On ‘Face the Nation’ again today, or was it ABC’s ‘This Week’ by George Stephanopoulos, I heard something bordering on sacrilege, blasphemy, but not heresy…for a secular, democratic, tolerant nation. A politician claimed, at prayer gathering where he announced exploring a run for the American presidency, something he believes is revealed in the last page of his good book: “Our God Wins.” As the program host questioned this potential candidate, I turned the idiot box off and moved on to more important things: feeding birds in my backyard, and doing my laundry.
I’d normally not pay any heed to politician-speak, but two things he said stuck in my mind, and need resolution. One, he mentioned spirituality, that we need a new spirituality in America. And two, that his god wins.
My laundry is drying out…I have a half hour to multitask! Let’s take his second statement and understand it a bit.
His god wins. And he saw that revealed in the last page of his good book. It matters not what good book – for there are many – but what is noteworthy is that he is thumping it as the revelation critical to his thinking. But it is what he reveals that is significant, methinks. He exposes his narrow thinking, and projects his personal desire to win, perhaps.
But what does a god, any god, win? Money? Power? A competition with peers? A fight against others who’d dethrone him, the king? Or lots and lots of giggles? Pleasures? What exactly? No, let’s take the high road – this god wins a battle with his opposite, the devil. In the great battle of good against evil, good wins, and good personified (and made very very exclusive, “Our”) in this politician’s mind as his god wins the battle against evil.
Sounds like this politician deals very much in absolutes (good, evil, white, black), perpetuating differences and stark distinction, rather than with the continuum that is society, nature, and life. Now what was that in Star Wars? Only a Sith deals in absolutes? Heck, even Hollywood attempts to get their take right. For instance, Avatar: “The Great Mother does not take sides, Jake. She protects only the balance of life.” But this politician may not watch such movies…or messages within may not percolate down into his single-minded consciousness.
But what bothers me even more, than his puerile idea that god wins anything at all, is that he makes it exclusive: it is his god that wins. Not any other gods and goddesses. No, his god. Granted he may mean a compassionate and loving personification, an anthropomorphism for benevolence (hey, that reminds me, I’d said this in the dedication in my Master’s thesis: “To the benevolence in all that lives, which, I firmly believe, in aggregation, is God”), but he excludes a very large segment of humanity in his assertion. Whatever he means, I think he demeans everything else; he disrespects other believers and non-believers alike.
My laundry is almost dry…and the NBA double header on ABC is about to start. My son will be coming over to watch it with me – I think! Let me close out my thoughts on this topic.
The other point – spirituality – is a valid one. I’ve often wondered what and where America’s spiritual leadership is…and have looked for it. It is not within our constitution, for I’ve argued that indirectly in Humbling and Humility. It is definitely not in our justice – no, legal – system, or the courts, and certainly cannot be in the big houses occupied by politicians of all shades. But it may well be in our hearts and minds…and may reveal itself in our humility, empathy, and compassion.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject so dear to my heart…comment, blog, write! 🙂