Season of Love?
At this time when we are celebrating holidays dedicated to peace and the love of humankind, and wars rage around the globe, it is a good time to ponder the word Jesus said to his fellow Jews over two thousand years ago.
Jesus said: Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that spitefully use you, and persecute you. He also said even the heathen loves those who loves them. These words are supposed to be kept alive by the Christian who follow his teaching. How are we keeping his teachings alive? Is it by enhanced interview techniques, known as torture by it real name, by drones dropping bombs in populated areas, by black prisons, or by rendition, out sourcing or torture to other countries that are all too willing to do our dirty work? Is this how we keep his words alive?
Isn’t Jesus challenging us to accept a higher calling. It’s the most natural thing in the world to hate somebody who hates and mistreats you. It’s the most natural thing to want harm to come to that person, to take pleasure from his defeats. So Jesus has challenged us to go beyond our basic instincts and follow a higher calling. He wants us to recognize the humanity of our enemy and to respect it, and to behave ethically towards him knowing we will not receive the same treatment in return. Jesus sees that our humanity is dependent on us recognizing everyone else’s humanity, friend or foe. He is challenging us to refrain from mistreating anybody, even those he have, and want to mistreat us. If we don’t recognize that humanity, what effect will it have on all of us? Can brutality as a solution be contained to just our enemies, or will it bleed over into the whole of our relationships. Can we witness it, practice it, and condone it without it becoming a part of us? Violence will not turn on and off like a light switch. It will be there when we are at home, work, or play. The violence we used on our enemies may one day be used on our lovers, children, and friends.
An uneasy peace rest over Gaza tonight. No place is more afflicted by the terror of violence than the holy land. Yes we are asked to do something hard, not just for the sake of our enemy, but for the sake of us all.
War is dead, at least for the great powers and the relatively well off. Once war was hand to hand combat and armies scourged the lands of the enemies. Now we have drones to do our killing for us. One day we shall have land machines, controlled by soldiers in a remote location. They will see the fighting as virtual reality, a video game. The stink of death, the hardships, blood of comrades and enemies will no longer be real. Not for those of us who live in the rich and powerful countries. Fewer people will have to engage in actual combat except for the mostly poor who become the foot soldiers, and the poor in the countries we fight. Fighting and dying will be the province of the poor. That much will remain the same. Those who are lucky enough to have education and influence will have other choices. Politicians will now have what they always wanted, the ability to use force without being held accountable for sending another person's child to die. They will only need to engage the public for support for the initial deployment. They will put a fresh face on the usual symbols they manipulate to get people to approve the use of force. This is nothing more than a Madison Avenue ad champaign. There will be no political price to pay, therefore no restraint. The population at large will be hardly involved or aware at all. We will still laud the soldiers as heroes but war will be nothing more than headline on the news. Even now, the United States is engaged in two wars but there are no food shortages, no rationing, no waiting for a draft letter in the mail. Nobody's glued to the television waiting for the latest news on how the war is going, or if it's still going on. It's hardly a champaign issue. It float in and out of the American consciousness except on holidays or when something goes wrong. It has already faded into the virtual for the public. The conflicts will be more numerous, with the death of war, but of no more interest to the public than last year's ping ping championship. If war is no longer hell, will it become routine? Welcome to the desert of the real.
My mood: a bit Feeling like a loaded gun
Previous PostsA Call for Peace and Compassion, posted November 24th, 2012, 3 comments
War Is Dead, posted October 15th, 2012, 5 comments
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