What’s missing from our political discourse is love

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Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

— 1 Cor 13:4-7

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[dropcap type=”3″]O[/dropcap]K, so you are asking what on earth does love have to do with politics. And that’s probably because those two words — love and politics — don’t seem to belong together nowadays. Or do they?

Well the answer has as much to do with what’s wrong with our political system and our culture as it does with what’s right. OK, let me explain before I start sounding like a politician with vague answers and obfuscating language.

Chris Benguhe is a columnist for The Catholic Sun. Opinions expressed are the writers’ and not necessarily the views of The Catholic Sun or the Diocese of Phoenix.
Chris Benguhe is a columnist for The Catholic Sun. Opinions expressed are the writers’ and not necessarily the views of The Catholic Sun or the Diocese of Phoenix.

We don’t think of politics being a field where love rears its lovely head nowadays because so many of our politicians over the last couple of decades have become dividers using the language of hate, fear, envy or anger to gain support.

But though that may have worked politically in the short term, it has not resulted in the kind of mandate for our leaders that we would like. We live in a politically divided country on many fronts. But it’s our leaders who are to blame for creating that division.

Therein lies the true problem, but also the beautiful opportunity for a blessed solution.

Stay with me here, and try not to dismiss what I say next as pie in the sky thinking because I am about to make a pretty bold request, but if you think about it, it’s also logical, practical and possible.

What if we decided to elect a leader based on the tenets of love as espoused in the Bible? Wasn’t Christ such a leader? And wouldn’t we trust Christ to lead us?

Oh gosh now I am just being crazy, right? But wait, think about it, and take a good hard look at the words that I started this column out with. To synopsize the biblical quote above, and condense it into the preferred qualities one might come up with, consider the possibility of a “patient, kind leader who does not boast, is not proud, does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, or easily angered. But one who is also always protecting, hoping and always perseveres.”

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty solid character.

Now I have never told anyone who to vote for in this column, and I am not going to start now. Heck, I don’t even know who I am going to vote for yet. But as the political horse race kicks into gear over the next nine months, there is one thing that I am going to tell you and something I want you to do.

That is that love is powerful, people will die for love, people will live for it, and people’s lives are changed by it. They will endure far greater challenges for it, and they will enjoy far greater prosperity and jubilation because of it than any material good, any power, or selfish pleasure, and entitlement or privilege. And in the end, it is the one thing that we all want.

But sometimes we can get led astray and away from that desire to love and be loved by those false prophets in the world that try to convince that there is something greater in anger, in greed, in envy of others who may have more than we do, or in the selfish desire to possess money, or to defeat others so to make ourselves better.

But none of that will ever make us as happy not only as individuals but as a culture and a nation. All I ask is that you think about that when you decide who to vote for.

And if I have written this column effectively, hopefully you already are.

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