Lay Cistercian Reflections on Politics

Just a thought, when looking at the debilitating political process of both parties in Washington, D.C.  I was looking at the evening news last night and had this thought.  All they talk about is calumny and detraction of people. Parties don’t matter. The assumptions seems to be: I will get you, Trump, and let’s undo all Obama accomplished. I am reminded of Sherman’s march to the sea as the land is laid waste and burned. I am also reminded of a political war going on where both sides, claiming justification, don’t talk with each other.  If this was a marriage, it would be legally married, mentally and spiritually divorced.

The result of my frustration took the form of not watching any evening news or reading vitriolic writing in the press. I know that shutting down all news might seem like a radical idea, but I just could not take it anymore.  What tipped the scales was going back to my six thresholds of life that I developed several years ago. They are:

What is the purpose of life?
What is your purpose in life?
What does reality look like?
How does that reality fit together?
How to love fiercely?
You know you are going to die, now what?

When I reflect on these six principles of my life, I cannot look either Democratic or Republican politicians in the face without saying, why is politics based on hatred, falsehood, deception, calumny, detraction, and
revenge? Our founding fathers and mothers looked at principles of inclusion, true freedom, respect, and peace. I don’t see that anymore. How sad. One good thing happened out of all of this. Since I don’t watch the news anymore, I write more about contemplation and my limited experiences with Cistercian spirituality, and hope.

What does love have to do with politics as we see it practiced? Nothing, in my mind. Individually, politicians will go to their churches, synagogues, or mosques, and pray prayers of praise and thanksgiving, but politically, they don’t practice what they pray about, or so it seems. This may be too much a generalization, I know, but I am upset.

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