Saturday, April 2, 2011

Deuteronomy and Democracy

A self proclaimed minister burnt the Koran last week.  It caused some moslems to kill in reaction to the attack on their religion.  Two wrongs don't make a right.
The Old Testament, the Bible shared by Christians and Jews and Moslems, has it's own questionable recommendations.  I am however thankful that my father and mother didn't take the Bible literally.  However now that I'm older and more impatient and irritable,  I can see some merit in the recommendations of Deuteronomy.
"If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious.  He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard."  Then all men of his town shall stone him to death."
Note that the authority structure in this model is a "top down" authoritarian structure. It is neither patriarchal or matriarchal but authoritarian. It's the opposide of democracy. Authoritarian structures  put the power into the hands of the born with power, those older and those more powerful together, than one alone.  It's the rule of the military assigned  or the judge. The 'elders' can give the death penalty to the young.  As 50% of the prisons here are thought to be filled with people who have had problems with drugs and alcohol it's of interest that the son to be stoned to death is a 'drunkard'.
Alcohol and drugs are associated with 'anti authoritariasm".  Do to their effects on the devolution of the brain, they create a desire for 'license' , not freedom. The "license to kill' means you can kill anyone without consequence or accountability. The 'freedom to kill' is something we all have but 'freedom' comes with consequence and accountability.
The greatest leaders have been the greatest followers.  Learning involves first obedience.  It also involves listening.   It also involves learning.  Arrogance is the trait of misplaced pride in which a person believes they 'know it all' and need not learn further. It's not uncommon among the young.  Right now my young dog wants to run across roads to sniff Fifi without any knowledge of the power of cars.  Much of the authority in the world especially related to the young or to others ignorance is for theirown  protection.
It's not possible for everyone to know everything in a society of specialization.  A notice says don't go in the broken nuclear reactor. Historically it didn't need 100 pages of legal documentation which is written in the arcane language of unreadable 'legalese' for people to decide, "yes, I won't enter the broken nuclear reactor."    Some adolescents would have everyone stop and explain to them 'why'.  Some journalists are like this, as well.    It's the 'arrogant" who feel that they have a right to being 'taught' for 'free' what others have spent years understanding.  Lawyers and their ilk would have one read all the legalese that comes in catalogues attached to 'firehoses'. My suspicion is that the nuclear reactor problems all can be explained by technicians stopping to read the legal 'small print' before turning the 'off' or 'on' buttons at the nuclear reactor stations in crisis.  I believe too that those who have written much legalese with a sense of 'license' will be held accountable in the higher court of 'freedom'.
When I was younger I never understood why older people were more amused at the Darwin Awards than I was.  Now I find myself chuckling each year when the Darwin Awards are declared.  More and more I find myself saying, "Don't go into the broken nuclear reactor."  Then when the person wishes to discuss this and argue with me and there's no group of elders who will stone this person for me, I hear myself saying, "Don't say I didn't tell you." It's then I remember my father's and mother 's voice.  Much to my surprise there are things that 16 year old don't know that 50 year olds do.  I love my parents more every year I survive to remember the basics they instilled in me as a child.
In Canada too many people believe democracy is about being able to drink Labatts beer instead of Molsons. They further think democracy is about being able to smoke marijuana and have free heroin.  Alot of people are getting stoned in Canada but not by the elders.
A minister who burns the Koran claiming to be holier than now would likely kill an adolescent first chance he got as well.  That ministers regime is what the 'pro democracy' forces around the world are fighting against.  That minister doesn't understand 'freedom' but instead wants 'license'.  He's arrogant.  He lacks respect.  He needs to serve a term or two in Kundahar, outside the wire.
The Holy Bible is not a hot house plant.  It doesn't need to be the only book on the bookshelf.  All over the world countries have banned the Bible and burned it because Jesus was  the greatest revolutionary. He was the democractic leader of all times, the first small 'c' communist.  What he said that so upset the authorities was  that  the name of God the Father was Abba, that is "Papa." or "Daddy".
I'm sure my Father would have gladly given me over to the elders when I was a profligate drunkard adolescent.  Papa kept me in his home instead. My Daddy took me back when I came home later, the Prodigal Son.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

in our society we allow a wide range of behaviors

there is no law against being a fool