October 21

Reflection

Reflection

Now that the latest political standoff has ended for a time, we can reflect on the vitriol and selfishness that we had to experience in the name of the good of the nation. If we had the inner fortitude to listen to some of the political rhetoric from those who would risk the world economy, the nation’s recovery and the well-being of needy citizens and children, and who demonized the president using their views of justice wrapped in pious language, we were probably appalled. It brought to mind the image of “noisy gongs” and “clanging cymbals” used by Paul in his letter on love. “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal…Love is patient and kind, love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends”.(1 Corinthians 13).The basic message of Christianity is love and community, caring for the poor and needy, being servants to one another. If we must be exposed to hatred and bigotry, ignorance and lies, at least let us not allow it to be called patriotism or religion.

Prayer

Let us pray for our nation and our fellow citizens that we may find our way back from extremism to our basic principles.

Action

No matter what religion you may embrace understand its basic teachings. Reflect on Jesus’ words on hypocrisy.(Matthew 23:1-37)

Suggested Readings

 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
Mathew 23:23-24

A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.
Adlai E. Stevenson

In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.
Samuel Clemens

More frightening than any particular beliefs or policies is an utter lack of any sense of a need to test those beliefs and policies against hard evidence. Mistakes can be corrected by those who pay attention to facts … dogmatism will not be corrected by those who are wedded to a vision.
Thomas Sowell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.
Socrates

Having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise-
Benjamin Franklin

Civilizations die from suicide, not murder
Arnold Toynbee

Those who complain the most about the quality of the people in power are the ones who put all that power there in the first place.  Well, what kind of people did they expect it all to attract, anyway?
Rick Gaber

There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed.
Woodrow Wilson

A nation is formed by the willingness of each of us to share in the responsibility for upholding the common good.
Barbara Jordan

Religion creates community, community creates altruism and altruism turns us away from self and towards the common good… There is something about the tenor of relationships within a religious community that makes it the best tutorial in citizenship and good neighborliness.
Jonathan Sacks

In a politically diverse nation, only by finding that common ground can we achieve results for the common good.
Olympia Snowe

 

 

 

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