One of the biggest problems for nations (and individuals) is a lack of self-awareness. Most of us simply don’t take the time to ‘remove the beam from our own eye first.’ If nations would have done that post WWI, it may be that Germany would not have been driven into its own blindness. The consequences of that blindness are well-known, of course, but the terrifying truth is that the Germans of the Hitler era were NOT monsters…they looked like us is so many ways. But they were unable or unwilling to look into themselves.
Do we have our own inner Nazis? What are WE missing about our our government; what do we not see in ourselves?
We can learn from the past. History can warn us, as so I wrote a novel about the ease with which the average, decent, Christian German people supported Adolf Hitler. Kindle is offering it for FREE through 9/25/13. Click here to get your FREE copy: http://www.amazon.com/Seduction-Eva-Volk-ebook/dp/B004SOZ9R8/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1379892509&sr=8-1&keywords=the+seduction+of+eva+volk
Evil teaches us things, if only we’ll listen. As a nation being divided into the ‘us’ and the ‘other,’ we need to pay attention. The ‘us’ might be Republican, Democrat, Christian, Jew, or Muslim. The ‘other’ might be Republican, Democrat, Christian, Jew, or Muslim. ‘Us’ or ‘Other’ could be white or black…believer or unbeliever, rich or poor, citizen or immigrant. It’s just so easy to divide.
The engine of division is self-righteousness. Historian Claudia Koonz identified racial self-righteousness as the essence of the Hitler Movement.
But what about us?
Where do we find symptoms of self-righteousness?
How about in ‘Liberal Progressivism,’ or ‘American Exceptionalism?’ What about ‘Religious Fundamentalism,’ ‘Enviromentalism,’ ‘Feminism,’ or even ‘Consumerism?’ The truth is that ‘ism’s create schisms. And schisms lead to chaos which always leads to tyranny. Ask the Germans.
I’m not suggesting that compromise and ‘tolerance’ is always the answer. But as Jesus said, we all need to be willing to ‘remove the beams from our own eyes, first.’ In other words, whatever our position, if we can learn to become HUMBLY invested in what we believe, we may be able to avoid the otherwise inevitable collision of ‘us’ and ‘them,’ and find paths to peace.