This short and recent piece by Alan Jacobs is about conservatism, but I can’t help but think it’s also true about so much more (like church or education). It’s an interesting slant on ancient imagery about sheep, shepherds, and sheepdogs. A quick quote:
What sheepdogs are useless at is caring for the sheep. They can’t feed the sheep, or inspect them for injury or illness, or give them medicine. All they can do is bark when they see someone who might be a predator. And that’s fine, except for this: the sheepdogs of the conservative movement think that everyone who is not a sheepdog – everyone who is not angrily barking — is a wolf.
Both sheep and sheepdog submit to the guidance of the shepherd. Or at least they are supposed to. These days it feels like shepherds, those who know what they are doing, are in short supply. Or they’ve decided that really the sheepdogs can do all that is necessary (though definitely not all that is good).