Monday, June 15, 2009

Somebody’s gotta be WRONG!

The shot went up and a majority of the basketball players coalesced around the hoop to see if it went in or not. It was towards the end of the game and the shot or rebound was VERY important. Under the basket the seven-foot center seemed to crawl over the back of the six-foot guard as they fought for position to get the rebound. The center literally fell over the top of the guard to get it. The whistle blew and the home crowd was cheering for the foul had to be on the center as he crushed the home-town guard. When all was sorted out the referee referred to the guard as being the culprit and his number was displayed on the fingers of the unbiased judge. The crowd went nuts in anger as the scoreboard replay clearly showed the foul on the huge center crawling over the back of the guard. Somebody’s gotta be wrong here. It was either what the crowd saw or the replay seemed to show over and over again OR the referee was wrong in what he saw. One of the advantages of TV versus being at a live game is the TV’s attempt to get every angle of the play. Four different versions of the same play from four cameras showed an obvious foul on the seven-foot center, but the fifth camera told a different story. The fifth camera from underneath the basket by one of those crazy guys who sit on the sidelines risking imminent harm; showed that the smaller guard had locked his arm with the center and pulled him over: an obvious foul by the guard but hidden to 4 out of 5 cameras and 20,000 screaming home team fans. Somebody was right and the ref made the right call.

There is no middle ground, no compromise, no “letting” someone else be right once. Somebody was right and somebody was wrong.

I’ve been doing some Ping Pong playing recently and usually it is just the two of us playing. If the ball hits the net on a serve you must do the serve over, but sometimes one sees it hit the net and the other doesn’t. Who is right and who is wrong. They can’t both be right. If there was a line judge she could have told us which, but normally it is a “do over” and no point for either. That doesn’t change the fact that one was right and one was wrong, it doesn’t matter about the person’s “perspective” or “feelings.” Somebody’s gotta be wrong.

We have lost the right and wrong in life today. In the last 30 years we have come to believe that BOTH are right and no one is wrong. We call it tolerance, perspective, opinion or just feeling but nobody is wrong anymore.

Here’s the thing. If nobody’s wrong then nobody’s right either and we have no need for referees. What it WILL degenerate to is the seven-foot center beating on the six-foot guard because whoever wins that fight will get the call his way. Might will make right and then only the weak will be wrong. What we need is some standard or referee outside the game to make the calls for us so that the weak will not be pounded on by the strong. We need some kind of rule for life and living that will help us determine which is right and wrong like lines on the basketball court. What we need is an unbiased judge that can make the hard calls of who is right and wrong and even offer mercy to those who are wrong sometimes to help them get it right the next time. Because somebody’s gotta be wrong.

But where, oh where can we find such a rule for living? Where can we find such a standard that we can put up in our courts and schools and assembly halls? Where can we find that sense of right and wrong and that unbiased and merciful judge?

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