Go to content Go to navigation Go to search

The Difference Between Responsibility and Authority. True and False Power

Presented by Niánn Emerson Chase

to members and guests of Global Community Communications Church at a World-Wide Sunday Service

What is This Madness?

I recently listened to a radio talk show and was horrified at what I heard. Individuals called in to give their ideas and opinions on how the United States of America could get rid of terrorists. The host implied that the U.S. government was open to ideas from its citizens and would appreciate what those who called in had to say. I heard approximately fifteen different individuals’ ideas.

Several people said to nuke  or bomb entire countries that harbored terrorists. Another suggested biological warfare, eradicating the whole population in these countries.

Others said that any country that harbored U.S. enemies should be made an open country and send all of the criminals who were in U.S. prisons to those designated open countries to live. Another person agreed and said that we should also send all illegal aliens,  along with the criminals, to these countries. A couple of people thought that deporting all of the Muslim Palestinians to one of the specified countries that harbor terrorists and declaring that country the new Palestine  would be a good idea. Another person thought it important to arm the Palestinians when they got to this country and let the resulting internal conflict take its course.

Someone even suggested dropping hundreds of thousands of bats loaded with explosives into Afghanistan (one of the specified countries), giving the bats time to fly into the many caves before the set explosives went off. Another person stated that we should destroy the culture of the Muslims before they destroyed the American culture.  (I ask which American culture one of the many Latin American countries’ way of life since they too are on the American continent and part of the Americas, or Canada, which is also part of the American continent, or the U.S. dominant culture?)

A woman suggested that the U.S. military round up all of the women and children of a designated country that harbors terrorists and put them into refugee camps in a neighboring country. Then transport all of the men into prison camps in that neighboring country where they would each be interrogated to determine who were terrorists or terrorist-friendly, detaining those guilty and eventually releasing those not guilty. Meanwhile, the U.S. military forces would bomb the heck out of the terrorist-harboring country, wiping out any people left there who had not cooperated with the great deportation. Most of those left would probably be terrorists. Though this woman’s plan was not very practical or cost-effective, it did have some semblance of concern for the loss of innocent lives, which the other suggestions of callers did not have.

In the approximately two hours that I heard these U.S. citizens call in, I did not hear one voice of reason or true compassion, including the host of the show. I listened to attitudes and ideas that reflected a terrible nationalistic arrogance, which is considered by most U.S. citizens as patriotic and supportive of freedom and democracy. My stomach turned as I heard one voice after another spit out words of hatred, fear, and total disregard of people who are not of their nation, or religion, or culture. I was hearing the manifestation of the Lucifer Rebellion in its greatest power. I was hearing the cosmic insanity of ignorance, arrogance, and iniquity.

Senator J. William Fulbright, who passed on in 1995, stated in his book The Arrogance of Power, My question is whether America can overcome the fatal arrogance of power.  As a U.S. statesman, he had observed the dangerous arrogance of the U.S. government that influenced its foreign policies, and he was aware of that same disease of nationalistic arrogance infesting many so-called patriotic  citizens. Senator Fulbright was painfully cognizant of the ugly American  syndrome that manifested on foreign soil.

Ely Culbertson, in his book Must We Fight Russia? published in 1946, stated, Power politics is the diplomatic name for the law of the jungle.  Today, sixty years later, the United States government is even more entrenched in power politics, and from my perspective, many U.S. citizens are in the same reactionary mindset of revenge and having controlling power over other countries. It seems, to me, barbaric and animalistic. Many politicians and citizens of this country have resorted to the law of the jungle rather than God’s law of humanity and brother-/sisterhood. Actually, the law of the jungle at times can be kinder than what is happening in the fight against terrorism. 

An older movie that dealt with this theme is Instinct, starring Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding. The story is about a refined, educated, and sensitive man who spent time in the African jungle observing and interacting with a family of gorillas. The conclusion this scientist came to was that the gorillas were much kinder to each other than most humans are. For him, the jungle was the higher civilization; he preferred the saner and gentler culture of the gorillas to the insane and vicious society of humans.

Throughout my life I have periodically wanted to leave the ugliness and disease of the dominant culture and live in the wilderness where the truth, beauty, and goodness of God is often more evident.

A film called Wolf that hit the theaters many years ago documented the culture of a pack of wolves. The documentary broke the incorrect stereotype of wolves as always being dangerous, viscous animals. In fact, as with gorillas wolves actually are very communal and gentle with each other, much more civilized than many humans are.

