Compromising our Standards

In the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Equinox” the crew of the Voyager meets another Federation star ship in the Delta Quadrant. However, the crew of the Equinox has basically turned their backs on anything that resembles normal Federation moral standards. They still have standards, but the standards have changed. For the crew of the Equinox, the basis of morality was the speed of getting the crew home. Anything that sped up that process was viewed to be acceptable. The crew of Voyager kept the existing moral standards and worked to do no harm to others even if that slowed up the trip. Voyager held to standards. Equinox gave up on standards when the situation became difficult. I see many similarities to the Apostle Peter in this situation.

The story of Peter’s denial is read on all four Gospels. In these retellings, Peter assures Jesus that he will never deny Jesus. However, we know that Peter denied Jesus three times. As soon as it became difficult to stand by Jesus, Peter denied him. In many ways, sadly, I see things like this in modern America.

It’s become difficult to hold to many of the things that have defined America in the past. There is no justice for many people. As a whole, Americans feel fine about the idea that petty crimes warrant death sentences applied immediately on the streets. America is fine with the idea that blacks during the time of King fought against terrible odds, having dogs attack them and being beaten in the streets, to get unlimited ballot access to black individuals, yet we pass laws now that take those rights away. There is talk, again, at restricting immigration access to people of certain nationalities or religious groups, continuing a long, sad history of our great nation doing that. It is deemed acceptable by large portion of the population that citizens carrying on with daily activities should be potentially subject to detention and search by a law enforcement officer.

We take the easy road, as a nation. It is easier to send flocks of police officers into neighborhoods than to send flocks of teachers. It’s easier to attempt to ban whole categories of people rather than fix the system. Just like Peter denied Jesus, we deny the things that defined what is good about America.