They say you shouldn't talk about politics or religion in polite circles. I guess I'm not polite because I'm about to launch into both of those, mostly because it's almost impossible to talk about one without the other nowadays. They go together like love and marriage ... and given today's sensibilities I guess you'd have to say like love and marriage for all. Which brings us to religion, thereby proving my point, religion and politics are inextricably bound.
Make no mistake; I'm against that bond. I respect the Constitution and believe the separation of church and state was a truly smart idea. So, if I could wave my magic wand and make religious discussion disappear from our political spectrum, I'd invoke the name Madalyn Murray O'Hair and make it disappear the way she did Bible reading in public schools.
But, it's not to be, so my second choice is this: If you must tie religious practice to political discourse, take mine. My religion, that is.
My religion, to quote the Dalai Lama, is kindness.
What? You don't want my religion or that of the Dalai Lama? How about Jesus' religion? He said, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." He was talking about a religious tenet -- kindness.
Not a Christian? How about a Jewish founding principle? Hillel, ancient Jewish teacher who lived about 110 BCE, said, "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation."
Or, consider this basic teaching of Lao Tzu, a deity in religious Taoism. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.
Imagine how this year's election campaign would be different if we only allowed Kindness devotees to run for office. Consider how the campaign slogans would change.
Make America Kind Again. Who wouldn't love that?
Hillary seems to have a few slogans. Tweaked for kindness they might be:
Fighting for Kindness. Okay, a bit of an oxymoron but that doesn't make it bad.
Ready for Kindness. That could work; we're way beyond ready for kindness at this point.
Feel the Kindness. I mean would you rather feel a burn or a caress?
Talk about bipartisanship. Could either party, or anyone else for that matter have a problem with the religion of kindness? And, just as so many candidates insist they're regularly communicating directly with a god, imagine instead if they answered policy questions with: We'll handle that this way because it's the kindest way to deal with that situation. Would anyone brand them crazy for that? Would anyone say, "I don't believe in kindness?"
So, okay, keep the connection of religion and politics for the duration of this election season, as long as it's my religion, my way.
It's the kindest way to deal with this situation.
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