The Waco fiasco taught five lessons we should have learned shortly after kindergarten:
1.Putting blind faith in one who is cocksure of the meanings of the seven seals of Revelation is risky business.
2.Pinning a badge on a shirt and strapping a gun to a belt may convey authority and power but it fails to endow the recipient with either common sense or self-control.
3.Election to Congress is no evidence of objectivity or fairness.
4.Wrapping oneself in the First Amendment is no guarantee of responsible journalism.
5.Sunshine is a great disinfectant.
Each time the media replays the Waco tapes, fire and all, I wish they would also replay their editorials condemning the FBI for 51 days of inaction! Each time Congress investigates, I wish they would look for ways to improve our system rather than posturing as chief lord executioners. I wish that each time law enforcement straps on a weapon they are reminded that they are commissioned to preserve the peace. The next time a hair-shirted, hyperventilating evangelist comes calling, I wish the weak and gullible would remember the words of Jesus: "Take heed that no man deceive you."
Finally, let us all, in or out of power, remind ourselves that truth is not an enemy of democratic government; it is its best friend.
Tom Zwemer, Augusta
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