The Wrong Side of History

The Wrong Side of History October 22, 2015

ID-10022225From my list of errant (but oft-cited) truisms: “The wrong side of history”…

History is mute and dumb.
The product of human choices, moral and immoral.
Capable of advance.
Capable of gross and brutal retreat.  Capable of virtue in some places.  Capable of cruelty in others. Sometimes, many others.
The course of history is dependent upon the good, which is God.
It is also a servant to evil, which is the absence of God, one choice at a time.
“The right side of history” is a believable concept only if you are:
1. a Hegelian (thesis, antithesis, synthesis), history is on a march to the good;
2. a Process Theologian (we, including God, are on a journey to the good), which capitalizes on the goodness of God borrowed from theism and then burns the bridge back to that conviction;
(3) and on those who don’t absorb the complexity of history from the newspapers, where good shares a stage with evil and “21st century behavior” thrives as a fiction for people who don’t live in the South Sudan, Libya, Syria, or a hundred and one smaller and larger communities — or who just don’t what to admit that it is all such a mess.
All three groups wish that history was God, that what happens is fate, and that regardless of how bad life gets, it’s really good.  At some level, all three groups also want to believe that even if they don’t take action, good will prevail — magically.
Trust God. Be faithful, obedient, courageous. Forget about finding out what is the right side of history.  Resign yourself to the fact that doing the Godly, doing the good, will not necessarily reward you.
Now or in the history books.
Photo by Dr Joseph Valks, used with permission from

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