Defective Spiritual Guidance in America
BY TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 22 October 2012
by Charles Mercieca, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service
In virtually every religion, people tend to look at the spiritual leaders of their community for inner guidance. Deep inside they all tend to be good to the best of their ability in spite of their human frailties. In a number of instances, a variety of viewpoints tend to create unnecessary contradictions. What one segment of the community may claim to be good, another segment may proclaim to be vicious or evil. Under such circumstances, the different sides bring arguments to justify their respective positions.
Provision of Spiritual Guidance
Needless to say, when divisions become inevitable and conspicuous then spiritual leaders generally step in to provide needed guidance. However, such a spiritual guidance does not always prove ideal and perfect. When such is the case, then we are confronted with defective spiritual guidance, which may prove confusing to many. We may illustrate this by an example which is quite visible in the United States. This may constitute a problem, which could be solved if we were to bring it into perspective.
Defective spiritual guidance may not stem necessarily from malice or ignorance. It may stem from lack of proper reflection, which may put us out focus. In spite of the good intentions we may have, a lot of harm could be done each time we fail to see things into proper perspective. In American politics we are faced with a serious moral issue, commonly known as abortion. It consists of the deliberate termination of the child’s life while still in the mother’s womb. This action defies the Divine Positive Law, which states: You should not kill.
Those that do not believe that life starts with conception, speak of women’s reproductive rights, which allow women to terminate their child’s life at will at any moment they choose before birth. Politicians that subscribe to this philosophy are referred to as pro-choice. At the same time, politicians that view the sacredness of life as one that starts with conception are commonly known as pro-life, a position strongly held by church spiritual leaders.
Since the sacredness of human life starts from conception to natural death, everything seems to be controlled by the Divine Positive Law and not by the Civic Law, which is eventually an inferior law. This explains why a number of church leaders exhort their congregations of their obligation to support the safeguard of human life at all of its stages. It is at this point when we begin to observe defective spiritual guidance in America. Although the self-proclaimed pro-choice politicians do stand for abortion, the self-proclaimed pro-life politicians do not necessarily stand for life from conception to natural death.
True Respect for Life in Perspective
Confronted by this fact, church leaders must clarify this point and make it crystal clear to the members of their congregation. We know from experience that many of the self-proclaimed pro-life politicians want to solve most of the world problems through weapons and devastating wars, where millions of innocent people are massacred mercilessly. Most of those killed are usually women, children, the elderly and the sick. This is in essence mass murder of countless innocent human lives.
When these pro-life-pro-war politicians are asked to account for such a tremendous massacre of so many innocent civilians, they do not hesitate to reply saying: We do not keep count of that since we consider such events merely as collateral damage. This is indeed very strange. While viewing the life of the unborn as sacred and should be preserved, then they view the life of the already born as a piece of furniture, worse than that animals for all practical purposes.
Of course, there are politicians who view themselves to be fully pro-life and pro-peace seeking to solve all conflicts to the best they can through healthy dialogues and a strong diplomacy. Hence, the spiritual guidance that church authorities everywhere in the USA must provide should consist simply of the following: Voting for pro-life-pro-peace politicians, YES, but voting for pro-life- pro-war politicians, NEVER. Unless church authorities in the USA make this distinction clearly and share it with their congregations, they continue to do a great disservice to their church adherents.
While those politicians that view themselves as pro-choice advocate the massacre of human lives one at a time, those politicians that view themselves as pro-life-pro-war may be literally viewed as mass murderers, because they render themselves instruments of killing thousands of innocent people at a time with no remorse whatsoever. As long as the US clergymen continue to avoid making a real distinction between pro-life-pro-war politicians and pro-life-pro-peace politicians, their spiritual guidance remains defective and fully misleading.
Charles Mercieca, Ph.D. – President, International Association of Educators for World Peace, Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education, Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament.
-Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University.
-Hon President & Professor, SBS Swiss Business School, Zurich.
-Member, TRANSCEND-A Network for Peace, Development and Environment.
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 3.0 United States License.