James Baldwin Quote

A Majority Vote

“Does anyone realize what just happened?”, I wondered silently from the sidelines as the crowd in the auditorium slowly rose to their feet. Within minutes the applause had died down and the audience resumed their happy Sunday morning chatter. Nobody seemed to realize the decision they had made as a community to stay true to certain ideals would be just one small piece of an argument slowly assembling to challenge and perhaps change the political scene in their city and perhaps their nation. For a moment, the majority voice shouted a unison of ayes and no one dared speak up to question the decision. No one opposed the movement. In a decision so momentous shouldn’t there some question about the proper direction, said me disagreement, some sense of uncertainty?

I felt like I was the one person among hundreds that questioned the wisdom of the decision, but knew that my voice would be instantly discredited if I chose to dissent. I wasn’t a member of this group anyhow. If I was, perhaps I would think no differently than the others.
What worries me is not the logic of the decision. The rationale behind the vote made sense given the immediate context. What worries me is that it completely overlooked the negative implications that will come to light once the group recognizes the larger context in which they may no longer comprise a majority.
Outside of the building, how does the decision impact the image of the church? Does it undermine the core message and doctrine by choosing to emphasize a certain argument? Will people who disagree respect the process by which the corporate decision was ratified? Can the validity of the decision be supported simply on the basis of majority belief? Most importantly, though, what will be the impact of this decision?
 James Baldwin Quote

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