A Little Humility, Please, Mr. President!


Professor Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò
I would like to recall an incident that took place at a town hall debate where ordinary citizens could ask questions of the candidates during the electioneering campaign in 2000 that ended with George W. Bush acceding to the presidency of the United States. An audience member turned to the then Governor Bush and said something along the following lines: Your state, Texas, executes the most prisoners on death row in the United States.
Do you worry that in your zeal to carry out death sentences a mistake might be made and an innocent person executed? Without pause, the governor retorted: “We follow the law.”
I could not believe what I heard coming from a man who claimed the Christian Bible as his favourite book and Jesus Christ as his hero. Why do these identifications matter? Because if there is a tenet that is at the heart of Christianity, however it is conceived, it is that, as humans, we are irremediably fallible.
This fallibility, procured of the Original Sin—remember, prior to the Fall, we were images of God—means, if it means anything at all, that anything that is contrived by us is permanently vulnerable to error and liable to mistakes. However careful, meticulous, or judicious we may be, law and all that pertains to it are not exempt from this threat of errancy.
The singular acknowledgment of this vulnerability to error that is the ground of that humility, that reluctance to judgment, that tentativeness about truth, that are supposed to be defining characteristics of a true, good Christian. There was not a scintilla of that humility in then-Governor Bush’s answer. What is more, it was singularly thoughtless.
I just witnessed a similar instance of lack of humility and grace coupled with thoughtlessness on the podium at the joint press …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper