Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Although I seldom watch television, I was caught by 60 Minutes interviews with jailed terrorists. One man's only regret was that he had not been able to kill more of the enemy. He said that, if he were released, he would kill again if ordered to do so. In a women's prison, the elected leader said that she was a kind woman, that she regretted that human life had been taken, but she also said that the death of the young boy she lured over the internet and kidnapped was a "good thing for my people".

Those last two words seem to be the key to terrorism - my people. It's gang warfare on a global scale. My people versus your people. If you take an eye, then we take and eye and a leg; so that we're better off than you are. It's one-up-manship in its harshest manifestation.

Each person, family, clan, ethnic group, nation in the world wants to believe that it is better in some way than all the others. The Hebrews believed that, as sons and daughters of Abraham, they were a chosen people. The Christians believe that they inherited that classification of chosen people through their savior Jesus Christ (who was a Jew). Islam teaches that following Mohammed is the only way to be a special people.

Yet, all people are special people; each person has his/her own wonderful contribution to make to this diverse world. Each family can be bonded strongly together and yet live and work with other families who are different.

Terrorists have been bred in hate that says, "Because you are different, you do not deserve to live, and we will kill you." Some right wing activists and some left wing liberals think that the only way through life is the one they believe is correct. Compromise is beyond them.

We must stand up for the sanctity of difference and tolerance for others. But, I believe, we must do something more important. We must love our enemies and pray for them. We must love the terrorists so much that we pray for their well-being. God, the one God of us all, can sort out that business of who is best or has the most or does the most. We don't need to be concerned about that. We need to be concerned that we love one another.

I don't know exactly how we do that, but I'm not sure that war or violence or bombing is the answer. Although I oppose most of President's Bush's initiatives (possibly from my own ignorance in some cases), I do think he has one idea that is superior, and that is to pray. I trust that he will keep praying just as I will keep praying. I trust that he will love our enemies and pray that they will see God's will for them. I also hope that what they see as God's will is the same thing that I see as God's will. I'm afraid that is not the case, and that's what scares me.

So, I pray in the knowledge that God loves all people; I pray that we can someday be God's people - not my people and your people.

1 comment:

Meanderer said...

Wow! "The sanctity of difference and tolerance." Yes!