If you were to point to the greatest problem that the United States and much of the world is experiencing what would that be? Terrorism? Inequality? Poverty?
My pick would be the retreat from Oneness and Brotherhood and the degeneration of many societies, including the United States and much of Europe into a new tribalism. This splintering of society is the result of “identity politics” where political parties slice up society into racial, sexual, religious, class and educational strata and appeal to the narrow interests of the different “tribes”.
An appeal to all Americans to unite in common cause seems today to be as quaint as blue suede shoes and Poodle Skirts. Everyone identifies with a particular piece of their personality, forgetting that the most important identity and the only one that matters is first being human and then American.
The Left plays this game better than the Right. After all they have been doing this for 100 years, they even have a “how to book” on combating nationalism and Oneness by creating class consciousness.
There were no Republicans or Democrats on 9/11/2001. I live in Sarasota, Florida which has a special place in the history of 9/11 because our President was visiting one of our elementary schools as part of his televised roll out of the “No Child Left Behind” Program. Most of us will never forget the look on President Bush’s face as the he was informed of the first plane crashing into the Tower. He had been reading a story to the class and suddenly the world turned upside down.
America’s reaction was to come together; forgetting race, gender, orientation, ethnicity and politics. Our President had the good sense and grace, not only to set exactly the right tone immediately after the attack, but to visit a Mosque just days later to send the message that Muslim Americans were first and always Americans.
Where are such leaders today? Where are the leaders that can say just what must be said in just the right tone and at the right moment; as was done during 9/11?
Words matter, a lesson that needs learning in today’s political climate. In fact words and the thought that precedes them are the building blocks of our lives.
It seems to me that our culture and our politics have coarsened to the point where even death threats and actual murder are legitimate coin of the American body politic.
There is an immutable fact of human life that there is no subspecies of the human race, no lesser humans. We are all magnificent creations of the Creator of the Universe, made from the very substance of the body of God. It can be said that all that exists is made from the substance of the Divine Prime Mover. Thus we are all literally Brothers and Sisters.
My barber is a wonderful man who immigrated from Jordan and is a devout Muslim. We have stimulating and friendly conversations about history, comparative religion and I listen eagerly to this very wise, very fine American who chose to come to this nation to raise his family and prosper. He has improved his condition in just a few years to the point where he and his wife are shopping for their first home.
His culture and religion may be foreign to me but he is as American as apple pie in his love of family, his desires for his family and his life. We all want the same things, no matter where we live, how we worship and what our politics are.
We want to raise our families in peace, love and contentment. We want our children to receive a fine education and go on to surpass us in accomplishment and in the joy of life. Each generation builds upon the last in a good society and this nation is a very good society. The fact that too many of our people have lost their faith in our national ethos and in our democracy is very troubling.
We can restore our national consciousness by taking our various racial, class, sexual and other distinctions as a matter of course that needs no celebrating and instead celebrating our Oneness as Americans.
We have been majoring in the minors and neglecting what really matters which is that all humans are One. Everything else is exterior paint, manners and culture and not worthy of our attention.
Americans all: we sit at the table of democracy and freedom together with the conscious knowledge that we are truly One in God, One in Mind and One in Heart.
Tribalism is what civilizations degenerate into. Is that what we want for our nation and our world? I think not!
Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, FL I Am a Religious Scientist!
Find out more at CSL.org