What does it mean to believe that someone is infallible?

kk 001

This is Simon and Schuster, like Red Hen only happening in a taller building.

Many people believe that God is infallible. That everything God says must be followed. The problem is that you can’t actually do that. Read the Bible. It says that you can have concubines. David was a man of God and he had wives and concubines. Tell your wife that you believe God is infallible and you’ll be needing a concubine or two. Let me know how that goes.

Then, of course, there’s sacrifice. You’re supposed to sacrifice lambs and birds on the altar. Where is your altar? Do you have one in your backyard? This is particularly difficult for those of you who do not live in a rural area. Even in a Nebraska farm house, the slaughtering of animals, leaving blood on the altar and constant burning of lambs and birds is going to raise some eyebrows. You might think that anything goes on a Nebraska farm. (What do they know, it’s the Midwest, right?) but you’d be wrong.

To follow God’s laws, you have to obey your parents, but be willing to leave them, beat your children and still love them, not covet your neighbor’s wife, but instead have several wives of your own. Be nice to your slaves. Pay your taxes but you won’t have many to pay because you’re supposed to leave house and land and “follow Jesus.”

What this sort of belief in the infallible leads to is a lot of people following a very fallible person or organization. If your minister tells you to do something, should you do it? I’d argue that you should only do it if it makes sense to you in the first place.

My big problems with people becoming “followers” of a religion are that:

1. The leaders of the religion get to tell them what to do, thus interpreting the word of God in a way that works for the leaders.
2. The leaders are motivated by power and money. Sometimes they aren’t even “true believers” themselves.
3. Not sure why you need to belong to an organization to be a good person.
4. The best part of life is thinking for yourself, and I believe more of us need to think for ourselves.
5. Religions are almost always patriarchal. And I do not like the idea of doing what some man tells me to do.

But why stop at religion? Many people have someone who they believe to be infallible. They quote their boss, their best friend, their therapist. Just because this person is your therapist doesn’t mean they know everything. What do you think?

My mother-in-law believes one person in the universe is absolutely infallible and that person is my brother-in-law. We’ll call him Adam. Adam was her first born and like the first born man, she believes that makes him a sort of god. I mentioned to her that I want to get my eyes lasered. She said that if I do it, I should do exactly what Adam did. Why do I give a flying freak of a rat’s ass what Adam did? She insists that the way Adam and his wife vacation is the best way to vacation. It is absolutely the best—for them—it’s just not the way we vacation. They go somewhere that their food is cooked for them. I get that, a lot of people like that. In fact, most people. We like no tours, no planned trips, no other people to socialize with, staying at a house, doing our own thing and that includes doing our own cooking.

If you met Adam, you’d say he’s a super nice smart guy, but if you were told a thousand times a day that you need to be more like him: Adam is the first man! The oldest son! You might start to react. You might say, I’m not doing anything he does. Everything he does is ridiculous. You’d be wrong.

But there are a lot of us in the room, in the house, on the planet who have found our own center, our own truth. If I were looking for someone to model my life after, I think I’d find a woman who practiced integrity and compassion. And I have a couple people like that.

My mother-in-law enjoys believing Adam is infallible. It comforts her to know that when she walks through the valley of the shadow, someone will guide her steps. None of us want to be alone, and I don’t either.

Fortunately I’m not alone. I have kids and a husband and friends, and none of us is infallible. We’re all kind of f…d in our own way, and I like us all crazy and not perfect. We’re sawing off the edges of wild. We’re tasting the center.

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