That word “obey!”

I had a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses come to my door yesterday. It was a little funny in that I had just been in sacred space at my altar. My altar was for the moment on my kitchen table, still all set out, when they rang my doorbell. It was morning but still very hot so I offered them some water or apple juice. They thanked me but declined. They let me know that the bible was to follow literally word for word and our only need is to obey. I told them I was a bit of a rule breaker myself so that might not be such a good fit. I was wondering if they were considering me rude for not inviting them into my home. But eventhough I would have really enjoyed seeing their reaction to what lay on my kitchen table, I thought it best to just offer something to drink on the porch.

Days later I am still thinking of the word “Obey.”  It is a word I hear a often these days. My brother and sister-in-law are forever telling their daughter to “Obey” them. I found that odd because my brother and I have the same two parents and I don’t ever remember hearing that word. I heard “respect.” I heard “Think for your self” I heard “if your friend jumped off a bridge would you?” Even in the military where obedience is necessary I heard, “you better not obey a wrongful order!” Why would anyone be taught blind obedience within the framework of American Society? I think my ancestors are rolling in their graves whenever my brother shouts it to his daughter “Obey!”  Which he and his wife do almost incessantly. I have a daughter the same age and one younger. It is not that I don’t get mad and yell at them but I yell “Respect” and to follow rule number #1. Which in our home means “Watch where you are going!” But “Obey!” No. I want them to think. Think of what is going on around them and to make wise decisions formulated from experience, honor, respect, to use their moral compass and if time permits research.


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