At Patheos, philosopher Roger Gottlieb discusses why “spirituality” is a necessary supplement to democracy:
The reason why democracy won’t save Egypt, or the U.S., or anyone else is that democracy is not just about voting, independent courts, political parties, or a legislature. There is something more.
Democracy is also a spiritual task and a spiritual challenge.
Does that sound strange? After all, isn’t democracy about elections and constitutions? Laws and civil rights? And isn’t spirituality an essentially individual matter—our relation to God or Spiritual Truth, to the awesome nature of the universe or the sacredness of the tree in the backyard?
What could democracy and spirituality have to do with each other?
Well, here’s one thing.
Democracy is not just what we do as individuals. It’s something we do together. And one of the most important things we do together is talk and listen about our fears and hopes, our ideas what we think we need and what we believe is hurtful to us all. The current breakdown of U.S. democracy is shown in the way we have lost the ability to discuss such matters in open, rational, humane ways. Debates around any number of issues—abortion, war in Iraq, welfare or health care, gay marriage—sink into name-calling, sloganeering, and about as much willingness to move as a glacier before global warming.
Continue reading “Can Democracy Save Egypt . . . or Us?” here.