What great thing, part 2

Ambivalence about The William Tell Show.

Is The William Tell Show a great thing I can do?

What will it be?

If it occurs, The William Tell Show will be a “two-way” radio talk show where callers and I discuss current events and social trends. Unlike other talk shows, where it’s frankly common for the host to insult callers who disagree with him or her, on this — this “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood for adults” — every caller will be welcomed and respected, regardless or her or his beliefs.

Each week, we will focus on one of the guidelines of Free Speech Handbook, learning (1) to spot fallacious arguments (such as ad hominem) when they occur and (2) to seek to avoid committing the same errors ourselves. As much of the storm and fury in public discourse comes from such speech, following the twelve guidelines of FSH makes hate speech practically impossible.

It is less important to refute, than to understand, opposing views.

The spiritual burden upon me as host: I must actually love each and every caller, no matter how offensive he or she may be.

Offhand, this sounds to me like a great thing. Can I do it?

Fear of celebrity

One of the two greatest obstacles to my seeking to make The William Tell Show happen, has been my fear of what should happen if I become a celebrity.

Would I get drunk on fame? It happens enough. Even such a noble figure as M. Scott Peck became intoxicated. And what about the “hangover?”

For years I pondered this. I will link here to two songs that discuss this dynamic. I have listened to each of them innumerable times.

Billy Joel, “The Entertainer”

Bad Company, “Shooting Star”

In the previous post, I discussed the vainglory of my childhood, and that I don’t want to go back there — thinking less of others.

Part of me feels that, today, I have enough integrity to do this.

The lightning rod

Can I do it?

To actually love every caller, no matter how offensive she or he may be, may be beyond me.

The need may be for God to do things through me, that I cannot do myself.

This is analogous to the mechanism of intercessory prayer — where one person prays for another. It is not the intercessor herself or himself, but God’s acting through that person, that brings effects.

The post “Prayer primer” included this:

Another analogy that I’ve held for years compares the intercessor to a lightning rod.During a thunderstorm, somehow negative electrical charges build up in the clouds and positive charges on the ground. As this polarization increases, a path of least resistance may develop, and energy will discharge across this path, from the sky to the ground. The presence of a lightning rod on a rooftop, for example, may catalyze this discharge.

An intercessor is like that lightning rod, facilitating a discharge from “heaven” to “earth” to meet human need. Prophecy operates the same way, only expressing the energy in the form of words.

Note that the lightning rod is completely passive, inert, throughout this process. The energy that passes through it is the only energy involved; the lightning rod exerts no effort of its own. It functions by virtue merely of where it is and what it is; in other words, its position and its composition.

As to position, the lightning rod will not function if it’s lying on the ground. It needs to be on top of a building or other structure.

It also needs to be “grounded.”

As to composition, the lightning rod must be made of a material that conducts electricity — iron or aluminum, copper, silver or gold. Wood or rubber will not work. God has appointed those materials to other uses.

Ideally, the intercessor likewise is completely passive and inert throughout the process of intercession. The energy that passes is the only energy involved; the intercessor exerts no effort of one’s own. One serves by virtue merely of where one is and what one is; in other words, one’s position and one’s composition.

The intercessor’s only work is to perfect one’s position and one’s composition.


I have sought diligently for years to perfect my composition.

Hoping against hope, I do have reason to believe that God will do things through me that I cannot do.


The only motivation strong enough to drive me to do all the work necessary to bring The William Tell Show into being, will be a strong love for those destined to be my listeners and callers, the people of the state of Maryland.

In the spirit of “For us,” my concern is not for, nor to influence, the world, or the nation, but rather the people I meet firsthand from day to day. For William Tell, those will be the people of Maryland.

I have said a great deal in the past about the need to love oneself, to choose happiness, to choose the plans and actions that make one happy. And my love for others is not a one-way street.

It pleases me to love people.

If I love the folk of Maryland enough, William Tell may come to be.

Maybe it can be a great thing I can do.

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