The Snowplow Conundrum

The Snowplow Conundrum

Sunday, September 19, 2021
| Psalm 1

We must exercise caution in assuming our fellow Americans are on the wrong course — or even vile — because they make different decisions about politics or social issues. That judgment is up to God.

Psalm 1 speaks of two and only two kinds of people: the righteous and the wicked. It declares that “the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”

We might wonder how the Lord deals with people who don’t fit neatly into either category — those who are neither altogether righteous nor altogether wicked, which probably includes most of us — but this psalm doesn’t tell us. Of course, because the Lord is God, he can view us however he wants to, and we trust him to deal with each of us appropriately.

We get into trouble, however, when we usurp the divine prerogative and start assigning our fellow mortals to the way of the righteous or the way of the wicked.

Consider, for example, a column that appeared in the Los Angeles Times after Donald Trump was no longer in office. The columnist, Virginia Heffernan, clearly not a Trump supporter, sounded flummoxed by the fact that a neighbor whom she called a...

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