Cause and Effect

This morning's editorial in The Toronto Star: Brutal Spectacle Failed a City and its People, reveals a nasty truth. A friend of mine mentioned to me that we all would have been a whole lot better if the G8/G20 leaders had held their meeting on a cruise ship in the middle of the Pacific. It would have been much easier to isolate them (and probably cheaper to protect them), Toronto would not have such a mess to clean up this morning, its citizens would have been a lot less inconvenienced or terrorized, and Canada would not have such a shameful blot on its history as it has this morning after the events of this weekend.

Have we proved once again that politicians are so far removed from reality that they really are clueless when it comes to the consequences of their actions? They come; they go, oblivious to the mess they leave behind.

Sadly, history repeats itself. This morning I read the first three chapters of the book of Amos. If anything reminds me of the folly of leadership removed from reality, Amos does. Nation after nation, ending with Israel and Judah, are told, with point-blank, in-your-face directness, that they will be destroyed because of their corporate sins.

Amos was God's prophet during a time described in 2 Kings 14:23-24: "In the fifteenth year of Amaziah son of Joash king of Judah, Jeroboam son of Jehoash king of Israel became king in Samaria, and he reigned forty-one years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn away from any of the sin of Jeroboam, son of Nabat, which he had caused Israel to commit" (vs. 23, 24, NIV).

That God will judge our personal sins is beyond question, but the authorities over us bear a special responsibility when they don't put their people before their pride, or righteousness and justice before their personal agendas. There are consequences on the nation when leaders, operating from within their protective little bubbles, make poor decisions based on ego and ambition. Over the short haul, they may walk away unscathed, but judgment will come.

The description given by Amos of the consequences that the nations would suffer because of ungodly leadership are pretty graphic: "As  shepherd saves from the lion's mouth only two leg bones or a piece of an ear, so will the Israelites be saved…" — Amos 3:12, NIV. Poor lamb!

Our police did what they could, and did it well under the circumstances, but those circumstances might have been different if our leaders had made better choices. This morning, others are paying the price. Anarchy in the streets is not the Canadian way, it is not the will of the majority, and we need to make sure these criminals don't get the opportunity to do again what they did this weekend on the streets of Toronto.

It's easy to lay blame elsewhere, but whatever our leaders choose, we are not excused from our own responsibility as citizens. Having learned some lessons from this experience, we now have the ammunition with which to tell our elected authorities what we will not tolerate the next time they think about making plans that put us in the line of fire.

Or will we be as dull-witted as Israel and follow our leaders to our own destruction?


  1. What a parallel - and frightening in its accuracy. Thank you.


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