My kids, knowing I like Star Trek (see previous post) got me a Mr. Spock bobblehead. If you hit his head, it will offer some of Spock’s most famous lines. My favorite is when he proclaims, “You are essentially irrational.” In a way, I think it applies to all of us.
In this morning’s newspaper there was a picture of an attractive young woman saying that it felt like Christmas to her. She is a lesbian and had been kicked out of the Navy under “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” policy. She is still young enough to reapply and is now talking to a recruiter about going back in. My wife and I were talking about how we found it interesting that she would choose to go back in after what must have been a negative experience the first time. On one level it seems downright irrational. Even if the policy has changed, she will surely again experience the Navy again as not the most inviting atmosphere for a gay person. But maybe there is something else in play.
Further in the paper there was an article about the Pope going to Germany and how, while he is welcomed by some, others plan to get together to protest. The protesters come from a hodge podge of groups who don’t like the Catholic church’s policies. What seems irrational about the protesters is that if they are upset about the Catholic church and its policies, why not simply go and find a church whose policies are more in accord with their beliefs? Such churches do exist in Germany but they are not filled. Why would they prefer instead to organize protests against the Pope when they don’t (some probably never did) feel they are a part of the Catholic church? I would dare say that if the Catholics started ordaining women, blessed homosexual unions, and helped bring to justice priests who abused their parishioners in previous years that most of these protesters still would not rush in and become Catholics all over again. Yet, they still will gather and protest. It does not seem logical. But then again, maybe there is something else at play.
One of the strongest arguments that we were made and not just a happenstance of the cosmos is that human beings care about what they perceive to be fair and just. They will take a stand for what they understand to be fair and just even to their own detriment sometimes. Logically, if we had just evolved without a plan, we human beings would only do what we do to help propagate themselves and the species. Yet, human behavior is far more complex than this and what drives many people is not simple procreation and protection of our young but rather a fairly complex sense of justice. Why would this be if someone didn’t give it to us?
Now, we might take issue with what some people perceive to be just and unjust. But that is completely a different topic of discussion. What is fair and just should be a focus of discussion in churches weekly. Sometimes folks sense of what is just and fair changes when new information or perspectives are shared with them.
Nevertheless, it is interesting to watch in the world around us when people make a stand over an issue. What are the issues for which you will take a stand? What things are wrong in this world to the degree for which you would put yourself on the line?
Maybe the rationality comes into play when we consider that standing for what is right might just be one of the primary reasons we are here.
Until next time,