Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4 – Bless . . . and Curse Not

Any resident of any duration in any Abbey could tell us that there are more ways to “curse” than with words.

While a monastery is not a democracy, it still meets in council about important matters. The Abbess who rules in the cloistered house is an elected official. Just a few words of denigration, of abuse, of slander could tarnish and weaken her effectiveness for the rest of her life. Within the Abbey, Benedict and other reformers provided means by which superiors could both govern and be replaced, but gossip and outcry were not among them, for the Abbey’s sake.

For a moment, let us consider this and compare it with the tsunamis of slander that pass back and forth in the halls of politics and the parlors of the media in most countries today. Above almost all other things, citizens ought to demand of their leaders that the slander come to a halt. We are educated, twenty-first century adults . . . whether the people’s representatives, their church leaders, or their Head of State, be found out to be slanderous, they ought to know that they were thus become odious.

In a country where we may express the truth of our convictions, where we have recourse to explain and provide evidence to support our position, it would be interesting . . . and nation-saving . . . if our opponents, and we as we oppose others, were called upon to restate an understanding of the opposing position before our own self justifications and political considerations were brought forth. One needn’t send an opponent “to the Tower” in this age; one need only libel them and send the story to the tabloids.

All this being said, on the celebration of the purpose of America, more than the Independence she had not yet won, there is an underlying principle, without which a nation may be ever so polite and yet ruin itself.

If any nation persist in calling evil good, and denigrating good as evil, it will not remain. It has cursed itself.

"Where Seldom is Heard, A Discouraging Word"
photo by Kerry

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