Idiots are not responsible for what they do. The real guilt falls on the rational people who sit on their hands while the morons run wild. You can opt out if you want to. Play it safe. But if you do, don’t complain when the roof comes down.” Jack McDevit

In a well-mannered society it would usually be considered bad form to call someone an idiot. But since it appears as if you and I no longer live in a social order that would even recognize the meaning of the word polite, let me make this one thing perfectly clear; we are undeniably surrounded by idiots. Really stupid people have somehow gained the upper hand. It’s as if all the guards have fled the building leaving only the inmates to run the asylum. In this case the “guards” are all of the rational people who sit on their hands while the morons run wild.

Please hear me out. I am not some angry right wing, gun touting, bible thumping crazy, nor am I a whinny, anything goes, Utopian social left winger. I do not carry water for any particular political party. And while I drink tea, I have not joined that group of partisans either (although I do empathize with many of their concerns). Since I pay my own bills, and shoulder numerous responsibilities, I have long ago abandoned the naive, and somewhat delusional mindset displayed by so many of todays’ coddled college students. My life path is one of mostly traditional moral values and I am a devout follower of the teachings of the Liberator Jesus. That would make me a Conservative Christian, I suppose, if you really must attach one of your labels upon me.

So why do I speak so harshly of some people, calling them Idiots and stupid? Isn’t that rather judgmental? Perhaps. But I think not. Normally, a conversational reference to someone as an idiot might be perceived as rude, insensitive, and/or critical. But my observations are not merely idle chatter. And, I have not singled anyone out for specific reproach. I will say it again, societal idiocy has run amuck. Look around you. From the White House to the Court House to School House; madness, folly, foolishness and stupidity reign.

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.– Mark Twain

Just out of curiosity, do you even know from whence the contemporary word Idiot originates? Thought so. Our English word Idiot appears to come from the Greek word idiōtēs which was often used when referring to an individual or private citizen who lacked a “professional” skill. Similarly, the Latin word idiota was used for a commoner (layman). I found it rather amusing that for a time the ancient Greeks viewed anyone who was selfishly concerned with only private matters (as opposed to serving the greater interests of “The Democracy”) to be an idiot. Not much has changed there. Many politicians still seem to think that “we the people” who would like to be left alone as we pursue “life, liberty and happiness” are just a bunch of idiots.

Anyway, over time, the term “idiot” morphed and by the Late Latin period (3rd to the 6th centuries AD) it came to mean an “uneducated or ignorant person”.  Today, in modern English, an idiot is a person who regularly engages in the extremes of foolishness (or stupidity) and consistently exercises overall bad judgment. Often the idiot is either incapable or unwilling to separate what is good from wickedness. In the end an idiot is slow to understand, makes poor decisions, careless mistakes, and is often marked by a lack of intelligence. In other words, they are stupid and foolish.

“You’re not a very nice person… so offensive. Right and wrong are relative. It’s whatever works for me. You are the real idiot… urrrrr… I mean… you suffer from “profound intellectual disability.

Really?   Thank you.   That’s very Politically Correct of you to say so.

The problem is that it has become politically awkward to draw attention to the absolutes of bad and good. In place of manners, we now have doctrines of political correctness …Therefore if you say people are bad, you are the one who is bad.” – Lynne Truss

In the Bible’s Older Testament Book of Jeremiah, the prophet laments over the condition of his people and the great nation that he loved. Through tears he said,

19”My heart, my heart” I writhe in pain! My heart pounds within me! I cannot be still. For I have heard the blast of enemy trumpets and the roar of their battle cries. 20  Waves of destruction roll over the land, until it lies in complete desolation. Suddenly my tents are destroyed; in a moment my shelters are crushed. 21  How long must I see the battle flags and hear the trumpets of war?   (Jeremiah 4:19-21 TLB)

Jeremiah recognized the negative spiritual and social changes of his day and the destructive consequences those changes were bringing down upon the land. And so he asks of the Divine Spirit,

