Monday, September 10, 2012

Blinding Faith for Authority Figures

by M. J. Joachim
Leaders, authority figures, people in the know…
I woke up this morning thinking about these things, and how so many of us use their role in our lives to make excuses, rather than taking responsibility, about the choices we make.

As I reflect on this, it seems obvious to me that we put an unfair burden on others, when we hand them the keys to our lives and expect them to fix things. As if these same people never had lives of their own, complete with personal head trash. Yet we look to them to serve us, without considering that maybe we need to do some of the work ourselves.

The Pope, bishops, priests and deacons are human beings fulfilling a role. There is nothing wrong with putting faith in them and trusting what they have to say, considering they are likely more learned in Catholicism than the average lay person will ever be. However, doing so does not excuse us from taking responsibility for our own actions.

Throughout the course of history, there have been inexcusable leaders that no one in their right mind should have followed blindly. For whatever reason, people did…sometimes by the millions, sometimes in limited numbers. These people had their own agendas, and if their followers had chosen to scrutinize the bill of goods they were being sold, taking responsibility for how they chose to respond to it, they might have made completely different decisions.

Being Catholic does not give me the easy privilege of letting Church authorities take me where they will, without considering where it is they want to take me first. I still have to answer for the decision I make regarding the well-being of my own soul, and if any authority figure doesn’t match the criteria I know I should live by, I need to be prepared to stand alone if necessary.

Photo Credit: Wikicommons, Public Domain
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