It seems simple. It seems harmless enough. But we see time and again that powerful people seek to prevent the asking of questions and to discredit, disarm and destroy those who ask questions. Galileo was persecuted by the Catholic Church for questioning the belief that the earth was the center of the universe. Cults and sects worldwide persecute and even murder those among them who question the tenents of the faith. In our own country people are harassed, fired and even jailed for questioning the government. This year several police officers working Border Patrol were fired for questioning the War on Drugs and policies of deporting illegal immigrants.
Why is this happening? It's happening because of the power of a questioning person. When a person asks a question, he may receive an answer. If he receives an answer, he may experience a revelation. If he experiences a revelation, he may spread the word of his epiphany to others and there may be a revolution. This is the power of questioning people. If there are enough people asking enough questions, demanding enough answers, there will be revelations of truth, of fact, of honesty like we have never seen before. And when these realities are exposed to the world there will be a revolution on a grand scale. We will no longer be naive enough to trust our leaders to make decisions in our best interests. We will no longer be content to accept as truth the interpretations of others in regards to our political documents, our religious systems or our social construct. We will cry out for freedom; true freedom that is not contained, not controlled, not contrived. We will demand to see the evidence for ourselves and to make our own decisions based on our findings. We will discover truths about our economy, about our religions, about our policies and about the rights that each of us, as a human being and a citizen of earth are owed. We will be outraged at the injustices that we have long accepted as facts of life, acts of God and out of our hands. We will discover the power that we hold as an army of questioners. We have the power to eliminate poverty, to end cruelty, to perpetuate liberty and freedom for all, regardless of creed or culture of way of life. All we have to do is resolve to take hold of this power and use it. And the way we take hold is to question.
So I question. I question everything. To those who would tell me that my questioning makes me unpatriotic, makes me ignorant, makes me faithless I say, 'No.' In fact, if a person or an institution seeks to shame me into silence for questioning, I believe it that one who is unpatriotic, for our nation was established in order to protect the rights of the individual from tyranny and unrepresented control. I believe that one is ignorant, for to accept a thing without devoting time and research into the evidence supporting that thing is the by far a greater example of ignorance than to "study to show thyself approved." And I believe that one is faithless, for no religion was fraught without battle. Someone questioned the traditions and led a band of other questioners out on a different path.
Ironically, those we herald as heroes in our world have been those unafraid to question the powerful ones. Those who worked against the forces of evil during holocausts, genocides, slave trades and killings. Those stood up and refused to be deemed less of a human because of their country of origin, the color of their skin, their religion or the love in their hearts. Even pioneers of medicine, humanitarians and technological gurus were faced with the choice to do what everyone else was doing or to try something different.
And here we are- you and me. We sit in front of this screen and we have a choice to make. Will we question? Will we refuse to be satisfied with pre-scripted answers that aren't really answers at all? Will we take a chance on the capacity of humanity to free their minds and find the power that we've had all along? Or will we continue to do what we've been doing, wishing things would get better, but taking comfort in knowing it's all out of our hands?
I will be a questioner. I will continue to ponder, to dream and to fight for things to be better than they are today. And this is my question to you:
Will you join me?