Edmund Burke: more thoughts
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Burke wrote quite some time ago; he was prominent in the late 1790's. But I find some of his writing very informative. On religion and politics:
"Supposing, however, that something like moderation were visible in the political sermon; yet politics and the pulpit are terms that have little agreement. No sound out to be heard in the church but the healing voice of Christian Charity. The cause of civil liberty and civil government gains as little as that of religion by this confusion of duties. Those who quit their proper character, to assume what does not belong to them, are, for the greater part, ignorant of the character of what they leave, and of the character of what they assume. Wholly unacquainted with the world in which they are so fond of meddling, and inexperienced in all its affairs, on which they pronounce with so much confidence, they have nothing of politics but he passions they excite. Surely the church is a place where one day's truce ought to be allowed in the dissensions and animosities of mankind."
from Reflections on the Revolution in France
Intruding into the world of politics plays into the hands of Machiavellian politicians whose only concern is the advancement of their own goals of power. It takes time to discern just what someone wants to do with power; muddying the waters prevents any clear understanding of the final goals, how that power is used and those who muddy the waters also prevent anyone from seeing who, if anyone, is behind those doing the muddying.....
Today in our country, prudence, moderation and thought are now the enemies; passion, anger and vitriol have become the allies of what is called the 'good'.