6/15/17

Servile fear

"Nothing should be feared -- not human beings and not any other thing -- perfect love drives out servile fear, which is fear that expects punishment before everything else. Christ had no servile fear."
- Thomas Aquinas
Matthew Fox observes:
"Psychologist Jerry Jampolsky teaches that fear is the opposite of love. John's epistle says that 'fear is driven out by perfect love' (1 John 4:18) and Aquinas offers a similar teaching, urging people to live without fear. And this includes religious people. Living our lives without fear is trying to live a Christlike life. If fear is the opposite of love and Christ taught love, then clearly a life of fear is not a Christlike life.
How much does fear play a role in our lives, individually and collectively? Do our religions preach a servile fear of God? Is that not the opposite of preaching love? Do politicians and the media exploit fear? Is that not the opposite of building community?
Courage, having a heart that recognizes fear but does not allow it to take over one's soul, is one of the signs of a truly spiritual person."
So now, we have in the Oval Office a man placed there in great part by those who would declare this to be a 'Christian' nation ... yet he is a man who revels in the creation of servile fear. He thrives on it; he requires it. Anyone who has ever watched Ol' Heel Spurs crush those pathetic, groveling 'apprentices' has seen this. His cabinet, save a few such as James Mattis, is more of the same. His manner of dealing with our international allies, is more of the same. His manner of dealing with the loyal opposition (and they *are*, being Americans all, the loyal opposition), is more of the same.
His philosophy is not in keeping with John 13:34, which to my untutored and ignorant mind seems to be at least a major part of Christian behavior (at least the attempt, which is the best most of us can hope for) ... but more in keeping with that priceless scene from Conan the Barbarian ... mercilessly driving one's enemies before, and hearing the lamentations of their women. Vengeance. Revenge. Mercilessness. Violence. Greed, above all.
Violence. I wonder where it comes from: