The essence of immorality is the tendency
to make an exception of myself.
Jane Addams, Nobel Peace Prize-winning Reformer,
social worker, and peace activist;
she was born on this date, 1860
Jesus had a wonderful parable about that! The one about the two men praying … one tells God the truth about himself, the other tells God how wonderful and pious he is and proudly says he’s “thankful I’m not like that other guy”.
Now, this is the big problem in American politics today … and, in this upcoming election, it’s starkly seen in difference in the rhetoric and the policies of the two parties. Simply put, as I see it, the Republicans see themselves as the “exception” that Jane Addams points to. They seem to see the very rich and the powerful and the however-privileged as “not like the others”. Elizabeth Warren and Bill Clinton deftly pointed this out last night in their speeches at the Democratic Convention. Beautifully and clearly, I thought. (I couldn’t believe I was watching the Convention … I never watch such political things! But as soon as I started, I was hooked.) Anyway, enough said; it’s for you to think about.
Once we make an exception of ourselves, the Pandora’s box of Immorality is set free. “We” and “Them” are set up … the bottom line of which is, only some are deserving of respect and compassion and acceptance. The “exceptions” get to judge. An example: the politicians have their own health insurance … because they deserve it … and to hell with everyone else. But Bill and Elizabeth are right, theologically and scientifically: we are all a part of the whole, and if one is hurt, we eventually are all hurt.
Now: will the Democrats change much if in power? We can hope … but we see all can see how seductive it is, and how hard it is to live up to one’s principles.
My principle core of morality is the Gospel. I heard it reflected last night. So I say:
Preach it Baby! And live it!