OPPORTUNIST- May be described as an unscrupulous person who exploits circumstances to gain immediate advantage. Throughout the ages we have seen this form of activity played out in many different forums and on many different stages.
Lets consider the plight of Black Americans for a moment. If I understand history correctly, they were brought to America in the belly of ships equipped for no better than livestock. They were sold into slavery to the southern plantation owners. They lived in shacks on the meagerest food supply, and toiled daily in the fields. They had no rights of any kind since they were not considered to be truly human. Neither could they own land nor could they vote. Frequently their women were raped by white owners—just to enumerate some or their horrible existences.
In the early 1860s’, president Lincoln declared them to be freed—the Civil War began. Eventually, the North prevailed and the slaves were freed—what then? What were they going to do? Having no wherewithal and prompted by their natural instincts to get away from the their ‘slave masters’, they gradually migrated north to the cities. Here again, they were clustered together in meager housing with more meager sustenance—the slums were enhanced and enlarged.
With that brief history, fast-forward to my personal memory—post WW2. Every Democrat politician I have known or heard of has made wild, opportunistic promises to ‘help’ Black people in exchange for their vote. In spite of the fact that it was Abraham Lincoln, a Republican who freed them, like dutiful little sheep, they have obliged the Democrats by an estimated %90 or better margin.
To my understanding, and without much support from the Black voter, Donald Trump has done more for Black society than any other president in history. Yet look at the national scene. We have seen perpetual protesting from both Black and White against ‘Police brutality’ fostered by social media videos. Peaceful protests a la Dr. Martin Luther King are impossible—the paid anarchists, in opportunistic fashion, seize upon the moment for rioting, burning and looting. Not only that but it has gone on in some quarters for months with no Democrat ‘voice of dissent’. Donald Trump has been perpetually demeaned by liberal media and Democrats attempting to shift the blame onto him—another example of opportunism.
Now lets address other very visible cases of historical opportunism. The bible tells us that Moses commit murder as a young man. He was forced to escape and live in exile for roughly twenty years. Upon his return, sensing a void of leadership in the Israelite community, he and Aaron opportunistically seized power control over them and became their leader. Moses, of course, was responsible for the 10 Commandments and the creation of the concept of sin, another case of opportunism—Moses could maintain control of the Israelites by convincing them that God could either like and help them or he could hate and hurt them if they disobeyed him.
Now let’s fast-forward a few thousand years to the year 325 AD. Constantine was Emperor of the Roman Empire and the Jewish community as well as the new Christian communities were still under Roman control. By that time Jesus had been dead almost three hundred years. The ‘Christian’ Church was flourishing in a way. Due to the ‘power’ transfer in the hierarchy of the Church, the most prominent male in each little settlement had been consecrated a Bishop—there were 1800 such Bishops at the time. That may seem very well and good but there was one big problem. Few, if any of those Bishops and their followers agreed with the others about matters concerning Jesus, what he did, what he said, and what he meant. They were constantly bickering among themselves—at times actually fighting. They were supposed to be working and producing for the Empire, but their productivity was severely hampered by the distraction of religious differences.
Prior to that time, the official religion of the Empire was a pagan religion called Mithraism, and the Romans generally loved it. Opportunistically, Constantine, realized it would be easier to change the State Religion than try to settle disputes between Christian sects. Consequently, he called a general council at Nicaea. He invited all 1800 Bishops and offered to pay all of their expenses—only 180 or so showed up. Realizing how opportunistic they would be, he commissioned them to form a new unified religion of their own liking—it would become the new official Religion of the Roman Empire—Mithraism would be abolished. Anyone who refused to accept the new religion had two choices, beheading or abolishment to the wilds—what an opportunity for the Bishops. Of course, there were dissenters—some were beheaded. Eventually a consensus was reached and the Catholic (universal) church was born. Guess what, opportunistically, those Bishops put themselves in ‘total control’, and that control was guaranteed by the Roman Army.
So, has anything changed seventeen hundred years later? If so, I have been unable to detect it in my eighty seven years. We persist in having unscrupulous people in all walks of life preying on their fellow man—some say it’s worse now than ever—I doubt that.
There’s a reason for everything, and there’s a solution to every problem. I have systematically and painstakingly addressed the nature of those problems and their cure in my two books Wilderness Cry and Peace in Spirituality. You may wish to take this opportunity to avail yourself of those solutions in their reading.