I have some friends who like to listen to a certain pastor’s sermons. Anytime you have a conversation with them and bring up a theological point, they don’t waste a minute before you know what this pastor’s view is on it. Which is fine, I suppose, for some things—as tired as I get of hearing about what that pastor thinks, he usually has some good stuff to say. However, such infatuations easily lead to a sort of cult of personality, where the proles unthinkingly follow what the head says, regardless of the real world. This can happen with many topics besides theology, of course: politics, technology, entertainment, you name it. Just look at the Steve Jobs cult, or the Ron Paul fan club. Personally, I follow a couple of bands to near obsession. Every B-side, every magazine interview…check the blog! Check the twitter! Check the YouTube! “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”
When you get caught up in what a person or group says and thinks, you start to let them do the thinking for you. This is never a good thing. I sincerely think that our country’s problems are around because of the pop culture obsession we have. People come home from work and sit down in front of the TV for the evening indoctrination. You get your shot of Idle Idol and Dancing Survivor and go to bed, ready for the water cooler the next day. We got into this state simply… by not caring. Caring requires thinking, and thinking is inconvenient.
It is inconvenient to think about the latest proposed government program to help coordinate government programs.
It is inconvenient not only to create a realistic budget—it is inconvenient to stick to it.
It is inconvenient to raise a child; it is sacrificed to the god of convenience.
We should be ever observant in our surroundings—aware of the people around us, aware of the threats and problems around us, aware of the good and beauty around us. We should have positions on different problems, and we should know why we have them. We should be ready to argue.
If you want to argue with my politics, or my cultural views, or my religion, I hope that in doing so you reexamine what you believe. I teacher I heard once said, “Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?” Do you? As far as I am concerned, if I can get you to think about your position on something, anything, I have won the argument.