My parents pioneered the work of the Salvation Army in Portugal, so I lived in Lisbon exactly in the period that occurred the “carnation revolution”. This is the revolution that in 25 April 1974 restored the country’s democracy after forcing the fall of the Salazarian dictatorship which had dominated the nation for 48 years.
As it usually happens, the months that preceded this event were of great agitation in the schools and universities. At 13 without really knowing exactly what was happening, I saw myself swallowed by the student movement’s wave, overturning the teachers’ cars, burning the schools’ registries, graffitiing the walls and shouting in the marches: “The people united will never be defeated”.
Having lived in 6 different countries, in 3 distinct continents, I confess that my youthful impetus and dreams have now been frustrated with the several ideologies and political systems. The truth is that if those who reach power don’t respect God, they won’t respect His creation and even less the people. The catholic British historian John Emerish Edward Dalkberg Acton putted nicely: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
In all aspects of life, when we accept that absolute power belongs to God, we submit to Him, but if we think that absolute power belongs to us, we convert ourselves in gods. Regardless of the party’s color or political regime, it is submission to God that allows for a direction of peace and prosperity with integrity and transparency.
In those days as young students we didn’t have much money, but we would make collective effort to buy pizza and share it between us. That’s where I learned that if the slice of some were bigger, the slice of others would have to be smaller and that inevitably created dissatisfaction.
When God truly reigns, there is no injustice!
(Wisdom to govern, 2 Chronicles 1:11-12 – Example to lead, Acts 2:44-45)