Sunday, December 28, 2008

And So They Cover Their Ears

According to Christian tradition, Jesus said, "A prophet is without honor only in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his own home." While one can debate if the Jewish carpenter actually uttered this sentiment or not, it certainly wouldn't surprise me if he did. If we look at the annals of history, prophets -- both religious and secular -- are not welcomed by their contemporaries and their words are rarely heeded.

In fact, not only are prophets not listened to, they generally are mocked, scorned and belittled. At the time, a lot of their fellow citizens have called them lunatics. It was said that their message was pure poppycock or worse and the authorities often warned folks to simply ignore them.

Yet, once their predictions come to fruition, that's when people take notice. Consequently, it is quite ironic that many of the prophets of Christianity, for one example, are worshiped by today's adherents as being key figures in history while, at the time of their pronouncements, they were treated as crazed nuts or dangerous provocateurs.

This pattern carries on throughout history and is alive even today. In contemporary times, we have prophets, sages and philosophers who are sounding the clarion call for the need for systemic and fundamental changes. Their subjects include the need for society to live in more sustainable ways and that war/violence will lead to moral bankruptcy and destruction.

And what do those, who venerate the prophets of old, do in response? They cover their ears and eyes. They mock, scorn and belittle. They exhort their brethren to pay no attention to the pronouncements and they continue to live their lives as if everything is a-ok. In essence, they are repeating the very sins of their predecessors and, most likely, will suffer the same kinds of dire consequences.


  1. So, is what you are saying is that you look at yourself as a prophet while we look at you as a moron? Do you really just see history repeating as you see in the mirror the new Jesus?
    Interesting post.
    Chuck from Tacoma

  2. Chuck,

    I wasn't necessarily referring to myself! I was thinking more of the Lester Browns and the Cindy Sheehans of the world.

    That said, only time will tell which people are lighting the way toward a new tomorrow and which people are leading us down the road to ruin.


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