Skip to main content

TIME's Person of the Year: The Protester

TIME Magazine almost annually befuddles at least me, if no one else, with the choice for Person of the Year. This year, however, it would be hard to think of any better choice for TIME's Person of the Year: The Protester.

It is hardly hyperbole to say that every corner of the planet has seen protests this year. The Egyptians, the Syrians, the Greeks, the Russians, the Americans, and the other Americans.

While I agree with TIME, however, I don't agree with the Protester. I protest the excessive protesting going on worldwide. The irony of this is not entirely lost on me, but I don't share the psychology or philosophy of the protester. First, I strongly doubt that public protest (especially when violent) can achieve much that lasts*. Second, even if it can and does achieve something that lasts, I strongly doubt that it is the right approach.

Many protesters are up against powerful people or entities, of course, such as governments or huge corporations. But having been treated in a dehumanizing way does not give one the right to treat others in a dehumanizing way (hateful speech, caricature, etc.). Even if it is loving and civil protest (which happens, oh, never), it is certainly not Christian, and that is my biggest problem as a Christian. Public protest as we have seen is anything but a Matthew 5:44 response:
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
Third, and as a counterpoint, I realize that my view could totally change if I became part of the oppressed. I am not in Egypt or Russia. I am in the USA, however, where we have both the Tea Partiers and Occupy Wall Streeters who claim to be oppressed and ignored, and I have very little sympathy with the complaints or methods of either group.

One final point: It is, of course, easier to sympathize with protesters whose cause we support. Those with whom we disagree are simply rabble rousers; those with whom we agree are of course the oppressed, hard-working, innocent folk. Hm.

*It is very important to distiniguish between the different meanings of protest. Actions and decisions could be interpreted as forms of protest that may be legitimate. Right now I am simply referring to the 2011 fad of, say, making makeshift signs and overrunning public property to give oneself a voice. I take issue with this, even when done in the most civil, law-abiding way.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

教会に影響を与えるために神様が用いる人々の九つの特徴

Read this in English.

これらの9つの特性は、アンドルーボナーから来る。説教でそれらを議論する私の牧師を聞きながら、コピーしたので、ボナーの何本から来たのは覚えていません。これらはクリスチャンに対してとても大事の本質ではないでしょうか。

教会に影響を与えるために神様が用いる人々は次の特徴がある...

1.まじめな人
2.成功を目標する人
3.信仰を持つ人
4.勤勉な人
5.忍耐強い人
6.大胆な人
7.祈る人
8.強力な教義の人
9.深くに清新な人

黒澤監督の『隠し砦の三悪人』

今週初めて黒澤明の『隠し砦の三悪人』という映画を見ました。この三悪人とは、だれですか? 三船敏郎が演じる真壁六郎太(まかべろくたろう)と二人の百姓です。この3人の登場人物の関係はとても面白くて、全ての人間の弱さも愛される性質も示します。

最後の場面で、二人の百姓、太平(千秋実)と又七(藤原釜足)、姫と真壁からもらった金1枚をどうやって分けるかと黙っていて、太平は又七に任そうとしていても又七は断ります。いつもケンカしているこの二人は、後で再びケンカしてしまうと思われますけれども、取りあえずまた仲良くなって幸いです。

Children's Brains Miniseries: Age and Wisdom

Elihu, in Job 32:7, had a good thought: "I thought, 'Age should speak;  advanced years should teach wisdom.'"

According to recent research, as reported by ScienceDaily, wisdom truly is an advantage gained by age. Notice the first sentence of the second paragraph--it gives the definition of wisdom in the study. Wisdom here is basically experience. That is not a bad definition, though wisdom is a difficult word to pin down. And biblical wisdom is certainly more than mere experience.