After watching and listening to the first 2016 presidential debate I took some advice that St. Augustine, the early Christian philosopher, whispered to me in my "inner ear" from the sidelines of recollection:
There are two basic areas where disagreement can arise among the observers and witnesses to a quarrel. The first concerns the veracity of the matters in question and the second concerns the intention of the protagonists to either seek or obscure the truth. It is one thing to inquire into the origin of the truth about a matter and another thing as to the understanding of the words of the speakers and the understanding of the listeners as to whether or not a statement is true. In regard to the actual truth it is always possible for the listeners to believe the speaker and think that he or she is telling the truth even though they are not. There is also the possibility that the listeners have decided beforehand that everything that a person that they have already chosen to believe is true no matter what. Therefore, in judging the veracity of those who are engaged in a quarrel over words it is best to be charitable in extending the benefit of the doubt equally to both parties but then rigorously test all things and hold fast only to that which is good.
In a democracy it is important that a presidential debate coexist with a consensus on a set of basic elements as a precondition to reasonable diversity of opinion. Before we disagree on anything we should first be clear about what we as a people actually agree upon. If not, then the U.S. is nothing more than a set of regional fiefdoms each headed by a corporate warlord and supported by a local oligarchy. The encouragement of internecine resentments by corporate sponsored news media and the exploiting of temperamental differences that perennially divide conservatives, moderates, and radicals from one another in order to obtain greater profit, is unbridled capitalism at its worst and the work of demonic forces.
In America, this "One Nation Under God," we all have freedom to worship God and set our moral compass by His grace through the Holy Spirit in order end the hostilities that divide us as neighbors and citizens. The demographics of America is like an equilateral triangle divided into three parts. The upper third contains the wealthy, the privileged, the highly intelligent, the good looking, and the otherwise fortunate. The bottom third are suffering from poverty, ignorance, poor health, a lack of opportunity, bad luck, and little hope. The middle third contains a hardworking but confused and disheartened people who see their dreams of a better future evaporating right before their eyes. Within each of these divisions there are sub-divisions based upon race, creed, national origin, sexual identity, chronic disease, mental disorders, broken families, and many other things too numerous to mention here. It is my fervent hope and prayer that during the next two presidential debates instead of a battle of negative wit, the candidates turn to a positive discussion and show the world that through a process of a democratic spirit and an honest search for truth, the wisdom of the God "in whom we trust" will enlighten us in deciding on a leader who will guide us and bring this diverse flock together like a good shepherd should with "with malice toward none, with charity for all." Amen.
- ▼ September (5)
- ► 2015 (8)
- ► 2013 (15)
- ► 2012 (20)
- ► 2011 (37)
- ► 2010 (72)
- ► 2009 (140)
- ► 2008 (116)