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  • Sarah Raad

Democracy

“Moral principles do not depend on a majority vote. Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is wrong. Right is right, even if nobody is right.” (Venerable Fulton Sheen).

Christ as a Man of Sorrows (Carlo Dolci)

When I started high school, my most favourite subject in the whole world was history. I particularly loved studying ancient history and found it fascinating to understand how people lived long ago and the different ways that we could uncover clues about their existence even thousands of years after they had died.


The very first civilisation that we studied when I was in Year 7 was the ancient Chinese, and I found theirs a fascinating culture. Afterwards, we moved on to the ancient Egyptians – and they were even more interesting to me. By the time I entered into my senior years, I was firmly directed towards ancient Greek civilisation – and I loved every minute of my ancient history studies of that time.


One of the most interesting things to understand about ancient Greece, is that it was in 508 B.C. in the ancient Greek city-state of Athens that the concept of democracy as a form of governance originated. This form of government – which has become to basis of western governance in modern times – is defined as a government elected by the people and for the people.


Obviously, there are some key differences in the operation of democracy in ancient Greece and in our modern times. For example, in ancient Athens, a direct democratic system was used, while these days – due to population size and the vast number of citizens allowed to vote, a representative democracy is used. Under a representative democracy citizens elect representatives (politicians) to represent them in government.


And I have been reflecting on this concept of democracy or this idea of popular rule as I have been praying for my children…


You see, sometimes, it can feel as though I – and a very small number of my family and friends – are the only people in all of society who are holding fast to Our Lord and God. Sometimes, I see suggestions from the school, or in the media, or among my children’s friends, that are concerning and reflect a singular disregard of faith and morals.


It is daggy and dorky and downright embarrassing to pray. And it is even more humiliating to even speak about God in public. And I have been thinking about that quite a lot over the last few weeks.

How many times have I felt no shame in all sorts of sin – swearing, gossip, disrespect – and yet I have shuddered in embarrassment at the very idea of speaking of my Beloved.

And I have been reflecting on that terrible tragic weakness with such shame!


For the world in which I live is governed by a democracy and in this democracy the majority of the people have voted… And they have NOT voted for God…


And yet… in 1953, Venerable Fulton Sheen said, “Moral principles do not depend on a majority vote. Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is wrong. Right is right, even if nobody is right.”


And so now, as I step out into the light – into what feels at times like the spot-light – I open my mouth with the intention to use it to speak only of my Lord and my God. For I can speak of Him with my words, and I can speak of Him with my deeds, and I can speak of Him with my thoughts… For if I ask Him to rest in my heart, He will consume me and I will be in Him and He will be in me – and I will finally be safe and unafraid… No matter what the majority decide…


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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