I may choose to ignore people who comment anonymously. I choose never to be anonymous online myself. I have little tolerance for this behavior.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Unrighteous Zeal: Part 4 Unrighteous Zeal Outside the Church -- Sports and Politics

(This is a series on unrighteous zeal. I'll use quotes from the scriptures, Hugh Nibley's classic essay, "Zeal Without Knowledge" and President Cecil O. Samuelson's recent address, "Appropriate Zeal." There will be six parts.)
Because of the season, I think of two areas in which examples of the extreme are quite prevalent. I speak, of course, of politics and sports. [Samuelson]

However, in both athletics and politics we see far too many examples of overzealous behavior, [Samuelson]
Examples hardly need to be given because excesses in sports and politics are so obvious. I'll give some from my own life.

I attended a BYU home basketball game once many years ago. I was seated at about the free-throw line. In this instance the action was taking place at the other end of the court. The officials both made a call that made the BYU fans seated around me erupt in anger. The negative response was loud and vehement. But, I noticed something curious. All the people at the end of the court where the action was, and the call was made, were quiet.

This seemed to go unnoticed by all the people around me. They continued their negative response for some time and the anger I observed got quite extreme. I, in defiance of the norm, decided to defer to the judgment of those seated closest to where the call was made.

Shifting to politics now, it never ceases to amaze me how many people try to lecture me on politics as if I am ignorant. With three advanced degrees, including a Ph.D. you would think that some of them may want to listen to me and my arguments. This is rarely the case, especially when things get heated. I defer to others when I am aware of their expertise.

One of my step-daughters recently completed her doctorate in psychology. I  defer to her knowledge as opposed to my own on this subject because I know her insights are deeper than mine. Sometimes she has even pointed things out that I felt I should have seen.

I get rough statistics from Google about my blog. Most of my traffic is from search engine searches from Google, Bing and others. I've noticed that the most heated subjects I post on rarely get accessed. It is like people's mind are already made up and they aren't seeking knowledge. This is a bit depressing to me because I tried to research and think through these issues because I knew the controversies over them were particularly bitter. I wanted my postings to be accurate, thoughtful and complete.

See the following:

Church History and the Limitations of Historical Research
8: The Mormon Proposition and Faulty Assumptions
Arizona, Illegals and Mormons

I'll close with this quote from Samuelson:

. . . we occasionally witness among us those who give counsel or criticism when they themselves do not have all the facts or the responsibility to so comment. [Samuelson]
Unrighteous Zeal: Part 1 Explanation 
Unrighteous Zeal: Part 2 The Need for Zeal 
Unrighteous Zeal: Part 3 Unrighteous Zeal in the Church 
Unrighteous Zeal: Part 4 Unrighteous Zeal Outside the Church -- Sports and Politics 
Unrighteous Zeal: Part 5 Satan is Its Author 
Unrighteous Zeal: Part 6 Forbear and Not Overdo or Underdo

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