What makes this really interesting is that Brad Whitt is actually a Southern Baptist. I keep being told that Southern Baptists are thoughtful and kind and completely different from the legalists in the Indy-Fundy camps.
I’ll confess that I often have my doubts.
I’ve been reading the book David and Goliath by author Malcom Gladwell which looks into the stories of underdogs that unexpectedly win out over overwhelming odds.
In the middle of the book, however, I suddenly came upon a fantastic quote about authority and what elements go into making authority legitimate. Whatever your feelings on Gladwell, this quote seems so well to highlight what is wrong with the authoritarian structures in fundamentalism that I think it’s worth pondering:
“…legitimacy is based on three things. First of all, the people who are asked to obey authority have to feel like they have a voice–that if they speak up, they will be heard. Second, the law has to be predictable. There has to be a reasonable expectation that the rules tomorrow are going to be roughly the same as the rules today. And third, the authority has to be fair. It can’t treat one group differently from another.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, David and Goliath
In a place where people have no voice, where the “unwritten” and arbitrary nature of the rules can be expanded to include any behavior, and where the authority often gives a pass to the “good eggs” while dealing harshly with those perceived as “rebellious” is it any wonder that many people eventually come to realize that the authority of such places is illegitimate?
It’s more incredible to me that some people still think that there is legitimacy to this kind of capricious and autocratic method of ruling.
Oh the party is terrific,
Family, friends all gathered near
And I might be having fun too
If that guy weren’t drinking beer
But instead of conversation,
Food, and laughter freely spread
Now I’ve got to spend time judging
Preaching sermons in my head
And it’s not just booze I’ve noticed
In this gathering tonight
Do you see that woman yonder with
The shirt that is too tight?
And the music’s loudly playing
I suspect some folks may dance
At a table in the next room
I see cards, a game of chance
So…instead of deigning to partake
(Not asking who had blessed the steak)
I’ll jot down each false step you make
And calculate for each mistake
Just how much offense I will take.
I’ve got reasons.
**WARNING: This video clip contains illustrations of extremely graphic violence perpetrated against infants.**
I’d like to see a show of hands of who here has ever been drunk. Now, if you’re somebody who has also killed somebody with a butcher knife while drunk keep your hand up. Anybody? Anybody at all?
In case you’re wondering who the Charles Worley that Tony is defending might be, there’s video of Worley’s rant as well as my counter-suggestion to Charles, Tony and their ilk.