Monday, April 18, 2011

A Clash of Methods

First this week, two little stories that almost touch on tennis. We have a doubles game started up last Saturday after pushing all the water off the courts we could. On the street just outside the courts comes an older vehicle, from which appears a battery-powered bullhorn. An amplified voice asks if we have seen a dog running loose. We reply that we have not seen the dog, and the car moves on. Being a liberal who's been suspicious of anyone wielding a bullhorn in an official capacity before, I now see it in an entirely new light. In fact, I even have the urge to buy a bullhorn - and I don't even own a dog!

I just can't stop writing about Serena Williams. You might have heard that she's been hurt lately, and hasn't actually played in competition since last summer. There's no date set for her return yet, either, but that didn't stop her from going out last week to hit a few balls for reasons best known to her. I suppose it was to see just what parts of her well-paid body are still hurting.
But with Serena, nothing is done halfway. She stepped onto the court dressed in a single piece body suit made of fabric of a rare color. It would have to be described as neon electric hot pink. I'm guessing she could have been spotted from outer space. Hey, good luck to her. You hate to see the great ones go down, And the rest of the world should see the outfit on her before it gets shipped off to the fashion museum.

Three years ago, the Church (You know. The Mormons.) got involved in trying to stop legal gay marriage in California. For complicated reasons, I admit to having been a poor soldier in the cause.
But now I realize better one of the things that kept me from being more gung ho on Prop 8. The religious model is so different from the political one that you (at least I) have a hard time operating in both spheres at the same time.
Peoples' religious convictions can wander all over the map as time goes on, and so can their political convictions. One difference is that in the political realm, there is always an election being decided, which carries a date (Election Day) requiring your action. And a vote count does not take into account the depth of one's convictions, their veracity or even whether they make sense. In fact, you can climb on a soapbox to declare that voting for candidate XYZ is vital in order for us to avoid alien invasion. No one will take your vote away, and it counts just as much as any Poli Sci professor's vote.
The religious model works very differently, as we make the effort to do the right things for the right reasons, lest we prove ourselves to be vapid fools before (gulp) deity. Will He give us credit for having done the right thing, even when it's for the wrong reason? Maybe, but I wouldn't count on it. And there's no deadline, as we ponder mightily the truths of eternity, while local party organizations offer to take us to the polls on Election Day, or even to pick up and deliver our absentee ballot in order to make sure it's right (?) No, COUNTED!
Don't get me wrong. The political model works pretty well in this "get it done' kind of world, and some things just have to be decided now, including who's going to represent us or lead us in coming years. As for religious truth, I can mainly hope that I get wiser year by year, and that when that process reverses, that someone tells me in order to allow me to stop pondering altogether.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What? I don't get it. Maybe I need to do more pondering???


8:57 PM  

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