Friday, January 28, 2005
WHAT WE ACCEPT AT THE BEGINNING MATTERS
IT'S WHERE YOU BEGIN, WHAT YOU ACCEPT. You see, it's where you begin, what you accept as a valid beginning point that matters most. But we rarely look there. We hardly ever question back to there. We simply do not take the time to discover the tennuous underpinnings of what we accept as normative, as truth, as good policy, as life-sustaining value, as world-saving action.
WHAT GERMANS ACCEPTED. My sense is that most of the proud German people living in the beginning days of the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (a conservative, moral-values based political party) did not examine the roots of their angst or challenge the underpinnings of the solutions to their national woes that the Nazi party proposed.
UNTRUTH BECAME NORMATIVE. They went along. They accepted. They allowed. They gave the benefit of the doubt. And what they allowed and accepted became normative for their children. It had the ring of truth and strength in numbers. They thought themselves to be on a heroic journey of national restoration and attempted to bring a liberating fascism to weaker countries stalled in economic and moral malaise.
SIXTY YEARS LATER. Sixty years later, the heads of state of most world-leading nations (absent George W. Bush) gather at Auschwitz to commemorate the day the Soviet troops liberated the Nazi death camp that sent more than 1,100,000 Jews, gypsies, gays, and other stereotyped prisoners to gas chambers and crematoriums that ran day and night. The leaders solemnly vow "never again" and at the same time do not examine the norms they accept or the perilous underpinnings or trajectories of the actions they take.
CRY OUT NOW. Examine everything. Question authority. Trace down every assertion. Look behind every notion. Exegete perspectives. Do not just go along. Do not just accept what is said. Speak what you discover. Repent if it is called for. Expose untruth if it be so. Cry out now, or many may weep for your silence.