Friday, June 17, 2011

A toast to law and order

Regent College professor of theology (and Vancouverite) John Stackhouse has some good words in response to the disgraceful hooliganism on the streets of Vancouver after the hometown team was defeated in the Stanley Cup finals. He reminds us that when law and order breaks down human flourishing is not possible. Without it things that should be lovely and fun (like hockey) turn into something ugly and dangerous.

Here's his conclusion:

Here, then, is a toast to everyone who works today and every day to build and maintain spaces in which others can grow and develop and produce. Here’s to the good directors, the good managers, the good supervisors, the good shift leaders. Here’s to the good parents, the good teachers, the good caregivers, the good counselors.

Here’s to the good legislators and good bosses who make good laws that set out the framework in which shalom can be pursued best. And here’s to the good cops, and the good judges, and the good referees who enforce those laws, and who thereby provide the order the rest of us need to flourish.

How much better would the NHL playoffs had been if the referees had ensured that the best players could play their best? How much better would our workplaces be, our families be, and indeed our churches be, if those in charge of law and order made good rules and then enforced them well?

Law and order aren’t everything, of course. They’re nowhere near our chief values. But without them, there is only frustration, waste, and devastation, whether in the hockey rink or on the streets of Vancouver, let alone in the abusive home, church, school, business, or society. “Letting the players play” is simple moral cowardice. Step up, referees. And the rest of us, with our craning necks and cellphone cameras, too.

I'll drink to that!

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