Make Me Meek: Spiritual Anarchism

Jesus said a lot of strange and difficult things, but surely one of the strangest and most difficult was the beatitude, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth." First of all, as a prophecy, it hasn't panned out. Not a good record for 2000 years. Of course, we can't really blame Jesus for that. Consider it, then, as a moral imperative. It makes a rather odd virtue. It's not cowardice, but neither is it the temperment you see in many Christians. No one could accuse the Catholic Church of meekness with its history of subjugation and torture. And today you don't turn on the TV to find meek evangelists. Again, you can't blame Jesus if the rest of the world, even his most professed advocates, got it all wrong.

Jesus was a radical: His virtue of meekness must be radical too. He was a pacifist in an age of military dictatorship and an anarchist in an age of legalistic fundamentalists. Few men, including Christians, can take on the burden of being the radical meek. He would have his work cut out for him today. The Democrats and Republicans are perfect substitutes for the Pharisees and Sadducees, two more groups of power-mongers whose conflicts only served to screw the common man, two more groups of hypocritical law and order men. I laugh when Christians now argue over the two leading political parties and when politicians invoke Jesus. Jesus never voted! never involved himself in the politics of his day, even when the Zealots tried to make him their mascot. He stood for a higher Law the Pharisees and Sadducees had corrupted for their own ends, just as the Democrats and Republicans have corrupted America's founding ideals for thier own ends. Money, power, fame, and most of all their self-importance.

Lao Tzu taught the same meekness Jesus did. The words are easy to hear but hard to grasp. "Highest good is like water" (Lao Tzu 8). "Soft and weak overcome hard and strong" (36). Like Jesus, Lao Tzu sees the state of infancy as the state of highest virtue and strength. I know I'm not there yet, but I'm trying.