Friday, 14 September 2012

Poppies, prayer and politicians

What is it in the human condition that drives us to criticise, even revile, anyone who holds a different opinion from our own?

Why is it we feel so self-righteous in condemning "evil" people, yet neglect to consider our own fallen nature? We score ourselves on our intentions yet we judge others on their results... and what's worse, we presume to know their heart and condemn them on their (apparent) motivation...

And if I disagree with you, how does that make me a hater and a bigot? If the same logic is applied, you must be a hater and a bigot because you disagree with me... Why should I keep my opinions to myself?

It's a well-known "fact" that Kiwis suffer from tall-poppy syndrome, but isn't that just a simplistic disguise for what is really the tip of an ugly iceberg of criticism, discrimination and hatred? And anarchy?

How is it that the man on the street can hate the politicians they've never met, and pull them down at every opportunity, yet expect them to front up and take responsibility for their (larger) share of the blame for all of society's ills?

And since when was it okay for media to photograph our political leaders, and publish only their goofy mid-speech expressions, holding them up to ridicule? Would we find it just as funny if a wedding photographer had done the same? Why are the rules different? Like them or not, MPs are the leaders of our country and deserve better.
What do bloggers hope to achieve in publishing a picture of a dog urinating on a street-level billboard featuring a Photoshopped John Key? How would you feel if they did it to a loved one? Where do we draw the line? Imagine the outcry if Mr Key had done the same thing to one of his constituents! Maybe there's a reason he bears the honorific, The Right Honourable. 

And no, I'm not going to link to the offending items because I find them offensive!

Paul says we should pray for and give thanks for "all men, for kings and all who are in authority" so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life. If we don't follow his instruction, one could assume the opposite might occur... And I note he's not only talking about all men, but specifically employers and managers, the Police and judges, teachers and parents - and also politicians...

Mr Speaker prays a similar prayer when he opens Parliament each day:
"Almighty God, humbly acknowledging our need for Your guidance in all things, and laying aside all private and personal interests, we beseech You to grant that we may conduct the affairs of this House and of our country to the glory of Your holy name, the maintenance of true religion and justice, the honour of the Queen, and the public welfare, peace and tranquility of New Zealand, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen."
Imagine what New Zealand might look like if, despite our at-times childish and point-scoring behaviour, God took us and our MPs at their word and answered in the affirmative...

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