Thursday, December 6, 2007


We all have blinders and we sometimes even wear rose colored glasses that fit neatly between our custom fit blinders. It’s nice not too get distracted with things that might upset our well entrenched thought processes and besides the world does look better in pink. Or is that blue, no it’s yellow…Let’s start a group for all those in favor of green (eternal life). Those that want blue can start there own group, they’ll find out soon enough that green is the best color through which to see the world. Oops, I digress.

A blinder is an obvious exception that people use to dismiss legitimate observations/critiques in order to maintain the status quo. Jamie gave me a book by the cartoonist that created Dilbert, Scott Adams. “Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain!” In it he comments on this common thing that people do when he is exploring a new perspective. They always have the obvious exception anecdote ready to fire. Scott says he thinks pointing out the obvious exceptions to assure people he is not a complete idiot when he is exploring new thought processes is boring. So he has come up with the term BOCTAOE that he says people should assume is always included in the new thought processes. The meaning:
But Of Course There Are Obvious Exceptions.

Here’s an example of what I mean by an obvious exception.
The other day a friend was telling me that church services had become routine and boring. It was a lot of work to get the kids ready to go to something that in the end added nothing to them personally. When I said maybe we just do it too often he immediately felt the heat that if we changed the frequency of corporate services that his system would have a difficult time adjusting to the change. The answer to shut down my blasphemous thought process was that a new family had come in that day and even though many others were feeling, been there done that, the new family had a very positive experience. In other words, this example justified holding onto a very expensive, routine and often non-productive form of Christian expression.

The obvious exceptions somehow manage to put blinders on people looking for new ways of approaching faith, discipleship, love, honor, care…

Here’s another example of people happily attending church with their blinders on. I wrote about this the other day. Church goers are quite content with the economic reality that 2% of their giving at church goes to real people in real need, whereas at least 40% of their giving goes to a sermon that in many cases they have heard a dozen times already. One response is that we don’t have poor people anyway. The fact that this happens regularly doesn’t cause people to gag over misplaced spending priorities at church seems to me a clear case of people having their blinders firmly in place. BOCTAOE

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