I first became aware of Howard Zinn when I came home from my humanitarian assessment trip to Iraq before the Second Gulf War. His voice was one that could not be ignored in it’s opposition to the cacophony of lies and half-truths trumpeted by the US administration for the need to invade Iraq. His fearless attacks against the rampant stupidity being promoted won him a place as one of my favorites.
I was surprised and delighted to find that Zinn is also a favorite of Willie Nelson. As I was reading Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die, I came across this powerful quote.
Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders…and millions have been killed because of this obedience….Our problem is that the people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity and war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves…and the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.
Zinn is right. We are mostly like sheep and far too obedient for our own good. There is no righteousness in allowing evil to flourish and remaining silent in the face of injustice. Never doubt that authority always needs to be questioned, sometimes confronted, and when necessary…even disobeyed.
I am on vacation this week, and for some lighter vacation reading I picked up Willie Nelson’s newest book, Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road. I am a huge Willie fan and I am thoroughly enjoying the book. Here is Willie’s views on God:
If we are children of God, then we must be gods too. Very small children must be God also. We were made in His image, duh. Why don’t we know it and act like it? I don’t know, maybe we do know and are afraid to accept the responsibility. If we admit that we are children of God, we can go a long way toward fixing what’s wrong. Maybe that is our reason to be here, end of story.
Don’t know about you, but that sounds good to me. Maybe it’s time more of us accept that we are created in God’s image and begin figuring out how to begin fixing what’s wrong.