Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Truly stupid questions

When I was a kid in school, I would often hear teachers say, "There are no stupid questions." But I overheard a conversation at a department store last week that made me doubt the wisdom of that statement. Two girls were looking at shoes together, and the snippet I overheard was this:

"...what if everyone in the world jumped off a bridge, would you do it?" the first girl said.

"NO! I would not!" the second girl adamantly replied.

"No? Well, if everyone in the whole world jumped, they'd all be DEAD and you'd be all alone. Do you want to be all ALONE?" the first girl asked.

"No, but somebody else would have not jumped too," the second girl wisely said.

"NO! The question is IF THE WHOLE WORLD jumped off a bridge, the whole world!" the first girl shouted.

"I don't care. That's just a stupid question, anyway." the second girl said.

I wanted to cheer the second young lady for her courage and good sense. And I thought about what she said about it being a stupid question, and I realized my teachers were wrong. There are stupid questions, probably more of them than good questions. It is a tricky way to distort people's perceptions, and create a false dilemma, when there is none. If we say we believe that abortion kills a child, we are asked if we would prefer to have women dying in back alleys. If we say we think it is a good thing for mothers to stay at home and teach their children, we are asked if we think that women should be enslaved and oppressed by their husbands. If we say that we think that a war is just, we are asked if we enjoy seeing innocent people die. Satan loves to create and teach others to create such false dilemmas with these "stupid questions" where there is no real choice at all. How grateful I am that we all banded together to fight against Satan's plan to take away our choices, and that Christ's plan ensured that we could make our own choices freely.
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