Many opinion columns offer content that serve to both inform the reader and enable the exchange of further thoughts and ideas in a relatively civilized manner.
They are characterized, among other things, by a combination of content and tone that commands respect from readers who may yet disagree with the main premise.
On the other hand, other columns come along that appear to derive material from more simplistic origins, offering words borne not out of objectivity, but from various grudges and resentments. Or, words that seem more intended to settle a score than add new perspective on a matter. These columns provoke more visceral reaction than mature thought.
With that in mind, consider the contemporary stylings of Bob Wakeham, and in particular the latest collection of selected salvos as published on Dec. 14 (“Muskrat Christmas, everyone”). There are many directions one could go from here, however I will now address one small point, knowing that other opportunities may arise should the fine publication for which he writes continue to view his contributions as an asset to their bottom line.
In particular, I observe this tendency of Mr. Wakeham to wax eloquent in his proclamation of what — or who — he is against, and rarely offer anything he is for. In its rawest form, it is crude and nasty, reflecting that compulsion among some in the profession to frivolously lay waste to the credibility of certain prominent people and organizations.
Certainly those in positions of public trust are obligated to lead by example, and their actions warrant due scrutiny; however it is misleading to portray them as the patent holders of hypocrisy. And speaking of settling for easy targets, the same attitude is shown toward particular world views, in this case, Christianity. While it is fair ball to challenge ideas, simply resorting to sarcastic rants is incomplete at best and lazy at worst.
The honest observer will experience dishonesty, hypocrisies and injustices everywhere — in our homes, schools, workplaces and even in ourselves, for the common denominator is being human. Someone once wrote that the church is not justified because people do not sin, but rather because they do.
So this season, I choose to reflect upon the documented history of how a special child entered into the world in the humblest of circumstances, and consider that life a foundation on which to stand, a motivation by which to live, and the basis for hope.