The meek shall inherit the earth, according to the fourth Beatitude of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth” [ Gospel of Matthew 5:5].
And, if they will, what kind of earth will they inherit? Will it be worth inheriting?
Will there be….
As in the rest of Jesus’ teachings, the contrary value system of the powerful, the rapacious, and the vested interests is turned on its head. The prevailing fourth beatitude then and now is different, the beatitude that parades under the cover of freedom from government interference:
“Blessed are the indomitable, for they will have title to the planet.”
This morning’s story “Dayton, safety rules get blasted” [StarTribune, p. 1], is a local illustration of the two sets of beatitudes playing themselves out in American public life.
The Minnesota Legislature is muscling in on the power of state agencies in a broad effort to assume more influence on everything from from water quality to health and safety regulations.
A coalition of Republicans and DFLers from the Iron Range and rural districts say regulators are socking businesses and cities with burdensome, expensive rules in order to keep Minnesota’s water clean of sulfates, phosphorus and other contaminants.
What will be left of the Earth by the indomitable may not be worth inheriting. The StarTribune article goes on to quote a South Saint Paul legislator at a recent hearing, which makes the connection between the need environmental protection and the need for campaign finance reform. “The pollution in the system is money.”
However that may be, one thing is clear. No one owns a planet.
Only the meek deserve the inheritance we’re now wasting — the Earth to which no one owns title.
– Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, Minnesota, March 11, 2015