Political divisions in America are worse now than they ever before have been, which makes it hard for us to see that we are witnessing the dawning fulfillment of the greatest dream ever dreamed in all of human history. After ten millennia during which humankind groveled beneath the swords of despots and the awful reign of capricious gods, we are about to state with a single voice that we refuse to bow to any earthly power. From now on all the power is our own! This ultimate liberation of all the world will have to begin in the United States, since it is only here that we possess the tools that can make it possible.
But it will not end here! Abraham Lincoln called this nation “The last best hope of earth,” and in that he was prescient. Now it begins! And since our old habit of fearing is strong, we will need to begin with the certain assurance that what comes after the rapine of political parties will be government by and for the people; and what will replace a capricious God will be personal intimacy with Spirit.
You may never have thought about the fact that politics and religion are the same breed of cat. Each claims to be able to help us relate to a great Authority – to government or to God – but demonstrably, both do that very poorly. And neither has any power of its own! Furthermore:
Americans alone possess the tools that can transform this nation and transform the world! And it seems to me that we no longer have the right not to use these tools, since unless we can make of this nation a model of freedom and personal empowerment, the rest of the world has little hope. The United States as a shining exemplar always has been our greatest vision!
We can do this! In matters both temporal and spiritual, we can dispense with all the old human masters and learn as united individuals how to much better govern and enlighten ourselves. Let’s look at each area separately.
George Washington best expressed the general sentiment of America’s Founders. He said, “Government is not reason, it’s not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it’s a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” The Founders concluded that the only ones who could be entrusted with so much power would be the people who were being governed, and the Constitution they drafted is a masterwork! For 229 years it has survived all attempts by power-hungry politicians to subvert it. Yes, our Founders would be appalled by our present bloated and overbearing federal government, but there remains inside the mess that political battling has created that original design for a much better nation that is governed by and for the people. Far from being in any way outmoded, the original design of this nation’s Constitution would work better now than it could have worked when it was first drafted! Consider:
James Madison, the lead architect of the Constitution, said, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce. … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.” If we were inventing our federal and state governments today, wouldn’t this design make a lot more sense?
We cannot in a day peel back two centuries of beyond-constitutional federal bloat, but we can begin our peaceful people’s revolution by doing three things now:
Simply making these three changes can begin our powerful transformation. What will emerge if we are resolute will be a more informed and independent electorate with the power to insist that politicians stop their counterproductive political games, and to further insist that those to whom we have delegated governmental power must serve us well or they will be replaced. It will take us back closer to the Founders’ vision of government by and for the people. And as we better define what works in empowering all Americans now, we can begin to establish a model that can be used to help to empower and improve the lives of everyone on earth.
Christianity does not remotely resemble what Jesus tells us he meant to begin. I have written about this fact, and about my worry that unless we begin now to separate the false religion from the genuine Man we risk losing what Jesus came to give us. Jesus is an extraordinary and entirely non-religious Teacher who brought to us what is in fact the next stage of human spiritual development! If this is not yet clear to you, give it time. As Jesus wisely said, “you will know them by their fruits” (MT 7:20), and Christianity is rotting all around us as the bad fruit that it always was. And wonderfully, as Christianity rots away we are finding within it the glorious seed of a very much better tomorrow that has been there waiting for us to find it and plant it!
Like the American Constitution, the Gospel teachings of Jesus have been honored mostly in the breach. And like the American Constitution, those Gospel teachings are going to be what will empower us to make of this nation the shining city that our Founders hoped would begin a better world! We are going to have to shed politics in order to form a government of the people, and in the same way a spiritually empowered nation is going to be possible for us only when we have shed the Christian wrapper that still hides and subverts the teachings of Jesus.
The Lord could see that despite his protestation that “Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined” (MT 9:17), a religious cult was developing around him even before his death. So he wisely instructed us to “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (MT 7:6-8). And he said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (JN 8:31-32). It is Jesus himself who tells us that just as our insisting upon unbiased facts will free us from beliefs-based political squabbling, so also will insisting upon unbiased facts free us at last from beliefs-based Christianity and enable each of us to build an individual relationship with Spirit!
As we begin to insist upon facts alone, we can expect to weather even more righteous indignation. Fearful Christians will brandish their get-out-of-hell-free cards at us, and people now living off government spoils will fight to remain at a shrinking trough. But we can win this battle! And once we win it, we will be able at last to begin the glorious process of freeing and uplifting all the world….