A good friend with whom I share many hours of philosophical discussion responded to my last entry. She diligently studies Biblical history, and gave me several insights. I believe that our values are the most important things that need defining, demonstration, and articulating to others, I so appreciate help in my continued quest to answer these moral issues that sometimes seem so contradictory.
She pointed out that the Israelites had no central earthly authority. I had never thought about that before. What faith that must take, to follow the commandments without a central body to enforce them on earth. Perhaps they were the first followers of democracy, which seems to be dependent on people accepting rules that promote the common good. (It is important to look at this in the context that the Chosen People were the least powerful in earthly terms, so their common laws are what bound them.)
My friend also pointed out that Jesus defended the weak against those who unjustly enforced the law, and that he was willing to be persecuted and even lose his life for his beliefs.
I seems important that Jesus upheld and defended the values of the Ultimate Authority with the strength of his personality and reputation as a person who himself followed the law, not with an army or any other form of brute force. This seems to be the way to lasting change. We may get the attention of the bullies with brute force, but we can only change hearts through honest and loving example. This is why it is so important that our troops show Americans to be compassionate and fair-minded people. It is also why the continued fight for social justice and individual accountability to the Higher Power and each other is so crucial.
We mistake unfettered capitalism for democracy at our own peril. We also accept the notion that all power comes from God at our peril because so many have accepted that "might makes right" based on this concept. To die defending one's principles and protecting the weak seems honorable to me. But, I believe that we are manipulated with the words of our deeply held beliefs by those who seek to protect their own property and power . Until we follow righteous people (in the words of King Arthur in Camelot, "Right makes might.") rather than politicians who are controlled by unregulated capitalists, justice will not prevail.