Applying Luther’s Lessons to Corruption That Affects Us Today…

As we all know, I love making connections of historical times to today. History can tell us a lot and I feel it is rather important in understanding what worked and what didn’t and how we can apply certain strategies and concepts today and experience results we never felt we could.

That being said, I couldn’t help but connect this video to my Leadership course in which we are learning mainly about Congressional scandals and our inability to revamp Congress and our Government. When I think of the Catholic and Christian community of Luther’s time and how it was portrayed within the film, I think of a corrupt Congress of today in the US. We spoke about it the other day in our Leadership course… how can we change such a problem? Is it hopeless?

One student suggested that the United States needs someone to lead by example and that we, as constituents, need to praise that person in order to see reform. I argued that I feel it is going to take more than that – there are hundreds of Politicians, and we have seen what happens when one tries to do things different, or more ethically, they are shot down… and so it comes to strength or power by numbers. This is something James Madison predicted would police Congress when writing the Constitution – legislature are leaders and power by numbers would help police those that are corrupt and constituents have the power to reelect only those who are worthy of their seat in Congress. What he didn’t predict is that corruption or misconduct of any sort (whether monetary, sexual or professional) would eventually become status quo within members of Congress and that power by numbers worked against his ideals.

In the video on Martin Luther, they talk briefly about charisma and how Luther was extremely charismatic and readers could feel that even in his writings. This is a big topic within our Leadership course. The charismatic leader within Congress is one that can “inspire confidence” in followers. I feel this is exactly what Luther was able to do and yet, he didn’t use that power that he eventually possessed for evil, in fact, he condemned violence on the church community and continued to preach what he believed to be good – telling people to focus on God and their soul. This, in my eyes, is a true leader because even with such power given to him, he does not sway from his original beliefs, even if there might have been temptation.

I was extremely skeptical of one person being able to do so much, especially in today’s age. However, now that I have seen this video, I would argue in my Leadership class that we not only need to see a leader who leads by example… but that leader needs to be bold, daring, and courageous… just as Martin Luther was. Luther could have been executed for writing and advertising the things he did, just as many had before him, but that didn’t even stop him. That is the highest sacrifice one can make – your own life – in order to potentially make a change in this world. Today, we have freedom of speech… so why aren’t we? Why do we continue to reelect congressman who are so blatantly corrupt and commit such ethical wrongdoings? If we did exactly what Luther did… today, there would be no ramification of death. Why don’t we see anyone engage in such activity when so many complain about our Government and corruption within Congress? Do we simply feel helpless? Does no one want to be the sore thumb?

Kelsey Conrad

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ger/102/2012/winter/kelsey_conrad_-_reformation_then_and_now.txt · Last modified: 2012/03/09 08:55 by kaconrad
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