So what does this former Anglican priest have to do with current American politics? Well, he wrote something over a century ago that perfectly describes the divide between Mr. Romney and President Barack Obama. In one of his lectures at a seminary, preparing students for the priesthood, he wrote: “I sought to hear the voice of God and climbed the top-most steeple, but God declared: “Go down again — I dwell among the people.”
His words were meant to inspire and teach young priest’s you don’t save souls or convert new additions to the collection box by simply pontificating at an altar, cloistering yourself in the Rectory or avoiding social contact with the parishioners. It could also be said, he believed a priest should be married in order to fully understand cultural beliefs, social pressures, economic challenges and the difficulty of raising children in a religious environment without sin in the midst of human frailty.
Mitt Romney, in his effort to climb the top-most steeple of politics, power and money is seeking to hear the voice of the people. His problem? He is so far to the right of moderate Republicans, independent voters and Democrats the people can’t hear him. And, when they do, at least 47 percent don’t listen to a word he is saying.
Perched high on the steeple of wealth, Romney wants to make it easier for the rich to get richer at the expense of the poor, who are getting poorer. He’ll never get elected or hear the voice of God while preaching to the choir of poor and middle-class voters. As a devout Mormon cleric, he should be reminded of a comment from Christ found in Mark 19:25: It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
In contrast, President Obama has more empathy for the common folks; he’s a people President. He embraces hard-working families living on the edge of poverty. He has empathy for college students trying to get a loan. The DREAM Act gave children of immigrants who came to America Illegally an opportunity to become citizens in their search of the American dream. His “Obama Care,” opposed by Romney and rich Republicans, protects the health and welfare of the elderly, women, children, families and most Americans.
Do Republicans hear the voice of God? Probably not. Well, maybe a whisper. The voice of God dwells among the people, not on top of the highest steeple of individual wealth, corporate greed and political rhetoric. After election day, Romney will be looking for a larger needle and a smaller camel.
David Farside is a political activist and Sparks resident.