Speaking Truth to Power

silver colored microphone

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A few weeks ago, a couple of politicians made some remarks that most people recognized as improper. They both commented that it was okay to be uncivil to those of another political persuasion; one even recommended using physical force on those opposing his views. I waited for someone in their political party to speak against what was said. It wasn’t long until one did. One lone female Senator spoke up and disagreed with them. A few days later a former First Lady also spoke up and took issue with both statements.

It made me think, “Why is it so hard to speak truth to people in power? Why were there only two women who were willing to take up the microphone and disagree with what was said?” There are many answers to these questions. First, most people (yes, even those who are in positions of political power) are afraid to speak up and call out those in their own political party who may be making statements that need to be challenged. Second, there will usually be some sort of repercussions if one does speak up. These repercussions may not be serious, but just the fact a person is not willing to fall in line with the herd will set one apart. Third, it takes real courage in order to speak up and stand up when few others are willing to do so.

We live in a society that is becoming more and more divisive. Tribalism has set in and one is expected to tow the line of whatever tribe one is a part of. We do not have to go along with this kind of thinking or social engineering. We can break out of our “tribal thinking” and be willing to take a stand should someone in our “tribe” make statements that are uncivil, rude or unnecessarily divisive.

Personally, I prefer to not be part of any “tribe.” I want to be an independent thinker that recognizes the worth of each individual and gives people the freedom to think differently than I do. How about you? Have you noticed more pressure than usual to just go along with what your group or tribe is saying and just keep quiet? What do you do about it?

29 thoughts on “Speaking Truth to Power

  1. today the manipulation of opinion and cultural and political formation, through education, is closely linked to the indiscriminate use of technology. in seconds messages are fired with content that either lies or distorts reality even more. as I wrote in the previous post, we lack a great leader who assumes the role of leading society by the wayside, more conscious and a strong and active judiciary.

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  2. I hate speaking up because people usually want a “why” to my objection. To answer, “ It is just wrong or derogatory” is not enough anymore.

    Everyone in the tribe wants you to agree. I agree with you, I have my own independent thoughts and also vote with my own opinions whether they clash with my tribe or not.

    I have also been with social gatherings with whom I have spoken what I believe to be wise and godly counsel and have been excluded from the conversation completely as though my input did not count.

    Now, I say fewer things but live out my life independently with God leading me. It is sad that only two women or men for that matter spoke up against a person in power, I believe it comes from our upbringing to respect those in power. However, when those in power speak unjustly, I agree with you we must have the courage to turn around and be able say, “ I am not in agreement.Therefore, I will not stand for it. Same party or not my answer is no.”

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    • Thank you for sharing your heart! Yes, there are always consequences when we speak out. I have also learned to say less, and sometimes to wait for the right time to say it. It is still impactful when we speak though, and that is a positive thing!!!

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      • I, who reject all political cults of personality, have become increasingly worn down by the endless political diet of bile. I have, therefore, nearly unplugged from politics, (except for voting) for the sake of my spiritual health.

        I still feel free to quote timeless principles, though.

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      • I do not consider myself political. There are some things that happen that just seem to be on the wrong side in the moral universe. Those things should be called out by people in their own party. Always the other side will call them out, but true courage is when we can stand up to those in our own party or tribe and call out those things that are wrong! I don’t blame you for being on a political fast. I am sure it is much better for your spiritual health. It certainly helps you focus on the Lord instead of all the baloney that is being served on the television!

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  3. I pray to remember that each person was created in the image of God and is precious in His sight. Even those who have chosen not to accept Him. We can certainly have different points of view without being hateful. I pray that as Christians we will show another way, a way that points to Christ. Bless you!

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  4. I guess I have my little tribe: close friends, chosen members of extended family, and of course my immediate family. It doesn’t mean I agree with everyone. I think we like to debate. And I’m quite firm with what I believe in. However, I know and understand others so well because I do find it difficult to speak up in certain situations. And I’m not really timid. Some say we must hold our tongue if our thoughts equate to career-limiting moves. Luckily, we have this platform, and when we can’t speak we write. 🤗

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  5. Valerie you are so good at getting a discussion going and being charitable. Maybe you should run for office? (wink). I love how you encourage everyone. That’s what we need more of in the world!

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    • My father intended me to go into law and then hopefully to follow into politics. When I worked at attorneys offices, I was good at what I did, but I hated the environment and the recidivism on the part of those we helped.
      When I was in high school, he took me to meet a famous politician and made me read political news magazines, hoping to spark my interest.. At first I was interested, but the further I got into it, the more I realized it wasn’t for me…too much back door dealing. Besides, I don’t have the hide of a rhinoceros, and that is a necessary quality if you are going into politics!
      Now, politics has turned toxic and people are willing to destroy a person over something small in their backgrounds. At the moment, it is more like Mortal Kombat than politics!

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    • If he would have steered me in the direction of diplomacy, I think I would have been interested. Now that we follow the Lord, we are all “Ambassadors for Christ.”
      Now, that appeals to me! We can love others and seek to be “Peacemakers in a divisive world.”

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