Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Editorial: Who are those guys?
by Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor, Inland Register
(From the Aug. 21, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)
Better watch out for them. Oh, my, yes. Those scalawags. You know – those scalawags. The ones who did all that stuff. Who are doing all that stuff. Probably will do stuff in the future, too. Those scalawags.
It is so tempting. Because it is ever so pleasant to stand on the moral high ground and cast aspersions and judgments left, right and center (depending on whether you’re coming from the left, the right or, heaven forbid, the center). Stand there, take a stance, display the courage of your convictions. Those people. They’re wrong, you know. Really, really, really wrong. So it’s perfectly fine to ridicule and judge and gossip about them. You know – those rascals. Those people.
Flinging blame and judgment on just about everyone: the people in charge at work. The people in charge (or so some would say) of the Church. The people in charge (or, again, some would say) of the country. Or the state. The city. (It’s even more fun in Spokane because the city has an increasingly complex mayoral race rearing up on the horizon. Not as complex as governing California, perhaps, but still. You know – those guys.)
Being right is not the same thing as being self-righteous. People in the news, people in the public eye, are still just that: people. We can all hope that they’re all doing their best and that, sometimes, they make great, big, enormous, catastrophic, bone-chilling mistakes. (You know – those guys.)
In the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the protagonists – who are, after all, outlaws; charming, but outlaws, nevertheless – are pursued by the Superposse, tracking them no matter where they go, no matter what they do, despite any and all tricks they pull out of their bag of escape techniques. The outlaws repeatedly wonder aloud, “Who are those guys?”
It’s not a bad question here, either. Because those guys – those guys – are worth our wonder. Because at some point or another, at some juncture or another, at some aspect of life, those guys? They’re us.
Who are not, of course, rascals, scamps, or scalawags. Who are undeserving of scorn. Who are just trying to do the best we can with what we’ve got.
Not like them.
Or is it?