When I was a child, many of my friends, good and kind as they were, belonged to congregations that often got rid of their preachers, for a variety of reasons, few of which ever quite made sense to me. In most of the Presbyterian churches Id always known, the ministers stayed around for decades, usually retiring with their manses as parting gifts.
I recall skeptically thinking, even then, that given the odds, the actual numbers of individuals involved, wasnt it probably more likely that the church members were at greater fault than the pastors? Wasnt it logical to consider that these mobs or coteries which rose up first as small, peevish factions, and then spread like cancers, were many times far more sinful in nature than the very persons they sought to dispel?
Ive read that during his tenure in office as leader of our country, President Washingtons main goal was to try to handle, sometimes even squelch, the rebellious coalitions still percolating among the recently emancipated regions, threatening the stability and growth of America as a nation. Apparently, Washington felt that if he could keep us all together long enough, and somewhat isolated from the outside worlds affairs, we might have time to grow up and learn to recognize and value what really mattered, to understand that the good of the whole sometimes outweighs the concerns of a few.
From a recent column in The News-Times regarding the end of Victor Lees and Ed Koesters careers at Lakeside High School, I have noticed remarkable similarities to the situations of other victims of the proletariats wrath.
I know Lee only in a very circumscribed way, and Ive never even met Koester, but I think Ive witnessed their enemies in action, in one form or another, for the last 40 years.
You know the ones - the pushy, pustulant cliques who get their panties in a wad any time they dont get their own way, who tirelessly search for something to support their causes, even resorting to a manufacturing of mountains where only molehills once existed if that serves their purposes.
These are the people who never focus on what hard work or extra efforts their opponents have shown, but instead endlessly muckrake until they can dig up enough petty poo to cause a stink impossible to ignore.
And whats so incredibly nauseating about the whole affair is how hypocritical it all is, for although not all administrators are popular puppets, I have no doubt if Lee had been either: A) a white bread, candy-tail, harmless half-wit; or, B) a back-scratching, malleable politico, hed be happily ensconced in his gray and mauve office for the next 20 years. Sure, he had some rough spots during his reign as Lakesides head honcho. He sent out way too many memos and edicts, continuing to overburden teachers already poised to collapse under the inherent pressures of their jobs, but gee whiz, thats a fixable problem.
But what about the oooooh (insert gasps here) big cover up concerning his head coachs previous indiscretions back in Texas, you say?
Maybe that was a mistake too, and certainly it would have behooved everyone concerned to lay all the cards on the table to begin with, but Ill tell you right now: Koester did nothing worse than dozens of others even here in Columbia County have done, and had he been able to whip Lakesides team into a future Superbowl contender, or at least one tough enough to take down Harlem consistently, he could have committed no wrong as far as the pharisaic boosters were concerned.
I have to wonder who among us is pure, unblemished, or completely innocent enough to withstand an evaluation of such vengeful microscopic intensity? Im sure I personally have enough skeletons rattling around in my own closet to start a Halloween conga line.
And what circumstances cant be twisted to fuel the desires of all the raging wheels who dont just squeak, but maliciously roll over everyone who stands in the way long enough to say wait, lets be reasonable here?
If either man in question had committed some vile, horrific, despicable act, such as cruelty or other abuse, Id be the first to say, dont let the stadium gates hit you in the booty as you depart, but all thats happened is that a powerful, bloodthirsty, irritated throng has gotten the upper hand once more, and theyre happy to crucify anyone who bothers them.
And unlike Peter, I wont deny I know the difference between right and wrong.
(Mindy Jeffers is a Martinez resident and free-lance writer. E-mail comments to email@example.com.)
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