Wishing for Democracy - Be Careful What You Wish For
Everett PiperEverett Piper's Blog
- 2011 Feb 23
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Have you felt uncomfortable as you watched the recent news in the Middle East unfold?
On one hand, we applaud the people of Tunisia, Egypt, and Iran for courageously taking to the streets and telling dictators that they will tolerate no more oppression.
On the other hand, we hold our applause a bit as we watch the same people who condemn the tyranny of a despot today turn around and praise the tyranny of a demagogue tomorrow.
As we watch the news, we seem to know that something is wrong. We want to celebrate with those who yearn for freedom yet our enthusiasm comes up short.
We watch prayerfully as thousands in the streets of Cairo and Tehran demand freedom yet we cringe when we hear these same thousands deny that same freedom to others.
We see Imams demanding that Muslims be liberated then turn and use their bully pulpits to declare that liberty for Christians should be abrogated.
We see men throw off the oppression of the State then turn around and embrace a State that oppresses other men.
We say democracy is always good and always just but ignore the fact that the majority often elects leaders who are bad and unjust.
So if you are uncomfortable with what you are seeing on TV, ask yourself why. Ask if there is a difference between mob rule and majority rule. Ask if you're watching people who want to rule selflessly for the sake of virtue or those who want to rule selfishly for the sake of vindication.
Then remember something long forgotten: In the U.S. we pledge allegiance to a republic and one nation under God—not to a democracy and one nation under man.
Maybe that's why you're more comfortable with what's happening here than in the Middle East.