Airports and respect

Pastor Ron Burcham, Risen Savior Lutheran Church

As part of increased security at all airports, you cannot show up early to pick up your friend at the airport and simply park curbside outside the doors to the airport. I am not sure what the time limit is on how long you can loiter there waiting for your friend, but I can tell you that 10 minutes is longer than what is allowed. No, no it was not I. I was simply an observer of the confrontation between an officer and the driver of the vehicle. I watched as the officer politely asked the driver to move on, circle around, he suggested, or use the cell phone lot, but you cannot park here. Immediately, the driver became belligerent and disagreeable. The officer informed him again he could not remain. This went on for a few moments until the car started to move … about five feet and stop again. Now the officer is getting upset. The airport was very busy, and he was trying his best to keep things moving. He marched up to the car and, in a stern voice, told the driver to move on. You would think this would be enough, but no. The driver started yelling at the officer, calling him names and then started with the foul language. The confrontation escalated to the point where the officer was calling for backup and started to write this guy a ticket. At that point, the man’s passenger arrived and got in the car, which then sped off amidst squealing tires and more foul language.

I watched in horror over how this man was treating the officer who was doing his job to insure everyone’s safety! This, of course, is only symptomatic of what is happening around the nation. News story after news story confirms that the respect for law enforcement or anyone in authority is deteriorating at an exponential rate. Now, I have no doubt that there are good officers and bad officers; some who do their job well and others who might even abuse their position. But the fact of the matter is that they do have a position that deserves respect. The person may or may not deserve respect, but the position does.

“For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good … therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.”

The trend of disrespect needs to end, but instead of wagging our fingers at this driver I saw or those who you run into, let’s think about what we can do to change things. Perhaps when you see an officer, smile and wish him or her a good day. Check our own attitude of those who hold positions of authority, but we disagree with them. What do we say about them? What do we post about them? I am not suggesting we cannot disagree, but we can show respect when we do so.