Want to Fight the Man? Reform is Hard Work

Published on February, 15, 2012, on the Black, White, and Gray blog. Click here to read the full post.

“In his recent column responding to the You Tube hit video, “Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus,” New York Times Columnist David Brookssent a clear message to many would-be reformers: if you desire reform, you are better off joining a movement tied to a tradition….

I admire the energy and optimism of those calling for religious, economic or political change. Yet, I agree with Brooks that not everyone is called to be a prophet. I learned great intellectual humility when I completed my Ph.D. thesis. It took 6 years of study, writing and research to come up with one important and well-argued thesis in sociology. If it took me 6 years to say something original to my field of study, shouldn’t I pay attention to the ideas that founded this nation? Shouldn’t I learn about the traditions that have guided Christian thinking for two thousand years? Shouldn’t I consider competing arguments about the best way to organize economic life? The best ideas show they understand the alternatives, that is, the traditional arguments, and demonstrate why the new ideas are superior.”