Monday, January 12, 2009

It's Not Just Him...But Really? Still?

One thing in our American culture that deeply disturbs me is how quickly we create an "other", an enemy. We do this as a defense mechanism, a way of instilling safety and security, but in actuality it usually does the opposite. Hate does not bring peace. Violence begets violence. The entire course of human history offers evidence of this simple truth, yet we persist in our "eye for an eye" punitive justice system and hope that it will result in a "better" world. In the words of Derek Webb, trying to teach peace through violence is like teaching "purity by way of fornication". It just doesn't make sense.

Please don't read this paragraph as a slam on President Bush (because every man, woman, & child in America operates under this same broken system), but much of his presidency, including his final speech, has been laced with the "myth of redemptive violence" and a continual practice of creating an "other". It started with the "Axis of Evil" and has concluded with these words of advice to Obama in a speech today: "There's still an enemy out there that would like to inflict damage on Americans". I agree that there is evil in the world, but to categorize an entire people-group and country as evil because of the actions of a radical terrorist organization doesn't seem to be the solution. I guess I'm not sure how bombing "the enemy" will make them any less of an enemy or any less violent and more peaceful.

I wonder what our world would look like if we, for once, attempted to teach peace through peace, non-violence through disarmament. I wonder what our world would look like if we spent the $12 billion a month we spend in Iraq on peaceful endeavors around the globe. I guess its worth a shot in a my mind because we've tried the eye-for-an-eye warrior mentality for thousands of years with no success. It's tough to kill someone when they are feeding your children, giving your village clean drinking water, protecting you from malaria, and insuring your wife doesn't die in childbirth.

No comments:

Post a Comment