Quickest path to unity and war - Make an Enemy
|Walt Kelly 1971|
The US "protests" are flawed. whether TeaParty or ProUnion.
The collective demonization of "they" "him" coupled with stereotypical derisive attack rhetoric very effectively creates an enemy that does not actually exist.
The issues are not simple and pure ideological positions do not exist. Counterfactual extrapolation of consequences in the future based on interpretations of current events is not an exact science. It is ALL relative.
The "people" are being polarized and manipulated on all sides and they forget that those on the other side are just people as well. Their opponents aren't "issues". They are people, with families, and homes, and children, and bills, and debts, and churches, and beliefs... but THEY ARE PEOPLE. Each has a right to be heard, and respected for the individuals that they are. Not as some sort of amorphous, union, of ideological BS.
People with different views are debating and even fighting passionately over those views. Decisions are being made according to the "rule of law" and the system of government provides for appropriate remedy.
Much of this process, of debating what might be done to prevent such tragedies in the future, is an essential ingredient in our exercise of self-government.
But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized - at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do - it's important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.
Scripture tells us that there is evil in the world, and that terrible things happen for reasons that defy human understanding. In the words of Job, "when I looked for light, then came darkness." Bad things happen, and we must guard against simple explanations in the aftermath. --
President Barack Obama
Fight passionately for what you believe, but tread carefully into the waters of war and vilification based on your assumptions of the others' intentions. Think for yourself, and don't just act blindly, following the pack. History proves an unmistakeable truth... Most likely you are as wrong as your Enemy.
JAMES 4 (The Message)
1 Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. 2 You lust for what you don't have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn't yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it. 3 And why not? Because you know you'd be asking for what you have no right to. You're spoiled children, each wanting your own way. 4You're cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. 5 And do you suppose God doesn't care? The proverb has it that "he's a fiercely jealous lover." 6 And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you'll find. It's common knowledge that "God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble." 7 So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. 8 Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. 9 Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. 10 Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet. 11 Don't bad-mouth each other, friends. It's God's Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You're supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it. 12 God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others? 13 And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, "Today - at the latest, tomorrow - we're off to such and such a city for the year. We're going to start a business and make a lot of money." 14 You don't know the first thing about tomorrow. You're nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. 15Instead, make it a habit to say, "If the Master wills it and we're still alive, we'll do this or that." 16As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. 17 In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don't do it, that, for you, is evil.
JAMES 5 (The Message) excerpt
1 And a final word to you arrogant rich: Take some lessons in lament. You'll need buckets for the tears when the crash comes upon you. 2 Your money is corrupt and your fine clothes stink. 3Your greedy luxuries are a cancer in your gut, destroying your life from within. You thought you were piling up wealth. What you've piled up is judgment. 4 All the workers you've exploited and cheated cry out for judgment. The groans of the workers you used and abused are a roar in the ears of the Master Avenger. 5 You've looted the earth and lived it up. But all you'll have to show for it is a fatter than usual corpse. 6 In fact, what you've done is condemn and murder perfectly good persons, who stand there and take it. 7 Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master's Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. 8 Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time. 9 Friends, don't complain about each other. A far greater complaint could be lodged against you, you know. The Judge is standing just around the corner.10 Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. 11 What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You've heard, of course, of Job's staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That's because God cares, cares right down to the last detail. 12 And since you know that he cares, let your language show it. Don't add words like "I swear to God" to your own words. Don't show your impatience by concocting oaths to hurry up God. Just say yes or no. Just say what is true. That way, your language can't be used against you.