Those who have studied and documented gorilla and wolf behavior find that these, as well as many other species of animals, display a sense of responsibility to each other and often to their environment. In fact, the animal that is most vicious to its own species is the human. The animal that is most destructive to the natural environment is the human. Paradoxically, the animal that can display the most compassion to its fellow animals and the highest sense of stewardship to its ecosystem is also the human.

The night I listened to that radio talk show, I was tempted to join the howling coyotes who were close by; I would much rather run with them than listen to the humans who were calling in their hideous opinions. The talk show host and his fans have no sense of responsibility for the citizens of these so-called terrorist-harboring countries who are not terrorists. Nor do they care about the undocumented workers in our country who are simply trying to find a better life for themselves and their families.

What I was hearing on the radio were the voices of terrorists, U.S. citizens who are so steeped in the arrogance of the ugly American  that they think the dominant culture of this country has the authority to destroy other cultures and other religions. The ugly American is willing to destroy whole races of people, whole nations, and a whole planet all for U.S. sovereignty.

Some people in some nations of the Muslim religion and culture are willing to murder thousands of innocent people for the sake of religious sovereignty and national sovereignty. All sides with this kind of patriotism  have committed terrible atrocities, often using God as their backer and supporter, which of course is a fallacy. God has nothing to do with this kind of madness.

Let’s Get Back to Sanity

The URANTIA Book discusses various kinds of sovereignty in three separate sections on pages 1486 “1491. I would like to point out some key points in those sections. The brother-/sisterhood of humankind that Jesus so strongly emphasized is founded on the Fatherhood of God. The family of God is derived from the love of God God is love. God the Father divinely loves His children, all of them.  Divine Administration principles are founded on the fact of divine sovereignty God is spirit. God alone is spirit sovereign. 

Divine Administration first is a spiritual relationship between God and the individual. The individual ascending son or daughter, in his or her particular ascension status within a relationship with the Universal Father, will respond in love to others. Families, clans, tribal units, nations, and empires are formed based either on the love of God or on selfishness that results in unhealthy pride and a lust for power over others.

Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation, found in four volumes of The Cosmic Family, refers to two kinds of power godly power is Deo power; ungodly power is dio power. With Deo power comes love and a sense of responsibility for others, and the more expansive a person’s love for God, the broader the love for others. Dio power abuses any authority over others and brings pain and suffering. Deo power with responsibility brings healing and growth personally and socially.

Jesus taught in His lectures at the school of Urmia:

War on Urantia [Earth] will never end so long as nations cling to the illusive notions of unlimited national sovereignty. There are only two levels of relative sovereignty on an inhabited world: the spiritual free will of the individual mortal and the collective sovereignty of humankind as a whole. Between the level of the individual human being and the level of the total of humankind, all groupings and associations are relative, transitory, and of value only in so far as they enhance the welfare, well-being, and progress of the individual and the planetary grand total man [individual persons] and humankind. [emphasis mine] (The URANTIA Book, pp. 1487 “1488)

. . . Someday civil rulers will learn that the Most Highs rule in the kingdoms of humans. This rule of the Most Highs in the kingdoms of mortals is not for the especial benefit of any especially favored group of persons. There is no such thing as a chosen people.  The rule of the Most Highs, the overcontrollers of political evolution, is a rule designed to foster the greatest good to the greatest number of all people and for the greatest length of time. (The URANTIA Book, p. 1488)

The status quo opinions of most U.S. citizens (and other citizens of Western civilization) is that they are the chosen people, the superior culture, the most powerful empire, and thus they can be bullies in getting what they want out of those other peoples and nations who have not aligned with Western-civilization values. Similar attitudes and tactics are applied in Eastern and Mid-Eastern civilizations.

The present administrations in the various governments (Western, Eastern, and Mid-Eastern) are not operating under divine administration principles. Though the name of God and the religions of Christianity and Judaism are used in the propaganda spewing forth, the reality is that they are operating from dio power, just as certain Muslims and Hindus who advocate violence and destruction of persons and cultures who do not agree with them are dio powerful. Neither side is their brothers’ and sisters’ keepers in the context that Jesus taught, for all people on the planet are our brothers and sisters.

