If Only We Were A Christian Nation
This may seem out of the blue, but it’s been on my mind for at least a year or two now. A constant theme in American politics seems to be one of blame, and specifically one in which the bad deeds of someone else – whether a political enemy, a physical enemy, an agitated citizen, or your next door neighbor – justify almost any response. Aggression, as it were, thus becomes justified as merely an act of self-defense.
And so it becomes acceptable for cops to arrest agitated professors, for Presidents to approve “enhanced interrogation techniques,” for people to shout down proponents of a policy, and for those proponents to respond by treating their opponents in precisely the same dismissive way as the opponents treated them four and five years ago when the tables were turned. Sadly, I’ve seen this same thing happen far too often in realms far removed from politics to think that it’s just a problem with our political discourse.
To plagiarize Gandhi, it’s “one eye for another eye ’til everyone is blind.” But it’s all okay, you see, because those guys were bad and evil first so we’re not being bad and evil by returning the favor. They had it coming to them, don’t ya know?
I’m not much of a Christian, but I don’t think I’m going far out on a limb to wish that we made a more conscious effort to follow the admonitions of a certain radical pacifist religious figure who died about 2000 years ago rather than the admonitions of Hammurabi.
Evil acts are not made less evil by the prior evil of someone else. Perhaps they are made justifiable and understandable, but they are still evil acts.