By Dr. Dencio Acop
God and Country. These are two hallowed words that capture what matters most in life. In our quest for life’s meaning, we find that intelligibility rooted in faith allows us to live our lives fully. As Bishop Robert Barron says, man finds his true identity and fulfillment when his life is ordered to God, the very essence of being. There are three monotheistic religions in the world and although I elucidate from a Judeo-Christian perspective, I cite the existence of a living deity and His impact on our lives and the world we live in.
Whether it is family, politics, work, or any human endeavor, all thought and behavior emanate from what is in our hearts and minds: our values. My thesis dare say that a moral man lives a most fulfilled life because his life is ordered to the source of truth which is love. To the skeptical and unbelieving, I add that when the Incarnate Son of God was lifted up on the cross, He drew all men to Himself. They were all His in the beginning anyway. And yet redeemed them even after they rebelled against Him. The wisdom and teachings from the God who made us and the Son who redeemed us from sin became the moral code which has guided human life for the better away from the worst. As B.J. Hoft wrote, becoming ‘a bridge across today to God’s tomorrow’.
Man and woman became a family and not long after entire countries were born gathered together by their common values. Whether natural or supernatural, these values assured peoples of organized existence and decent quality of life. The evolution of man was not without divine intervention as seen from the old and new testaments. The Decalogue and sermon on the mount inspired the legal codes we observe today.
Unfortunately, secularism has been eating away at the moral bases of our legal codes. Such digression has resulted in watered-down public policies that up the ante for man but tilted the balance against God’s moral order. It is most unfortunate because the Divine Will has always championed the underdogs of every color, shape, or form across human societies of every kind.
For Country is almost the same entirely as For God because it merely transforms divine love into human love which can be better appreciated by the blemished. For how can love be not appreciated by hate? How can taking not be shamed by giving? How can lying not be revealed for its deceit by truthfulness or honesty? How can pride and ego not be disarmed by humility? How can ill-gotten wealth not be revealed as a scandal by massive poverty? How can decency go unnoticed by the contrast it brings against vulgarity and disrespect? How can patriotic national interest not be the end-goal of governance and public service when it is the very interest for the common good? What is our answer to the negative bureaucratic cultures in our midst as a nation: corruption, patronage, dualism, ambiguity, and mediocrity? Moral code-inspired public policy formulation and implementation is the right answer. Given our times, it is the only answer.
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