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The Bible has been quoted a lot in politics to support government policies that would make Jesus sick to his stomach. Self-righteous, hateful, mean-spirited leaders make policies that shock us, and then they use the policy as a bargaining chip to say, "OK, we'll do something a little more humane if you give us what we want (like a ridiculous and expensive wall)." And then they say that the Bible tells us to be lawful. But Jesus said, "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness." (Matthew 23: 27-28)

Anyone can quote some part of the Bible to support just about anything. The real challenge is in how we live our lives. My grandfather used to tell me, as we walked through the woods, "It's important to leave a place better than you found it," as he picked up a piece of trash on the pathway. For me that has become a spiritual guidepost. Causing pain and trauma to innocent children certainly does not leave this world a better place than we found it. Not one single faith tradition supports this kind of behavior.

The Course in Miracles states, "All behavior is either an act of love or a cry for love." I have found this statement helpful when I am having difficulty finding compassion for those are not acting in very loving ways. Frankly, I don't see very many acts of love in our country's leadership these days. However, I recently read an article about the trauma our President experienced when he was unwillingly separated from his parents to go to boarding school. Maybe in some weird way, our leadership is crying out for love.

Perhaps in the greater scheme of things and in our human and spiritual evolution, this cruelty, selfishness and greediness will all make sense. Perhaps there is some collective shadow work unfolding here that will eventually lead to a more compassionate world. I certainly pray that some kind of goodness comes out of this craziness. One thing that seems to be unfolding is that those who were complacent and unaware, as I have been, have been provoked to take a stand and to take action for what we believe in. I think it's important to speak out, as Matthew did to the Pharisees when he said, "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?" (Matthew 23:33)

On a gentler note, Matthew offers these words, and forgive me, but I'm going to substitute our capital city for the word Jerusalem; "Washington, Washington, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing." (Matthew 23:37)

I am sure that the Bible was not talking about gathering the children together in chain link fence prisons.

NAN Religion on 06/23/2018

Print Headline: Praying better days are ahead

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