Generation to Generation: Two Deadly Behaviors

By Linda Sattem

1) Do As I Say, Not As I Do

National figures have a difficult time with this behavior. Scandal after scandal illustrates the hypocrisy in sexual, legal, financial and other venues.

With the recent election, political figures are all about cooperation, not freezing out members of the other party. Obviously, they are asking to not be treated the way they treated others. We can also see this in our own lives. People around us who advocate against a multi-national corporation, while they are swigging down a cold one. Leaders may “preach” tolerance while practicing something quite different. The best way to learn is through experience. The best way to teach is through example. When we treat people in certain ways, they learn that these are the ways that 1) have meaning to us, 2) have power, and 3) are the ways to behave—no matter what we say.

2.) The Blame Game

It is hard to believe that some people can have such a powerful, narrow view, that no matter what happens they can twist the situation to fit this view.

Here are a few recent examples. When the Foley scandal broke (emails to underage male Pages) there were people who immediately blamed a “ring” of gays (mostly staff members) who protected other gays in congress. They claimed the ring not only allowed the inappropriate behavior to continue, there was speculation that they (the gay staffers) promoted preying on young Pages.

Another example of blaming comes from the scandal this November, Rev. Ted Haggard’s exposure of using male sex workers and drugs. This time gays are not bashed, women, specifically wives, are.

Rev. Driscoll (a Seattle preacher, listed as one of the top 25 influential ministers by The Church Report) said: “It is not uncommon to meet pastors’ wives who really let themselves go. They sometimes feel that, because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either.”(Quote taken from Paul Campos’ editorial 11/8/06)

Are there people in your life that play the blame game? No matter what happens, they always have the same answer? Nothing is ever their own fault? Anything can be twisted to fit their mindset?

The blame game is very dangerous. Particularly when people in power play it. Everyone gets hurt, the organization is destroyed, and no one shoulders any responsibility.

Be aware of your own patterns, are you playing the blame game?