Dilemma: When Our Great Leaders Aren’t Good

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by Wes Walker

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Which is more important to you — that your heroes are good, or that they are great? Is this a question anyone is even asking anymore?

While some might actually be considered both good and great, there are many “good” people who never achieve greatness, and also many “great” people who would never be considered good people. In those either/or situations which ones rise to prominence?

We just finished commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, and understandably, JFK got a lot of press. After all, it was a big moment in history. But as pointed out in Peter Kreeft’s book Between Heaven and Hell JFK was not the only well-known person to die that day.

There were, in particular, two other famous names to die that same day. One was Aldous Huxley (best remembered for Brave New World, and the other was the famous Christian author and apologist C. S. Lewis, but we have heard very little about the passing of the latter two men.

Not that such a reaction is unique to this example. In my own lifetime, the passing of two other well-known figures was just as striking in its contrast. Many of you will remember how astonishing the massive outpouring of emotion was when Lady Diana met her unfortunate and violent end. Forests of trees and rivers of ink were consumed in telling and retelling every detail of her life and death in papers and magazines, not to mention all the other media outlets. Everyone clamoured to be part of her story.

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