Stephen A. Fuqua (SAF) is a Bahá'í, programmer, and conservation and interfaith advocate in the DFW area of Texas.

January 23, 2009

Change of Laws vs. Change of Viewpoint

From a new blog I'm checking out: Raising Consciousness instead of Raising Cain. Addressing a question of what laws should change under the new U.S. adminstration …

If .. we don’t start to think of all humanity as our business, if enough of us don’t start to feel deep down that this is so, if enough of us don’t start to think in terms of what we can do for others rather than what can they do for us, no amount of leadership no matter how charismatic, no amount of money from whatever source, no changes in the law no matter how complex or idealistic will have enough effect.

One thing I've learned in recent years is that the laws and regulations of an administration clearly impact our lives in a very real manner – for instance, a rule that has just been overturned denied money from family planning groups that mentioned the word "abortion." Based on much recent research (for instance), it seems likely that such policies just deny people the opportunity to improve their standards, without actually impacting something like the abortion rate.

This is a matter of a law, but it is also a matter of seeing every single person on this planet as equally deserving of a just and fair life. Which comes first? Periodically the cold light of "reason" will bring us to (more) fair and just rules and regs. But I prefer the combination of reason applied to a "sense of common humanity." After all, the cold light of "reason" all too often says that The Other does not matter. Hence, in my poor understanding, Bahá'u'lláh's claim that unity is a pre-requisite for peace: "The well-being of mankind, its peace and security are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established."