By ROBERT FUSELIER
I know many struggle to bring their faith into politics without becoming partisan. I am one of those people. I believe in the Gospel message spelled out so clearly in the Beatitudes but at the same time know that governments are incapable of fully living up to those values.
It saddens me to see those in politics – and those who support them – lower themselves by taking on tactics of division and scapegoating in order to promote their ideology as the only one that can possibly matter.
We are different, thank God, for different times and different events require different approaches. But we are also one, one body of people in a great experiment to determine how humanity can govern itself. We are all members of one vine, all intimately connected, and at the same time we are different branches.
I remember well that Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil, who fought publicly to promote their politics, also talked privately, dined together with their wives, and laughed together in festive public occasions. Thus, I know that our two major parties can work together even though they represent different ideologies. Can our elected officials return to disagreeing to ideas while respecting and enjoying the company of their counterparts?
Unfortunately, our elected leaders will not make the changes required to work together until we, as the citizens they represent, make those changes.
Yet, even at this level, we must understand that the first step is not in changing others. No one can remove the plank from another’s eye until they recognize and remove the splinter from their own. We must see how each of us has been a part of the problem.
“In order to form a more perfect union” as a nation, we must seek to form “more perfect unions” with those around us, whether they’re family or neighbor. We need to listen to others; we need to listen, as someone once said, not for their ideologies, but for their biographies. Our stories are what matter.