Thursday, October 30, 2008

HOW WE ARE SAVED
Reinhold Niebuhr's statement invites reflection heading into a national election

OUT OF THE RUBBLE. Both campaign camps are making and spreading a lot of "ultimate" statements. Dire do-or-die, now-or-never scenarios are being cast. Ominous innuendos weight the airwaves and poison common conversations. It's throw-the-kitchen-sink-at-'em time. Destructive flames of divisiveness are being fanned for the sake of a win in Tuesday's election. Most of this is hyperbole. One can hope it will be swallowed up in a surpassing sense of the common good in a few weeks and months--whoever wins or loses. Out of the rubble of embarrassing campaign rhetoric, silly accusations, distortions and outright hate speech, pray that something of the perspective of Reinhold Neibuhr's vision emerges. Better yet, pray that his vision is lifted up before Americans take to the polls.

"Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime;
therefore we must be saved by hope.

Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense
in any immediate context of history;
therefore we must be saved by faith.

Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone;
therefore we are saved by love.

No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of
our friend and foe as it is from our standpoint.
Therefore, we must be saved by the final form of love which is
forgiveness."


- Reinhold Niebuhr

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