Are You Smarter than a Fifth-grader?

By: Patti Bankson

Have you seen the new program called, “Are You Smarter than a Fifth-grader?” I guess it could be called a game show, of sorts. The set-up is this: The contestants are adults; some with college degrees. In a mock classroom, there’s a “panel” of fifth graders the adults can call on to help them answer fifth-grade level questions – should they need the help -. Not surprisingly, even the contestants with degrees needed the fifth graders’ help and not surprisingly, the kids are very capable of giving the correct answers.

It’s been a very long time since I was in fifth-grade, so I’m not sure whether fifth-graders in my time were as smart and precocious as the ones on this panel, but these kids are definitely both. It would make sense to me that the show’s producers would pick kids who are above-average, otherwise the show wouldn’t work. And the show works because it’s kind of funny to watch the adults struggle to answer a question that the kids can easily answer … you can tell it’s a piece of cake for the kids by the way they’re all on the edge of their seats, waving their arms in eager “pick-me, pick-me” anticipation. Of course it’s funnier to watch those adults struggle with elementary school questions than it is to watch yourself struggle to come up with an answer, but that’s not my point. My point is that as precocious as those kids may be, they’re still only fifth-graders and it would make sense that, with some exceptions, adults know more than grade-schoolers.

I’ve noticed, though, that some of the Democratic presidential candidates and political consultants seem to think otherwise, and I find that to be rather insulting. If you’re not insulted and you’re buying into what they’re selling, perhaps you need to sit down with a fifth-grader, because you need help.

If I had to give that party’s candidates specifically, and politicians in general, a report card, they’d certainly deserve an “A” for “Asinine”. For instance, look at how they leaped onto the “me-too” bandwagon when Jesus made it onto the important-people-to-know-if-you-want-to-expand-your-voter-base list. Obviously, only God knows the truth of what’s going on with them spiritually, but in some cases, even God might be surprised at what buddies they’ve become. I suspect He might even be down-right shocked to find out that they’re such good buds that the candidate can even speak for Him and hand out judgments on His behalf – like John Edwards did recently.

In a interview David Kuo asked him, “What parts of American life do you think would most outrage Jesus?”“Our selfishness. Our resort to war when it’s not necessary. I think that Jesus would be disappointed in our ignoring the plight of those around us who are suffering and our focus on our own selfish short-term needs. I think he would be appalled, actually.”

Stepping into Edwards’ presumptuous shoes, this is what I think might outrage Jesus: rich trial lawyers/politicians who spend millions to build lavish mansions, while shaking a finger at those with far less for not giving enough. “I think he would be appalled, actually.”

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24 NIV

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