36 “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” Matthew 22:36-40, CEB
I know we’ve talked about this before, perhaps even recently, but our culture defines freedom as the lack of any constraints. As long as I’m not actively hurting anyone, then I should be able to do what I want. Many people are wondering right now how Donald Trump (the entity) is possible in today’s world. Here’s the answer: we’ve created a culture where constraints are seen as bad things. Trump is completely, totally unrestrained. He says and does what he wants when he wants. He’s made an entire career out of subjugating, manipulating, and controlling. He has pushed others down to prop himself up. But…he hasn’t used violence (that we know of)…so that means it’s all okay. In fact, many people like how unrestrained he is.
There are several politicians trying to become our president for whom this is also true. Liberal and conservative alike. This is what we’ve created. We don’t want to be restrained. We want what we want and we want it now and we’re willing to take advantage of others to get it as long as we’re not being violent.
But that is a form of violence isn’t it? When we live totally unrestrained lives we’re not really free…are we? We’re shackled instead to a false version of freedom. We’re in bondage to the process of getting whatever it is that we want.
Isn’t that akin to addiction? Haven’t we learned that sometimes too much is too much? Don’t we see that a lack of restraints is actually quite constricting? It prevents us from recognizing the needs of the neighbor while making us God.
These politicians didn’t create themselves. We did…a long, long time ago.