Submitted by Bob Warfield.
Speaking of great parks (enhanced wetland), how’s this for one? Notable then and now for the “Great Charter of Freedoms,” first draft by Cardinal Stephen Langton in 1215. As a history buff, any great library would invite you to learn more; BE MORE, with meaningful good will, requiring no charter whatever.
Did you get it right?
Runnymede, past the Windsor heath of yore, in jolly England. Not so jolly then.
Religion has always been about politics, most notably in the prelude to our modern era of said practice, manifest in the First Baron’s War, 1215-17, resulting in “Magna Carta.” “Separation of church and state” is a late and sensible attempt to leave God out of it. But, while still sensible, looking around one can see this seems hard to do.
Socialism and fascism arise at opposite ends of a political spectrum, fundamentally unrelated to a liberal-conservative continuum. To extreme, they become nearly indistinguishable. But socialist policy and benefit, in rational moderation with capitalism and stable institutions of justice, allows democracy to operate, human enterprise to flourish, and the general prosperity critical to supporting middle class wealth. Fascism, on the other hand, unrelentingly sorts power toward a one-party domination of enterprise and defining class exclusion, inherently funneling suffrage into a diktat of justice, access and rule managing (containing) middle class aspiration.
One can see the above political phenomena at work in American political theater (and globally). And one can easily, given serious interest (and objective neutrality; OK try that!), observe corrosive aspects, and the general accession or adaptations at play between our governing parties. The result, with polarizing media, has been polarizing politics, reducing discussion necessary to coherent governance to shouting, slogans, restrictions, investigations, and machination to out-clever the other guy. The problem here, and it’s a serious one, is that bias gels and we truly cannot see the trees for the forest. The problem with the problem is that it becomes circular – not unlike religion or party, faith-bound to self-affirmation, oblivious to or in denial of surrounding information and the reality of progress. We enshrine what we cannot confirm; a bad practice.
Thinking would help. But that takes time, effort and intention – and capacity to revise. Still, thinking is the one thing we can do individually or in common to recognize that sharing the space of humanity remains essential to fairness and community. That’s an idea with firm roots in both camps. Its realization is our strength.