Posted: 04/13/17 19:58
by Alan Anderson
President Trump recently responded to the chemical attacks in Syria by bombing an airport, reportedly involved in the killings. The missiles used cost more than $100 million dollars and the total cost of the response is probably closer to $125 million. Several civilians were killed in the attack. Their killings were claimed to be justified by the horrific deaths of people, especially children, in the chemical attack.
Mr. Trump believes it is OK to kill others in retaliation for them doing the same to people they oppose. And Mr. Trump was especially moved by the painful deaths of the children. Thus, painful deaths are one of the ultimate causes for retaliation.
Thousands of years ago those who had military power, like the Romans, held similar views. They, and some of their colleagues, sought to kill people who threatened their rule or undermined their power and authority. They were especially bothered by some who spoke out about killing others as a sin and as something that was not the right thing to do. They fought those who spoke about helping people who needed support, such as having food and shelter and a chance to live a normal life. They decried those who spoke about the need for people in power to do good, to create harmony among all, and to help others to work together to achieve a society built on love and respect, rather than hate and anger.
One of the ways the Romans chose to kill their enemies was to hang them on a cross. Drive nails through their hands and feet and let them hang until their death. Certainly a painful and awful way to die, but they, like Mr. Trump, felt it was important to have a sign to others that they would meet a terrible fate if they continued on their current path. They believed horrible actions deserved horrible actions in response. Yes, if you injure my eye, I am justified in doing the same to you.
So, we struggle today with our lives and our future. As we celebrate Easter and the remembrance of Jesus and his message and life, we wonder what our future will be. We hope our leaders will have vision and empathy and love. We hope our leaders will seek peaceful means to end conflict and will refrain from choosing revenge and anger over thoughtful efforts to mobilize all people to use peaceful, powerful means to resolve conflict. Killing others, as was done in the past, is not a solution to bring peace and love to the world. It only breeds an eye for an eye mentality that allows killing your enemy as a valid approach. It makes you blind to human suffering and struggles and emboldens you to act in horrific ways.
So, observe Easter, Passover, or any other religious moment and tradition by advocating for harmony and celebration of life. To do otherwise is to continue the ways of the Romans and all the rulers of the world throughout history, who see the deaths of others as a good rather than the horror and tragedy it truly is.