Non Sequitur


Non Sequitur is a Latin term that basically means “does not follow”.  It’s used when someone’s line of reasoning does not follow the trajectory already set.  In other words, someone’s conclusions make no sense based on the previous statements.  Some are obvious. “My uncle loves jelly . . .  I think I’ll go see a movie.” While we see more subtle versions on TV, “If you don’t buy this brand of Peanut Butter . . . you are neglecting your family.”  There is not a clear logical correlation between movies and jelly (unless I suppose the movie is about jelly or your uncle).  One can also not make such a certain statement about neglecting one’s family based solely on their brand of peanut butter. Sometimes the non sequitur can be funny.  The illogical statement is so absurd and unexpected that it makes you laugh.

Prejudice loves the non sequitur argument.  “This (insert ethnicity/religion) did something terrible . . . all of them must be bad.” Stereotypes are often a sweeping conclusion based on an unrelated premise.  “I lost my job, it must be the fault of those (insert racial slur).”
Non Sequitur arguments get used a lot in politics.  We sometimes call it “spin.”  Pundits find ways to get their message out and draw conclusions that lack any rational thinking whatsoever.  “My child cannot watch a video about setting goals and achieving in school because the president wants nationalized healthcare.” What?  “If you voted for (insert candidate) then you don’t love God.” Really?
Last year when gas prices were absolutely ridiculous, one city decided to save money by cutting the electric shuttle lines.  I thought I had heard it incorrectly.   This non sequitur includes a heavy dose of stupid.
And of course the church has it’s share of non sequitur logic (you knew I was going there).  “Money and fame and success aren’t important to us . . .  now sit back and enjoy the intelligent lighting, smoke machines and coffee bar while our pastor talks about his latest best seller via satellite on our new jumbo-tron.”  I’m not even exaggerating.  There is an incredible disconnect between what we say and what we do.  We are caught in the spin my friends.  We will do and say anything to achieve success. . . we’re not even called to “success”.  We’re called to love God with everything and then love the people that no one else wants.
How does the church show that love?  By ignoring the poor in their neighborhood, by spending massive amounts of money on gadgets while their members can’t afford to go to the doctor or buy shoes, by suing former staff members, vowing to ruin their lives and by refusing to love people who may not “contribute” to the church.
Non sequitur – it does not follow.

faith – hope – love . . .  greed – control – selfishness