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Real Answers™
Copyright: © 2007 Donald E. Lindman
605 words


By: Don Lindman

The human race has taken a beating in the past few weeks.

Barry Bonds, poised to become the most prolific home run hitter in American history, is accused of using chemical assistance, and in the wake of his power boat the doping accusations against former stars Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa are resurfacing . 

According to golfing legend Gary Player, some professional golfers are also using steroids.

Professional football’s Chicago Bears dropped lawbreaking tackle “Tank” Johnson and the NFL suspended Cincinnati’s “Pacman” Jones for the entire 2007 season. Atlanta’s star quarterback Michael Vick is charged with being deeply involved in a dog-fighting ring.

A National Basketball Association referee is accused of “fixing” games, and the recently concluded Tour de France bicycle race lost many of its leading riders to doping suspensions. 

Want to get away from sports?  Consider the accusation that a couple of our astronauts were drunk during a recent flight   There is genocide in Darfur and civil war in Iraq.  We suspect our political leaders of being more interested in reelection than in the health and welfare of our people and our infrastructure.

The bridge collapse in Minneapolis “shouldn’t happen in America,” said one interviewee.  She meant that as the wealthiest nation in the history of the world we should be building things to last and fixing them before they break.

But why wasn’t that done in Minneapolis?  Look back through the records and I suspect you will find occasions when the public refused to fund bridge and highway repairs.  We wanted it done, but not with our money.

Just writing this leaves me tired.  Reading it leaves me depressed.  Is there anything good in human nature, or are we all a bunch of crooks—that is, all but you and me?

The answer, of course, is there is a lot of good going on.  We are living in a relatively short period of time when scandals dominate the headlines, but this will change.  The induction of Cal Ripken, jr., and Tony Gwynn into baseball’s Hall of Fame is just one example of the fact that there still are a lot of good people around.  At pro football’s Hall of Fame inductions, Michael Irvin’s “confession” and request for forgiveness from his family and others he has hurt during a very checkered career off the field is another bright spot.

However, an interesting little book, Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller, raises the question of how good our “goodness” is. 

Miller says, “It is hard for us to admit we have a sin nature because we live in this system of checks and balances.  If we get caught, we will be punished.  But that doesn’t make us good people; it only makes us subdued.  Just think about the Congress and Senate and even the president….The genius of the American system is checks and balances.  Nobody gets all the power.  Everybody is watching everybody else.  It is as if the founding fathers knew, intrinsically, that the soul of man, unwatched, is perverse.”

As an illustration as well as a confession, he says, “The truth is, I drive completely different when there is a cop behind me than when there isn’t.”  Don’t we all?

Miller concludes this particular chapter by saying, “I realize this sounds very Christian, very fundamentalist and browbeating, but I want to tell you this part of what the Christians are saying is true….Nothing is going to change [on the world scene] until you and I figure out what is wrong with the person in the mirror.”

That’s something to think about when we see all those negative headlines and wonder what’s wrong with the world.


"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091;

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