Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Moral Authority

President George W. Bush is a good man, and has been a very good President for America. I wrote that not only because I believe it to be a true statement (and one too often drowned out by the Bush-hate in the media and current political climate), but also because such a statement is likely to provoke a strong emotional reaction. Those who agree with the statement are likely to resent all the unwarranted attacks on the man, and those who disagree with the statement are likely to disagree strongly, given past such occasions where someone dared to support Bush. The reason, I think, for the force of such emotions is that people feel a strong moral conviction in support of or in anger against the man. Bush is one of those rare individuals who acts in accordance with his beliefs, which cannot fail to produce a reaction. Another example would be Mother Teresa or Pope John Paul, whose convictions have done more in the last generation to raise the credibility of the Roman Catholic Church around the globe than all the circulars and reasoned doctrines. Or consider Mahatma Ghandi’s political crusade in India, or the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s civil rights campaigns in America. The significance I see in these people, is that when you look closely, you see that each of them is imperfect, flawed in this point or that, but it does not diminish their integrity one bit, because their core mission carries a level of moral authority which makes the flaws inconsequential. Authority, in this sense, is a force which compels obedience to varying degrees, through the absolute admission of moral sovereignty. To wit, the object of attention complies through akcnowledgement that the person in authority holds indisputable right. Resistance may – often does – occur, but ultimately fails. It is the sovereign right of parents, teachers, mentors, and of just governors.

I will take up this discussion later on, but must stop at this point while I figure out the implications of this fact.

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