Thursday, September 24, 2015
A "more equal" world could become a world of "followers", easily manipulated (the Pope at Washington but not at San Francisco)
A couple of ethical and social points occurred to me today in reaction to the Pope’s remarks.
One concerns a talk show on some CBS stations this morning. There was discussion of parenting styles, and as to how long parents should wait in letting teens make major decision for themselves. Many parents feel it is important that their kids accept the cultures they were born into, including the authorities of the religious and community structures, so that communities and families remain resilient. No doubt this idea accounts for a lot of homophobia in the past.
But the point was made that such an attitude tends to encourage people to remain “followers” and to be easily manipulated by partisan, especially authoritarian politicians. I could say, look at what is happening in Russia.
On the other hand, a society that is overly individualistic simply cannot make a place for some people, leading to instability, and contradicting the idea that, in the best sense, “all lives matter” indeed.
I also thought about a time at a church (MCC) weekend camping trip in Texas in 1979. With a certain set of people I can make a misleadingly poor impression. I remember this guy “Skip” putting his arm around me and praying for me because he really couldn’t respect me or my capabilities (others there could). That seemed to be his idea of inclusive “Christian” love, proving that everyone is to be included.
I’m not into that. So I sometimes seem aloof.
Yes, I can admire what Mark Zuckerberg has offered the world, connecting people while slightly at a distance, almost like an alien (extraterrestrial) observer and Manipulator.
I don’t think the Pope was interested in visiting Silicon Valley.