When Democracy becomes Vile
The anthem of a now grey-haired/balding generation eager for peace was 'make love, not war.' The sentiment is delightful, but was far from adequate then, it is still now.
Dionne Warwick too sang during the societal upheavals of hippies and rebellion - what the world needs now is love sweet love. The sentiment is pleasing, but this was also simplistically inadequate then, it is still now.
Last week I read in the context of a rather vile election campaign to an outsider (I am not of the United States) these two stirring reflections:
- We must make “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34) the foundation of national respect, the standard of our national discernment, the bedrock of both our personal relationships and a civilized society. —Joan Chittister
- What if we recognize that our engagement in politics should be rooted in our participation in the Trinitarian flow of God’s love? Then everything changes. —Wes Granberg-Michaelson
... but these commendable reflections painfully continue love's inadequacy of six decades ago. Love cannot be demanded, for then it is not love but legislation. Yet the sentiment remains naively pleasant.
When righteousness rules first as our bedrock virtue, love and justice can then follow. Righteousness and wickedness are as miscible as oil and water.
Love can become no arbitrary demand upon a fallen soul, for then it is not love - only law. True love becomes the willing actions of a righteous heart.
Love was, is, and always will be the fabric of God's heart, but it was never His foundation.
Love, as sure as God is good, would have hosed down the election vitriol; but there would have been no ill-will and dishonoring, divisive slander if righteousness was the platform the campaigners stood upon.
Please note 'love's' absence in God's plans to deliver this world from itself:
I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line (Isaiah 28:17)
Today's Soul Snippet: