Wednesday, November 28, 2012
The Ducking Stool
To the right, you'll see depicted a little device known as the "ducking stool." Who was usually punished in the ducking stool? Usually women who were known as "scolds." One statute defines a scold as:
"A troublesome and angry woman who by brawling and wrangling amongst her neighbours breaks the public peace, increases discord and becomes a public nuisance to the neighbourhood".
In our current acid political climate, I can imagine some of my conservative colleagues wanting to inflict a brief, embarrassing ducking on Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid. But no, let's not. And why am I using the ducking stool as an analogy for a larger point? Glad you asked.
Right now, some circles of the conservative/libertarian fold are cheering Glenn Beck for putting a small statue of President Obama in urine—reminiscent of Andres Serrano's infamous "P**s Christ" display, where a crucifix with Jesus on it was placed in a jar of Serrano's urine as some kind of "artistic" endeavor. No doubt, what sparked some of this recent awfulness was when black celebrity Jamie Foxx called Obama his "Lord and Savior," and another "artist" did a picture of Obama with a crown of thorns in a crucified pose before the presidential seal and podium.
I don't like blasphemy. I am a believing Christian, after all. But I also don't like the growing coarseness of our society and culture, and seeing such gleeful abandon in demeaning, mean-spirited insults. Before I point fingers at anyone else, I have to remind myself of my own admonition quite often. It's all too easy to let it fly when irritated or outraged about something. But at least from a Christ-follower, Scripture makes it plain that our Lord expects better of us.
Believe me, truth by itself can be just as devastating as the most vile insult. It's all the more devastating because truth is true, while insults often are either complete lies or significant distortions of truth. But truth and sunlight are the best disinfectants, and both can be applied without wallowing in the manure pit. Think about it.