Renewing the Spirit of Liberality

I recently read an article by David Korten called Renewing the American Experiment where he called liberals or progressives to create credible stories that express our values, answer critical questions, enlarge and redefine the terms of debate, express our vision of human possible and evoke a sense of national purpose.

            I am inspired not to create a new story but to expand on an old story that will enable liberals and conservative, left and right, to embrace the same agenda and evoke a common sense of national purpose.  To often the liberals and progressive still think in terms of “us” against “them” and this limited way of thinking handicaps us. 

            In my story, I want to start with the Holy Bible.  I would start by deeply understanding the spirit behind the Bible, that which inspires or motives those who wrote it. I would start with the etymology of the words “holy” and “Bible”.  Good dictionaries have shown me that “holy” comes from or means whole (with a W).  “Whole” comes form or means heal or health.  The word “bible” comes from or means book.  Therefore, the title Holy Bible means Health Book.  The Holy Bible, therefore, is just an ancient and primitive attempt at teaching a healthy lifestyle and healthy ways of thinking. 

            Health of body and mind, of individual and nation, of culture and environment, can be and must be the focus of any people if they are to survive and prosper in this world.

The Holy Bible was a beginning, and only a beginning, of our understanding of how to be health of body and mind, of individuals and communities and of economics and environments.  We must strive for a greater understanding of ALL aspects of health and share that understanding with one another; individual to individual, nation to nation.

            I would like to stop here and define liberal.  The Webster’s International Dictionary defines liberal as one who is generous; one who favor greater freedom in political or religious matters.  Liberal suggests one free from prejudices or narrow thinking.  Antonyms of liberal are stingy, mean, bigoted or conservative.

            The International Bible Encyclopedia says, “It is well to bear in mind that a Biblical liberality can spring only out of a noble soul, and is Godlike in its genesis and spirit.”
            Jesus was a liberal. Jesus was a prototype of a liberal.  As liberals we “get” Jesus, to the degree we are truly liberal.   Liberals get the “fruits of the spirit” to the degree that we are loving, joyful, peaceful, longsuffering, gentle, faithful, meek and temperate, which are signs and behaviors of a liberal or healthy people and nations.

            We liberals are no better than the conservatives are; we are just blessed with certain advantages.  Even if we were raised in a mean, vile and conservative environments, somewhere along the way we were inspired or encouraged to be softer, gentler, compassionate and caring.  Somewhere along the way we were encouraged to see the big picture which gave us the faith we have in human evolution and potential. 

To be holy is to be whole, to be one, not divided against ourselves.  To be holy therefore, means we as liberals do not see ourselves as “us” against the conservatives “them”.  Instead, we can see ourselves AS them. 

            The Bible’s Great Commandment says, in part, to “love thy neighbor as they self.”  This is the foundation of all the scriptures and all laws.  If we were trapped in a dark pit of faithlessness, pessimism or greed would we not want somebody to help us out of that pit?    

            We cannot ignore the conservatives.  One message that 911 and the election of 2004 tells us is that if the conservative cannot vote their fearful agenda then they will drive airplanes into our buildings.  We must reach to ALL conservatives, those in our own back yard and in the rest of the world.

            Jesus said, as you do unto the least of them you do unto me.  He also said, ye are gods and God is one.  The not-so-hidden message is that we are one. 

            The Religious Right of America at least plays lip service to Jesus and the spirit of the Bible.  As we gain a better understanding of their spiritual language, we are better able to meet them where they are at instead of demanding they meet us where we are.  We are the ones who ‘get it’ so it is our duty to reach out to them. 

            The language of the Bible is ancient, archaic and primitive but it points us in a direction where we can ALL go.   The language of health of body and mind, society and environment is the language of the future Holy Bible, the language of an understanding what it takes to be perfect, holy and healthy as the Father in Heaven is perfect, holy and healthy.

 

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Jim

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