How Will God Vote? Part III

Meister Käßner
4 min readSep 23, 2020
Image by Roland Steinmann on Pixabay

“Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5 (KJV)

The whole idea of applying the Beatitudes to contemporary American politics seems like a fool’s errand. The first two essays addressed “blessed are the poor in spirit” and “blessed are those who mourn.” Now we have reached “blessed are the meek.” Why not just say blessed are the field mice in a world of cats, foxes, and owls? Rejoice for a legion of predators wants to eat you for dinner.

Remember, the deeper message of the Beatitudes is about God flipping the world’s hierarchies and bringing goodness out of weakness or loss. A season of loss and despair may be preparing us for new growth and service in our chaotic world. Can we grieve in the present while becoming more faithful citizens of our nation and the world?

Studying the original Greek words in the Beatitudes only deepens our discomfort with the paradoxical sayings. Lexicons suggest gentle and mild as synonyms for meek. Imagine a corporate press release that boasted, “We proudly announce our new mild sales representative.” No political party would ever proclaim, “our candidate is gentle enough to crush the terrorists and grind the opposition party into the dust.”

When applied to animals the word for meek means gentled, tame, or trained. It describes an animal or person that can be easily led or has submitted to the will of another. The writers of Hollywood blockbusters are not aiming for tame in their heroes and heroines. However, if we understand it as obeying the rule of law, the constitution, or the will of the voters, that might be a welcome relief.

The word for inherit includes the idea of receiving your due or the proper proportion of an inheritance. The word for earth has the connotation of a plot of land assigned to you for your subsistence. Jesus’ moral universe stands in stark contrast to today’s highly competitive world of sports, business, or politics.

Jesus may be referencing the critique of the Prophet Isaiah who condemned the wealthy and powerful of his time. “Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!” (Isaiah 5:8 KJV) The wealthy hoarded the richness of the earth while the poor languished.

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Meister Käßner

I have been reflecting and writing about the stories, people, and places Northwest of Boston for thirty-five years. I also teach history and manage forest land.