On the one hand denying up to the existence of a large mythological beast is one way to fight ignorance, but there has to be an answer to the desires of humanity for more to life than what we are. Actually, what endures in this land are hate and love. There are longstanding hatreds based in fear and ignorance that have poisoned our reasons for living and pushed adherents into the waiting arms of the true believers.
Think of the KKK, the Nazi Party, the Inquisition and the Jones Town masses who died and killed in an orgy of belief. Think of the legacy left behind that created an Israel, molded Africa and fulfilled our imperial aspirations in the Ghettos of America. Hatred of the Jew, the black man and the communist has destroyed more futures than the love of the sixties. But in lives saved, and salvation is all about not killing, it is the love that endures.
When we blindly follow our policy in Iraq, the opposing stream remembers other conflicts, like Vietnam, like Algeria and like the Slavic genocides that peaceful alternatives slowed and stopped. The price of love is high, much higher than the price of hate. It is slower to act but it endures longer. Solving conflicts with love, in the absence of faith is always the better solution.
WWII was a massive bloodletting, and the solution was forgiveness for three generations, and counting. The Marshall plan was not based on hate; it was based on the simple expedient that happy people, even in defeat, are loving people. These people are unlikely to greet you with the hollow end of a gun.
So let’s talk about the gun, the bomb, and the murder at night and the power to destroy those who stand for a better way. Let’s shine a light on the evil that the gun allows, on all the evil brought home in the brass jacket of a hollow point bullet. It is the evil of oppression, mitigated only by our ability to build better bullets. It is the evil of rape in Darfur, drugs in your home, murder in the jungles and cities. The gun is the apposite of the heart, there is no middle line to follow between these two symbols.
And we make choices; the choice is to follow the heart, and freedom, or the gun and slavery. The gun enslaves the user and liberates the victim because dead, there is no hold left. And yet, with faith, you can be pursued beyond death. At some point there must be peace, and that point lies either here and in loving communion with your friends and peers, or beyond the grave where all things come to a close.