As The URANTIA Book teaches, within divine administration principles, the individual and his or her personal relationship with God is primary, which will then result in the sense of being a planetary citizen, feeling responsible for the well-being of all people of all races, religions, cultures, and nations. All of those groupings are transitory. The power of any group is transitory, but the individual and his or her relationship with God is eternal, and so is the love that a personality experiences for all other of God’s children.

Peter Drucker, an Austrian-born U.S. management consultant, stated in his recently published book, Post-capitalist Society, about power practiced within any group, regardless of size from government and multi-national corporation to nuclear family Power must always be balanced by responsibility. Otherwise it is tyranny.  Rudyard Kipling, the beloved Indian-born British writer and poet of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, often quoted the strong words that his cousin and British Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, used when referring to power without responsibility the prerogative of the harlot through the ages. 

I think that what these men, of politics and letters, meant by responsibility was moral obligation, duty, accountability, trustworthiness, untreacherousness, and incorruptibility some synonyms for responsibility found in Roget’s Thesaurus. The classical poet, William Wordsworth, wrote that responsibility was the stern daughter of the voice of God. 

Some American citizens who have left their mark on true progress in this country understood the necessity and beauty of Deo power and the danger of dio power. Martin Luther King, Jr. black civil rights leader, minister, poet, and writer said in his book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?

What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.

Ralph Ellison, black writer, jazz musician, and photographer, stated in his book Invisible Man:

Power doesn’t have to show off. Power is confident, self-assuring, self-starting and self-stopping, self-warming and self-justifying. When you have it, you know it.

The URANTIA Book indicates that pride and a lust for dio power are some of the worst evils there are. Bertrand Russell, a twentieth century British philosopher and mathematician, stated in his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in 1950: Since power over human beings is shown in making them do what they would rather not do, the man who is activated by love of power [emphasis mine] is more apt to inflict pain than to permit pleasure.  In other words, if a person’s love for power is greater than his or her love for human beings, that person is operating within dio power rather than Deo.

British Prime Minister William Pitt the Elder said in a speech to the House of Lords in 1770, Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.  Are certain leaders in the U.S. government attempting to possess unlimited power in going after certain terrorists? Are many U.S. citizens, like the ones I heard on the radio talk show, agreeing to a display of unlimited power by our government on these shores as well as on foreign ones? Are the minds of the masses in this country becoming corrupted in nationalistic pride, arrogance, and ignorance? Are most U. S. citizens (and others who are chasing the American Dream) clinging to living the good life  at the expense of the rest of life human and otherwise?

About twenty-five years ago I had a bumper sticker on my car that displayed the wise and compassionate words of Mahatma Gandhi, Live simply that others may simply live.  If God is an individual’s and a country’s only true sovereign, the spirit of God will limit our use of power, for we will agree with the leading of His love.

Another British prime minister and writer of the nineteenth century, Benjamin Disraeli, stated, I repeat . . . that all power is a trust that we are accountable for its exercise that, from the people, and for the people, all springs, and all must exist. 

In closing, I would like to share a poem written by Hafiz, a great Sufi master and Persian poet of the fourteenth century. (By the way, Iraq and Iran were once known as Persia, one of the most advanced of ancient civilizations on the planet of historical times. Also, the Arabic Muslims in medieval times were considered the greatest scientists and mathematicians. This medieval culture is considered by most historians to have also been far advanced in refined culture in comparison to its European counterparts.) Hafiz’s poetry is a gift to us today, taken from the legacy of the Muslim religion and culture that so many in Western civilization have feared and hated for centuries. By the time this poem was written, five crusades had already been launched against the Muslim peoples, and over the decades thousands of Muslim men, women, and children had been slaughtered by so-called Christians. The poet, Hafiz, was aware of the great conflicts, the holy wars, between the European Christians and his people.

You Were Brave in that Holy War
You have done well
In the contest of madness.
You were brave in that holy war
You have all the honorable wounds
Of one who has tried to find love
Where the Beautiful Bird
Does not drink.
May I speak to you
Like we are close
And locked away together?
Once I found a stray kitten
And I used to soak my fingers
In warm milk;
It came to think I was five mothers
On one hand.
Why not rest your tired body?
Lean back and close your eyes.
Come morning
I will kneel by your side and feed you.
I will so gently
Spread open your mouth
And let you taste something of my
Sacred mind and life.
There is something wrong
With your ideas of
O, surely there is something wrong
With your ideas of
If you think
Our Beloved would not be so

October 28, 2001