There is always a danger of overusing and thereby abusing the word “sacred.” On the other hand, it is a necessary and precious word. Is it applicable when speaking of “democracy”?
In a country where close to 50% of the population seem at home with following an ex-president who has worked overtime to spread lies and disinformation about not losing an election and with 291 politicians currently running for office who do not accept the last election as valid, one wonders what’s up with the future of American democracy.
Surrounded as we are with authoritarian movements rising around the world, we ask: Will American democracy go the way of Italian democracy that just elected the first fascist leader since Mussolini? Or Hungarian democracy that has subverted the judiciary and media and opposition parties?
Is American democracy worth saving? Of course, it needs profound changing. It needs a Supreme Court that has not been hand picked by a fascist religious ideologue, a member of Opus Dei, Leo Leonard. (Who just recently received $1.6 billion in cash to spend as he likes to upend American politics as we know it.)
And one of SCOTUS’ members’ wives has been actively working to overthrow the last presidential election.
And three recent members were handpicked by Leonard Leo and a president who organized the overthrow of the country.
American democracy needs at long last ample representation in the Senate for the millions of citizens not represented in equal proportion to those living in states with tiny populations. For example, 45 million Californians have the identical senatorial representation as 584,000 citizens of the state of Wyoming. Is that fair? Is that democracy?
For humans to gather around ideals like “all men are created equal” appears noble—though it took a huge effort to include blacks among “all men” as well as Native Americans, and women, too.
Democracy is rife with failures and imperfections. But what are the alternatives? As Churchill used to say, “democracy is the worst of all systems…except for all the others.”
Today the communist party in China is meeting to discuss its next five year plan. It rules a country of 1.4 billion people with a seven member “board of directors” who hold up a single person who the party elects. Is that system superior to democracy? Or Hungary’s? Or Putin’s? Or Iran’s theocracy? Or Modi’s hate-filled persecution of Muslims in India?
IF democracy can right itself, maybe it has a chance. But we have a lot of work to do, a rolling up of our sleeves is demanded. Do we have the energy and is a sense of the common good still alive enough to make it work again?
See Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society.
To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: Prophetic rally: Illinois Handmaids “Stop Brett Kavanaugh” Rally, Downtown Chicago Illinois 8-26-18. Photo by Charles Edward Miller on Wikimedia CommonsVIDEO GOES HERE
Queries for Contemplation
What do you think makes American democracy worth saving? Is it fitting to apply the word Sacred to democracy?
Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society
Visionary theologian and best-selling author Matthew Fox offers a new theology of evil that fundamentally changes the traditional perception of good and evil and points the way to a more enlightened treatment of ourselves, one another, and all of nature. In comparing the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras to the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins, Fox allows us to think creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil and what we can do about them.
“A scholarly masterpiece embodying a better vision and depth of perception far beyond the grasp of any one single science. A breath-taking analysis.” — Diarmuid O’Murchu, author of Quantum Theology: Spiritual Implications of the New Physics