21”How long must I see the battle flags and hear the trumpets of war?” (Jeremiah 4:21 – TLB)

No direct answer is given to his question. Instead the Spirit of the Almighty tells Jeremiah the cause of Judah’s calamity is,

22  “My people are foolish and do not know me,” says the Lord. “They are stupid children who have no understanding. They are clever enough at doing wrong, but they have no idea how to do right!” (Jeremiah 4:22 – TLB)

The people of Jeremiah’s times had effectively become “idiots” – deniers of the one true God. They had sown to the wind and now they were reaping the whirlwind. But here’s the troubling part, this rejection of God and His ways is happening in our time too – right now – all over the world. If you don’t believe me, just look with discernment at modern politics, entertainment and popular culture. They are swarming with idiots – fools who do not know God.   And even those who profess to “believe in God” often act like “stupid children who have no understanding. …no idea how to do right!”   Decades of ignoring God has accelerated our societal downward spiral. As human acts of wickedness, deception and defiance accumulate, the truth is hidden or distorted.

“I’m all in favor of the democratic principle that one idiot is as good as one genius, but I draw the line when someone takes the next step and concludes that two idiots are better than one genius.” – Leo Szilard,  Nuclear Physicist (1898-1964)

Even so, whenever sincere men and women open their eyes and begin a search for meaning, they can find the truth. It is imprinted on every human soul and each atom of creation reflects the reality of its Creator. Hence, no human being has a legitimate excuse for denying God. The New Testament Apostolic writer Paul expressed it this way,

18  But God shows his anger from heaven against all wicked, evil men who push the truth away from themselves. 19  For the truth about God is known to them instinctively; God has put this knowledge in their hearts. 20  Since earliest times men have seen the earth and sky and all God made, and have known of his existence and great eternal power. So they will have no excuse when they stand before God at Judgment Day. 21  Yes, they knew about him all right, but they wouldn’t admit it or worship him or even thank him for all his daily care. And after a while they began to think up silly ideas of what God was like and what he wanted them to do. The result was that their foolish minds became dark and confused. 22  Claiming themselves to be wise without God, they became utter fools (idiots) instead. (Romans 1:18-22 – TLB)

Foolish minds filled with darkness? Men and women who think up silly ideas of what God is like and what he wants them to do? Yes, that is exactly what Paul said.  Modern idiots who “Claiming to be wise without God, …became utter fools instead.” No wonder the Psalmist declared,

53  “Only a fool would say to himself, “There is no God.” And why does he say it? Because of his wicked heart, his dark and evil deeds. His life is corroded with sin.” (Psalm 53:1 – TLB)

You’ll find these idiotic fools, among: politicians, the media, university professors, Hollywood superstars, even friends and family. Because of a conscience corroded by iniquity, they cannot separate right from wrong (classic idiot). Some of them may feign Spirituality, and even speak of God with platitudes, but their foolish hearts are far from Him. Consequently, by their actions they proclaim “I do not really know God”. Thus, they are fools.

Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with their experience.”Greg King

I am a recovering idiot. God, in His amazing Grace, opened my foolish eyes and let me see the wretched man that I am without Him. And even though I still may act foolishly on occasion, I am no longer an idiot by definition. I know the Divine Spirit. I follow the liberator Jesus Christ. His message of absolute truth trumps all of the wisdom of mankind combined. Of course, it’s your right to disagree with me. Call me the idiot if it will make you feel any better. Laugh out loud as you heap ridicule and scorn upon my words. I will not argue the point any further with you.   Why not? Because I am coward and thus afraid to do so?   No, simply because of this verse I read in the Older Testament book of Proverbs,

4”Don’t respond to the stupidity of a fool;   you’ll only look foolish yourself.” (Proverbs 26:4 – MSG)

And on that note, I rest my case.

Joseph A. Cerreta, PhD., is a noted author, broadcaster, a popular Bible teacher and a rabbid Coastal Junkie ®  
For additional information write to: Coastal Life Ministries, P.O. Box 1283, New Port Richey, Florida 34656

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