What If Your Opinion Doesn’t Matter?

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“Everybody’s opinion is valid,” said the teacher as she parroted the curriculum.

It was one of those happy-feely Mondays where the school was trying to help us love one another, accept differences and play nice. We likely would have sang Kumbaya if it wasn’t so offensive to the atheists.

One of my wise-cracking friends asked what I thought was a pretty solid question. “What if my opinion is that no other opinion is valid?”

I don’t remember her answer. And I didn’t really care, nor did the kid asking the question. We just wanted to laugh. But I actually think that he had a good point.

What if everybody’s opinion really isn’t valid?

Opinions on opinions.

At its core, an opinion is a judgment about something that may or may not be grounded in fact. Opinions range from things like favorite candy bar to what we should do about health care.

In one sense, I actually agree with the teacher. Just because my favorite candy bar is a Snickers doesn’t mean that people that enjoy a Butterfinger are inferior. These type of opinions are more a matter of preference than anything that is really founded upon fact. They can’t be anything more than an opinion.

There are other types of opinions that actually can be something more than an opinion. Someone probably has a correct answer, but because of our finite and sinful understanding, we aren’t able to grasp that answer. Questions about health care would fit into this category.

Now, what has happened in our great nation is that we have flattened the distinction between these two types of opinions. Every Joe believes that his opinion on health care is just as valid as anybody else’s. And he probably has that opinion because his teacher told him that on a Monday when they almost sang Kumbaya.

To prove that all opinions on matters like health care are not valid, consider my opinionated solution:

I propose a four step process. Step one is to move everyone with chronic health problems to Wyoming, with the rule that they can’t take their possessions with them. Step two is to force every doctor named Thomas (first or last name) to move to Wyoming with them, they can only take their doctoring equipment. In the third step, we will build a bubble around the state of Wyoming. Step four will be to take all of the stuff they left behind and pay the non-Thomas-named doctors to treat us.

Problem solved.

Now what if I forcefully argued my point with people that actually have knowledge about health care? My mantra would be that everybody is entitled to their opinion and mine is just as valid as their opinion. That’s ridiculous, isn’t it?

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Mike Leake
Mike Leake serves as an associate pastor at the First Baptist Church of Jasper, Indiana, and is pursuing a Master of Divinity at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Nikki, have two young children. Mike’s writing home is mikeleake.net. Mike is also the author of Torn to Heal:God's Good Purpose in Suffering.

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