against several other hearings, it looked like a lot of people didn’t care. But they do. On both sides of the spectrum.
Then, he blamed the “fiscal hawks” (that’s always code for “Republicans”) for not doing their duty when it comes to the first responders. Hey, just a quick tip: if you’re in the majority, you can’t blame the minority for stuff. They can’t do anything about anything. This thing can be voted on and sent to the Senate without ONE vote from a “fiscal hawk.”
But it WILL be voted on and it WILL get done. It would’ve gotten done without Jon Stewart ever showing up and berating anyone.
But what fun would that have been?
We love being preached at. We love a good “gotcha” moment. We love watching the lawyer drop the hammer on cross examination. I have no idea why.
Because it has been my experience that that hammer eventually falls on you, if you’re being honest with yourself. We all eventually find ourselves in the crosshairs of a righteous shotgun blast. Because we’re all guilty of something.
Personally, I prefer mercy and grace. I need both of those things so much, so often. I don’t need anyone preaching at me. I’ve heard so much preaching I can’t get it out of my head. So, I bristle at people who come at others with absolute certainty of the moral high ground.
You never know when the high ground will have a mud slide, and you find yourself down there with all of those you were preaching at from a perch.
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