“But speaking the truth in love,
we must grow up in every way
into him who is the head, into Christ.”
This 2003 Quoflection is still pertinent for reflecting on our politics and values:
Can we set aside our national, cultural and intraspecies biases? Let us imagine we are Glipsloks from the planet Urduz (though a bit hairy, we consider ourselves beautiful). Using instantaneous googolplex processing, we quickly decipher all communications on Earth.
Our mission today is to educate our galactic neighbors. Please share your thoughts regarding the following proposed communication.
Residents of Earth,
To gain understanding, we Glipsloks are observing your planet. Your ways are puzzling to us. We notice you have 800 million people on your planet who suffer from malnutrition. You allow 100,000 children to die every week from starvation. You say you value justice. But we perceive much selfishness and apathy.
Our survey indicates more than 30 nations are currently waging war. This infliction of misery is confusing. You say you value human life. Yet you are oblivious to the suffering you impose upon multitudes of your fellow humans.
Your linguistic logic is bewildering. Many of your governments declare they are seeking peace—even while conducting a war. We Glipsloks do not understand. Until we heard such reasoning, we had no concept of duplicity.
You have video and audio capabilities that could inform you of misfortune throughout your world. Yet you focus your vision and care upon those like you. We Glipsloks value compassion for all. We see no benefit in choosing ignorance or prejudice.
We observe the leaders of one wealthy nation using advanced weapons to invade and occupy an ancient civilization. They say their purpose is to eliminate the other government’s advanced weapons. Yet they are unable to locate such weapons—while they maintain vastly superior stockpiles of such weapons of mass destruction. This double standard is perplexing.
Some leaders proclaim their love of liberty while advocating laws which severely restrict the freedoms of their citizens. They use these laws to arrest and detain many innocent people. The irony is these injustices are initiated by those managing the Department of Justice.
These leaders also appeal to patriotism, asserting that those who disagree with them do not love their country. Yet their country was founded on the principle that people are free to disagree. We Glipsloks do not understand such treachery.
We are also mystified by religious prejudice. Some leaders reject theocracy—if established by another country—but approve of a “Christian nation.” These leaders say they are motivated by faith while the basis for their actions is fear. How can this be?
They also speak of the evil of the other nation’s president. We see that he has indeed committed numerous atrocities. But don’t those who initiate war realize they cannot conquer evil with more evil? This produces a cycle of evil. We Glipsloks understand that only goodness overcomes evil.
Many leaders trust weapons whose power is puny. True, these weapons can take control of another nation. However, perpetrating violence for short-term advantage creates more problems than it solves. Your saying is true: “The pen is mightier than the sword.” We Glipsloks understand that genuine power is the result of speaking the truth in love.
We must ask you earthlings: Do you not value Peace? Love? Faith? Do you not regard Wisdom? Compassion? Goodness? Do you not cherish Humanity? Justice? Truth? You claim to honor these values. Yet your actions do not reflect them.
Nevertheless, we Glipsloks have hope for your planet. We see a leader among you who taught and embodied these values. He was willing to die, not kill, so you might find life. His risen spirit will guide you—if you follow him.
* * * * *
My fellow Glipsloks: How would you encourage our neighbors to reflect upon the disparity between their values and their actions?