October 20, 2017, 9:30 am
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Travesty

The dictionary defines the word “travesty” as “a false, absurd, distorted, or grotesque representation of something or someone... A cheap mockery of something or someone serious... A debased or grossly inferior imitation.” 

That’s a combination of definitions by Oxford, Cambridge, Collins, and Merriam. I would add other adjectives to put more flesh to the word travesty: crass, crude, vulgar and unimaginative. I’m sure there are other variations of the same ugly theme. 

When we make a travesty of the values, beliefs, traditions, and things that people hold dear, we dishonor them and literally throw muck at their faces. We demean and debase them. We attempt to drag them down to the gutter, and slam their faces into the filth and mud -- the filth and mud of our own depravities. 

But the huge irony is this -- the one who makes a travesty of something noble or beautiful actually sinks deeper and deeper into the mire of his own vulgarity and shamelessness. 

Since doing this is such a losing proposition, why do people even resort to travesty? What could bring such pitiful individuals to such sordid depths --making a travesty of justice, a travesty of democracy, a travesty of heroism? I can think of a number of reasons. 

One is crass and unadulterated arrogance rising from a cesspool of insecurity. Yes. The greater the need for recognition, the bigger the insecurity. Remember that. 

When a horribly insecure or untalented person knows that he cannot ever become the much-admired and highly-esteemed person that he longs to be, then he makes a travesty -- he fabricates a cheap replica, an ill-contrived, grotesque imitation -- of the person he wants to be! Much like creating a clumsy, silly, bumbling Frankenstein that pretends to be a human being but doesn’t even have the talent to scare or impress anyone. Truly a pathetic attempt at being a human being. 

Another reason why people make a travesty of something noble and good is because they have no personal sense of integrity, morality, or basic human decency in the first place. Perhaps they were raised in an environment devoid of decency or honesty. Perhaps they were surrounded by sycophants, by hypocrisy and duplicity. Perhaps  their parents (or figures of authority) were -- from the very start -- evil, corrupt, greedy, scheming, shameless, heartless, brutal and cruel that they, the spawns, grew up to be clones of their parents. They, too, are calloused and immune to anything decent, humane, or just. Thus, as adults, they habitually make a travesty of anything decent, humane, or just. Just like their parents. A curse that could be transferred to many generations. God forbid.  

Just imagine -- if you grew up on a diet of lies and thievery then you are, most probably, repulsed by whatever is true and honest -- like heroism, for example. You may long for it, but you don’t even recognize it because you’ve never seen it up close. Nor were you taught what a real hero stands for. Of course, this isn’t an excuse for your reprehensible, shameless behavior. Rather, it’s an explanation of why you are totally clueless about what a real hero looks like. 

Another reason why some people resort to travesty is because they use it to grab power and wield it wantonly -- while they can. They intimidate with great speed and efficiency -- to shock and silence others into submission, to widen and maximize their control. 

It’s like a thug with a ragtag army that’s suddenly let loose in a hapless, unsuspecting neighborhood that’s totally unprepared for such raw, brutal  ruthlessness. Thugs make a travesty of justice, and they brazenly disrespect the rights of others just because they CAN. And because those who can stop them DO NOT -- out of fear or personal gain. 

At the end of the day, making a travesty of something or someone noble and good never works. It eventually backfires. 

The more brazen and shameless the travesty is, the deeper it buries the perpetrators into ignominy and shame. Their names and reputations will be tarnished, forever held in contempt and disdain. Or they’re completely forgotten. 

God, in his sovereignty and perfect wisdom, allows the most despicable and dishonorable men to “prosper and succeed” in this life for a season, and for reasons known only to  his perfect wisdom and intellect.

His ways are not our ways. We can never fathom his purposes for allowing evil, poverty, sickness, and injustice in our world. 

Maybe it’s to bring us to our knees, in complete submission to Him. Maybe it’s to serve as an example of how we should never treat others -- that’s why He allows us to suffer the pain of being mistreated and abused. Maybe it’s to show us our own sinfulness, to erase any trace of self-righteousness in ourselves -- to make us realize that put in the same circumstances, we might be capable of the same excesses (or worse), and we must therefore guard our hearts diligently against such evil and heartlessness.  Whatever God’s reasons are for allowing evil in our world, there will always be serious, painful, eternal consequences for those of us who insist on inflicting evil, harm, injustice, and abuse to our fellowmen. 

Be warned. God says, “The LORD makes everything go as He pleases. He has even prepared a day of disaster for evil people.” (Proverbs 16:4) 

At the end of the day, no one gets away with anything. No one ever gets off the hook -- not God’s.
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