1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


Righteous: Conforming to a standard of right
and justice; virtuous.
Dan Duff  June 8, 2010

There is a wonderful story in the Bible and even if you are not a Bible scholar or even a believer in the Good Book most of you will recognize the story when I tell you about it. Let me say that I make no apology for my beliefs and even if you don’t, you can at least appreciate the story for all the lessons it can teach. If you were or are a teacher of the Bible you could take the 18th and 19th chapters of Genesis and run a Sunday school class for a couple of years and still never leave those two chapters. Every thing from intrigue to sex is found there. Love and hate abound. Law and justice also can be gleaned. If I am not careful I will start a class and its not the motive or reason for this column.

Now as we join Abraham in his digs in the hills outside of Sodom, he is chilling from the noon day heat when all of a sudden he has some visitors. He knows right off that these men are special and he bows before them and ask them to partake of food and drink before they continue their journey. After they are fed and refreshed he wants to know where they are headed. The leader of the group says that word has reached them that the city of Sodom is so wicked, they are on their way to destroy it. 

Abraham’s favorite nephew Lot and his family are living in the city and so Abraham starts pleading with the men that if fifty righteous people can be found will they spare the city. The men agree. Again Abraham says well now what if there are only forty five? Again the men agree. Abraham without just coming out and asking that they save his nephew and his family ask if only ten are found would they spare the city. Again the men agree and go on their way. Well according to the story, not even ten righteous people could be found and so they did in fact destroy it, but as a favor to Abraham they try to save Lot’s family. 

So with that I come to modern day America and lets play out this same scenario. Let us put Abraham on the side of the road in a nice neighborhood in George County, Maryland and he has three visitors come by and he sees them as travelers from afar and offers them some relief from the summer heat and he asks them to come into his air-conditioned house and feeds them lunch and after the meal they are sitting by the pool and he asks them where they are bound. They say they are on their way to Washington, D.C. because it has come to their attention that the wickedness of the government is so great that they are going to destroy it. 

Abraham thinks deep in his heart and comes to the conclusion, that may not be a bad idea, but comes to himself and asks if there are fifty righteous people in Washington will they spare the city. I am sure that the men would say, “If we find fifty righteous people in the halls of government in Washington we will spare the city.” I am almost sure that even if Abraham whittled the number down to just one that these men would still not destroy the city and wipe it and its corruption from the face of the earth. 

What if Abraham was watering his backyard garden in New Jersey and these men came by and Abraham invites them in for some barbeque with ice tea and again after the men have eaten and rested Abraham asks where they are destined. The men might say they are on their way to Wall Street because the wickedness of it has become so great that they must destroy it and wipe it from the face of the earth. Again Abraham bargains with them and again it comes down to one righteous man. Will the results be the same? Probably.  

Well, if we are going to dream up scenarios lets narrow it down even further. Lets just take Abraham completely out of the picture and put you or even me in his place. Lets say you or I are out in the front yard mowing the lawn or you are just returning to your home from a shopping trip or work or what ever you do with your day out and there are three men at your front door. They convince you they are not handing out watch tower pamphlets or trying to sell you insurance or a vacuum cleaner and you reluctantly ask them into your home. 

After some small talk and the men have had some refreshments and have rested for a spell you finally ask, “Why are you here?”

They look you right in the eye and say to you or me, “It has come to our attention...