Basic Moral Courage: Day Seven

   You may find more than solace for your own conscience if you infect others, however few, with the Big Idea. The Big Idea is that untimely, courageous, mostly despised Moral Assertion that grows (or does not grow) into a Movement.

   The result of the Moral Assertion (the Big Idea) may have a Movement for its offspring. The fissile atom is the core of the explosion, small though it may seem, and the end thereof is, well, explosive. Moral energy feeds the Big Idea, as the atom's split nurtures the mushroom cloud.

   The Moral Assertion we make defines how we define human progress. In the ancient American document we referred to in beginning this treatise (now grown to tome length) there is a phrase that reads, "We hold these truths to be self evident…" What comes after is a definition of cultural evolution, or of human progress. Great literature, great preaching, solemn wisdom, to matter, must have the sense of progress to it, as though there is something to be both gotten and gained if we go this way.

   Our religion, or our irreligion, our patriotism or nihilism, may finally predestine a line of personal demarcation, beyond which we may not step without irrevocable consequences put in play. When we approach such a Rubicon, we ought to know (shouldn't we? mustn't we?) that our next step will take us to something noble and good. The noble and the good are as hard to find as verifiable proofs of the divine existence, yet hope dies last, does it not? And if we still function at all, don't we function because we have hope?

   Here is something about which we might agree and so make as a Moral Assertion. That is, the world as currently configured is a planet increasingly in peril. One of the reasons for the potential peril of the planet is the Messianic fervor of various religionists who, with primitive passions, might put technological power to work and literally destroy the world.

   Given this fact, we might reasonably (Morally) assert that religionists, all of us, need to accept  their (our) Messianic passions as a spiritual force intended for the good of all, regardless of a  particular spiritual claim (or none at all). I still believe all persons could benefit from a life lived according to Christian principles, even if they refused the greatest of those benefits by disregard for the greatest of the Christian principles, i.e, "Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, soul, mind and strength…"

   Primitive, some would say fundamentalist, Messianic passion occludes the blood vessels of the body politic. It is difficult to conceive of the God of Heaven brokering the Crusades of the Middle Ages, or the IEDS of the Iraqi highways today. Mujahadeen or Moral Majority, Taliban or Religious Right, faith lovers must uncover (in their own hearts first)  ways to correct the corrosive effects of coercion.

   Simply put, we might Morally Assert that religion of any kind must submit its teachings in the public arena, local, national, global, there to be accepted or rejected, praised or pilloried, but to be there presented without threat. Sweet persuasion will be the Prime Mover of faith's growth. Religionists must decide to fail until, and unless, we can persuade kindly, without recourse to bombast or bomb.

1 thought on “Basic Moral Courage: Day Seven”

  1. Rick – there is a philosopher I have been reading that seems to find the ethic of love, without himself necessarily self-identifying as Christian, notable for the body politic. In fact, I think he is participating in a conference of sorts next month where the subject is the value of the ethic of love for politics. Your last paragraph is long overdue for many.

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