Reverence [meaning a capacity for awe of ideals such as truth and justice, which then leads to a capacity for respecting the limitations of other human beings], has more to do with politics than with religion. We can easily imagine religion without reverence; we see it, for example, wherever religion leads people into aggressive war or violence. But power without reverence — that is a catastrophe for all concerned. Power without reverence is aflame with arrogance, while service without reverence is smoldering toward rebellion. Politics without reverence is blind to the general good and deaf to advice from people who are powerless. And life without reverence? Entirely without reverence? That would be brutish and selfish, and it had best be lived alone.

Paul Woodruff, Reverence