The very last injunction, the very last words uttered by Jesus Christ before his promised return was “Love one another.” Allah is above all merciful and compassionate and does not look kindly on those, who themselves, are not. Yaweh may have acted with mighty power to protect and permit the people of Israel to prosper in the Promised Land, but as their holy scriptures demonstrate historically; the human agency of their governments have always strayed from what their prophets demanded of them on behalf of their God.
More startling still is the realization that all three peoples of the Book worship as monotheists one, all powerful, all encompassing, and eternal Supreme Being. That Supreme Being may be revealed to these three peoples in different aspects, at different times, but with a common purpose. That purpose is to acknowledge and act in concert with God’s injunctions (fear of God/submission to God or Allah). Logically, we cannot have three gods who all have these core characteristics. The fact that the God spoken of here is linked by the holy books of all three faiths gives but little escape to those intent on fear, ignorance, hate, violence, sectarianism, and feigned ignorance of that God. None of them can be lifting up their god against the others, since factually the scriptures linking all three faiths have a common origin.
Even those great faiths of the East that include multiple godheads all work toward a common plane of existence that bears a striking resemblance to the holy walk of the great monotheistic faiths.
Humanists without religious faith often place love, compassion, mercy, and cooperation among all of humanity very close to their souls. The best humanistic philosophy recognizes plainly that human beings are mortal, and cannot then be the ultimate arbiters of their place in the cosmos. That cosmic perspective tells us that if nothing else, the cosmic accident of the big bang, time, and space are not our doing at all. How can anybody place themselves ahead of either God or creation confirmed through science, or both?
The love power is a form of soft power with the greatest ability to influence, and most particularly, to undermine hard, military, sectarian, hate-filled, earthly, hegemonic power.
Were the Israelis to place their greatest efforts into looking first as God would upon the Palestinians, and acting as God most wants to do through us, they would have to give Palestinians, as themselves, autonomy, dignity, respect, love, and their full cooperation and kindness, even in the face of evil that is determined to counter such behavior with maddening intensity.
No human being is required to sit idly by while their children or family are killed by evil, however employed. But this too is not either love power or ethical behavior if it is anything that strikes out or strikes back in anger.
Love power makes shooting down passenger planes in Ukraine, killing or imprisoning the ethnic Russians there, or the killing in the name of statehood in the Middle East or just plain power there in any way morally ethical. Wars by definition are immoral acts by depraved groups of humans.
Religious faiths manifestly prohibit in their walk with, or to God, or as an expression of the greatest of human instincts that are of a higher moral purpose, the sort of equally manifest evils of human agency without reflection, humility, repentance, and true faith. The ultimate direction of human behavior cannot be anything but love, compassion, mercy, kindness. These things can NEVER comport with war and hatred.
Killing or harming others must be restricted to the direct intervention of a mother to protect a child in the face of a danger or human agency setting out to destroy or cut short that life. That sort of violence is not retributive; it is not vengeful, but simply actual in the present moment of the danger to our fellow human beings, and family members.
Want to undermine Hamas? Respond to Palestinians in love and peace, and watch Hamas crumble into nothing. The first instinct of humans with free will is to reach for the tools of killing and the means to hate first. What if there was a great paradigm shift to its polar opposite? Evil, however seemingly powerful, has never been able, and never will be able to ultimately stand against both faith-driven and the humanist perspectives employing love, kindness, compassion, and mercy to every single living thing on this Earth.
Want to make Putin and his egotistic leadership of Russia disintegrate? Act otherwise, and make this plain somehow to the Russian people. The very basis for his popularity and influence will be no more. If we react with hate, and traditional military threatening power we only feed the beast
Send the message to this bully that he is not worth the powder, but that if he insists on killing innocents we will in defense, rise to stop him. But more important still, we will not strike back at his people in his homeland to do it.
Love power is the ultimate weapon we can employ to undermine the traditional powers employed by human agency since the beginning of recorded history. The great moral teacher Gandhi has shown us how the weak, the oppressed, the weary, and the hopeless can defeat a great enemy every time. How long could Israel stand against a great love and peace Intifada thrust at them by the Palestinians? How even could the United States stand against such love power?
What would happen if either the Palestinians or Israelis went to a soft power love strategy as their primary means of dealing with their neighbors? Even if some paid the ultimate price to give full witness to this undermining, and peaceful means of defeating evil, it would not be long until the rest of humanity might wake up to something as yet unborn to us. That love power shift, must be our common destiny if this humanity is to survive at all.
Thomas Martin Saturday
For Struggles for Justice
“Speaking for the Voiceless, Protecting the Vulnerable”