America’s Soul

Is This Election A War For America’s Soul?

The Soul of America by Bernie Sanders, Published on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 by Common Dreams

At the heart of The American Soul by Jacob Needleman is a call to rediscover the timeless truths hidden within the founding vision of the American nation. Embedded in the ideals of democracy, individual liberty and freedom of conscience is a view of human nature that echoes essential aspects of the wisdom that has guided every great civilization of the world. Free of all religious and philosophical dogma, and liberated from all historical and political clichés, this uniquely American vision has the power to speak again to the modern world’s need for meaning and community.

The American Creed, a spiritual and patriotic primer by Forrest Church — Like all experiments, The Declaration of Independence started with a precept, a “given” – in this case a set of truths so rockribbed and essential that they were deemed to be “self-evident.” Truth cast in language that, in turn, spells out the truth for succeeding generations deserves to be called a creed… The American Creed doesn’t impose parochial faith upon its citizens but protects freedom, including freedom of religion, by invoking a more universal authority. Though employing the language of faith, it transcends religious particulars, uniting all citizens in a single covenant. It treats believer and atheist alike, offering each the same protections, securing freedom of and from religion. Equally important, it protects freedom from itself, tempering excesses of individual license by postulating a higher moral code …No American faithful to the founders’ vision can view social outcomes as independent of moral consequence…conscience is the handmaiden of American freedom. Conscience also touches the heart of what it means to be human…In religion Americans are willing to accept absolutes for themselves…however we have proved unwilling (at least for long) to impose our absolutes on others…It is precisely the vacuum created when we forget the nation’s creed that invites occupation by the new fundamentalists.

The Existential Battle for the Soul of the GOP By Norm Ornstein, National Journal, July 23, 2014 What happens when extremism becomes mainstream?

Václav Havel: Democracy as Spiritual Discipline by Peter Montgomery, Religion Dispatches, December 18, 2011 …the moral responsibilities of citizens and politicians in a democratic society… politics should be a high moral calling… A moral and intellectual state cannot be established through a constitution, or through law, or through directives, but only through complex, long-term, and never-ending work involving education and self-education…it might be called spirit. Or feeling. Or conscience… politicians have a moral obligation to call their followers to be true to their best selves rather than pander to or inflame their followers’ worst instincts… Building an intellectual and spiritual state — a state based on ideas — does not mean building an ideological state. Indeed, an ideological state cannot be intellectual or spiritual. A state based on ideas is precisely the opposite: it is meant to extricate human beings from the straitjacket of ideological interpretations, and to rehabilitate them as subjects of individual conscience, of individual thinking backed up by experience, of individual responsibility, and with a love for their neighbors that is anything but abstract…

Crimes Against the Soul of Amer­ica by Car­o­line Myss, Huff­in­g­ton Post, Sep­tem­ber 5, 2009 - There is such a thing as a crime against the soul of a nation. A person or a political party can deliberately incite actions that diminish the strength, the integrity, and the overall well-being of a nation’s inner core. America’s soul is in a fragile state. It has suffered severe violations over the course of this past decade and to lesser degrees, in previous decades…of all the crimes covertly and overtly committed by the Bush administration against the soul of America, none is as vile as the deliberate efforts they poured into turning American against American. We see that in the near hatred between the Republicans and Democrats, between liberals and conservatives, between free-thinkers and evangelicals that continues to fester. This crime was a strategic one, a well thought out plan to fragment the people of this nation in a type of contemporary replay of the Civil War. And sadly, the Republicans succeeded. Thank you, Karl Rove. The result is that the soul of America is exhausted, wounded, mistrusting, suspicious, fearful — and compromised. This is not a soul that can rebuild a country, not if you know anything about the laws of nature and the fundamentals of healing…
Students on a path toward becoming high functioning human beings must be guided in matters of their soul, namely, how to recognize and respond to a moral crisis; how to formulate a personal ethical code and to withstand challenges to that code within a society that thrives on predator instincts; and how to form and maintain an honor code within a society in which any sense of honor is now held together by legal contracts rather than the integrity of a person’s word…
we now have a public that cannot discern lies from truth…
A conscious effort to “dumb down” the education of this nation qualifies as a crime against the soul of America.…
There comes a time when we have to just stand up to these carnies (slang for carnival barkers) and tell them to stop polluting the soul of America with their constant and endless transmission of psychic free radicals in the form of lies, negative press, ridiculous criticism, overall lack of intelligent ideas and comments, and complete absence of creative thought. We should just blast them with emails and tell them to stop polluting the soul of our nation. Just stop it. We’ve had enough. I know I have. And I deeply believe the soul of our nation can’t take much more of their strategy of deliberate division against the people of their own nation. That is a true crime — and perhaps their greatest crime — against the soul of this great nation.

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