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Love and Politics – A Reflection

March 4, 2020
Two Bull Elk sparring during Rut in September, 2016

You can learn a lot by simply observing and hanging out with our four legged neighbors in the Rockies. Watching these majestic creatures spar during rut is simply amazing. We have seen them spar as they were here at the YMCA of the Rockies (not your average YMCA!), on church property, on trails and in meadows around town, and so on.

These big boys will lock antlers (did you know that each antler can weigh up to 40 pounds?!) and tussle.

Can you imagine carrying 40 pounds on your head? Exhausting!!

Their movements are slow and methodical. They aren’t trying to kill each other. They simply want to prove their strength and dominance as they gather their harems together.

After a while, the boys stop to catch their breath.

Taking a Break!

Then they may start up again for another round.

Round Two!

Eventually, they tire and retreat. Sometimes they retire near each other as exhaustion overpowers the hormones and desire to spar!

Two Bulls snoozing after going a few rounds next to the church!
Please wake me up when it’s time to eat!

So what does this have to do with Love and Politics? First of all, the Bulls aren’t out to kill each other. They spar and then after rut is over they go back to hanging out together peaceably. I think it may have something to do with the Females saying , “We’ve had enough of your ruckus and you’ve done your business, now just go away!”

Can you imagine if politicians and campaigns did more than yell at each other? Can you imagine if they told people what their platforms and programs are about? Can you imagine if Congress actually reached across the aisles to work together for the well-being of the citizens they were elected to serve?

Wouldn’t that be a move towards love and a unified effort to make all citizens lives better? You know, that whole Matthew 25 thing? Feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, clothe the naked, care for the sick, visit and care for the prisoners.

Some may say that I am idealistic. Some may say that I have lost my mind. Is this too much to ask? To beat swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks and no longer study war.

The more time I spend with Thomas Merton the more I find myself embracing his vision of a better world. The more I listen to his thoughts about injustice and war-mongering, the more he guides me in the paths of peace by the power of the Spirit.

In the book Superabundantly Alive: Thomas Merton’s Dance With the Feminine, co-author JS Porter said the following about Merton: Throughout the 60s… He is a political activist who writes on the key social issues of his time: race, technology, and war… love trumps politics and must be spoken first. (Location 287 on Kindle)

This is my hope and my heartfelt prayer for our nation and for our national and international leaders. From my lips to God’s ear, let us pray.

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