No matter how much a president loves his country, justice should be the core value to sustain the harmony and trust in societies and no compromise to be made.
Texas Faith: Should leaders love their country more than their souls?
By Bill McKenzie / Editorial Columnist
Dallas Morning News, Published on February 5, 2012
New York Times columnist David Brooks touches upon this theme in this essay. Here’s one excerpt:
“In the real world, a great leader is called upon to create a civilized order for the city he serves. To create that order, to defeat the forces of anarchy and savagery, the virtuous leader is compelled to do hard things, to take, as it were, the sins of the situation upon himself.
“The leader who does good things cannot always be good himself. Sometimes bad acts produce good outcomes. Sometimes a leader has to love his country more than his soul.”
That’s pretty disturbing. Should a leader really love his country more than his soul? If so, does that mean country should come before faith?
To me, this is one of the more challenging parts of the intersection of religion and politics. I would love to hear your thoughts about whether leaders must on occasion love their country more than their soul.
Fourteen panelists contributed to this forum, to read the contributions from all the panelists, please visit - http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/2013/02/texas-faith-should-leaders-love-their-country-more-than-their-souls.html/
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism and a Speaker on interfaith matters, diversity and pluralism
Do the means justify the end? Both the politicians and spiritual masters have made those decisions and have justified their actions. But there is always a price to be paid for all such actions, either in the moral deprivation of the society or the long-term destruction of justice.
When it comes to justifying the means, the Second World War always jumps out at us, and we continue to justify the bombing of Hiroshima-Nagasaki and, of course, Germany. Even the anti-war pacifists among us justify it to save greater number of lives, and in particular preventing the annihilation of Jews in the Holocaust. The Torah and Qur'an share this wisdom, “Saving a life is like saving the whole humanity.” With a tag that killing one is like killing the whole humanity, have we been able to balance between the two?
President Lincoln balanced the need to keep the nation together for the right purpose, and it was difficult on him to justify the war. Indeed, he loved America more than his soul. He could have listened to his advisers and not gone to war and lived his life. But the America he envisioned, which we benefit from today, justified the means.
The drone attacks in Pakistan are killing innocent civilians and creating more hatred towards us than taking the individual bad guys out. In that case, the end does not justify the means and we must speak out against this nonsense.
The unjust Bush war had its price, which we will continue to pay in terms of carrying the spiritual burden of mass killings of the innocent and destruction of the nations who had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks on us. President Bush was a revenge-seeking machine rather than someone who wanted justice.
Unfortunately, not all people feel that way, but the torch bearers of the conscience will live through it and question ourselves for not protesting the war that brought untold miseries to others and us in terms of unemployment, foreclosures, suicides among our soldiers and plain destruction of our nation.
Animals settle their disputes by locking their horns or tearing each other apart. Humans, instead, were endowed with the ability to dialogue and bring resolutions to the conflict.
No matter how much a president loves his country, justice should be the core value that sustains the harmony and trust in societies.
Of course, how many Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist leaders follow their religion?
Quran condemns offensive war, and no one is to wage a war against the other, unless it is in self-defense. The guidance even extends to the individuals, when someone throws you out of your own home forcibly, harasses you and your family, then you have a right to search, and wherever you can find them on your property, you have a right to shoot (American Terms) the invader and be not responsible for it. It further adds, if the intruded begs for mercy, he should be given a chance, for God loves those who forgive and create harmony in the society.
I believe in the Reagan Doctrine, peace through strength, use the strength to bring peace. Animals settle their disputes by locking their horns or tearing each other, humans were not given the horns to do the same, and instead, they were endowed with the ability to dialogue and bring resolutions to the conflict. Reagan did that successfully.
Post morteming the events, no matter how much a president loves his country, justice should be the core value.
....... Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing up for others and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work through many links.
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