#571: Clueless



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Reflections by the Pond
October 1, 2012

The other morning I listened to a recording of man-on-the-street interviews, where each person interviewed was a supporter of President Obama for reelection. Each was asked a series of questions based on current political events, but the twist was that the premise for each question was purposely false. And in every case the hopelessly ignorant person being interviewed answered the question as if the premise of the question was perfectly true.

Paraphrased excerpts:

  • Does it bother you that President Obama is a Mormon?
    No, it doesn't bother me that Obama is a Mormon.
  • What do you think of John McCain's chances against Obama in this election?
    I think McCain will probably do better this time.
  • Do you think Obama will eventually find and kill Osama bin Laden? What do you think we should do to him when we find him?
    Yeah, probably. I wouldn't kill him, but I think we should torture him.
  • Do you think Obama made the right choice in choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate?
    Yeah. I like him.
  • Do you think he picked Paul Ryan because he is African-American, or because he is qualified?
    Could be a little of both.

Just to be clear,

  • Governor Romney is the Mormon (more accurately, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints); President Obama claims to be a non-Mormon Christian.
  • John McCain is not running in this election.
  • Osama bin Laden is already stone cold dead.
  • Paul Ryan is actually Romney's running mate (current vice-president Joe Biden is Obama's running mate), and, by the way, Paul Ryan is as white as they come. (But he is qualified.)

My educated guess is that these same people could with razor-sharp accuracy recite Madonna's shoe size, the title of Samuel L. Jackson's latest movie, and Justin Bieber's current girlfriend.

But on the subject of the election of the next leader of the free world, they're clueless.

° ° °

It isn't that people aren't paying attention—it's that they're paying attention to the wrong things. Small things. Trivial things. Ridiculously inane things.

If I am happily ignorant of the name of the newest half-hour sitcom on NBC, or the name of its star, there will be no adverse effect on my life—nor on the lives of others. But if I step into a voting booth utterly ignorant of who it is I am voting for—but vote anyway—I am contributing something to a process that will affect the lives of millions, perhaps billions of people.

And if I believe the moon is made of bleu cheese and inhabited by monster rodents, no real harm is done. But if I believe Jesus of Nazareth was just another nice-guy prophet who had a good publicity agent, I'm in real trouble.

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven."

Matthew 16:13-17

Our society, that of the entire western world, is one that considers trivialities important while it trivializes the truly important. Every week, every day, thousands of man-hours are wasted on the star who is cheating on his girlfriend; on the size, shape and color of the latest shoe styles, skinny jeans and skirt length; and on paparazzi snaps of the glamorous actress who went shopping in ugly jeans and no makeup.

Meanwhile there is a God in heaven who longs for them to look to Him, to learn of Him, to speak with Him, to listen to Him. There is a Savior who shed His own blood for their redemption—and they don't care. They're too busy sending text messages about the latest Hollywood gossip.

Whether they realize it or not, they are listening to and obeying the "Father of Lies," rather than the truth from the One who, out of His enduring love, gave His life for their eternal salvation.

"You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me."

John 8:44-45