Struggles for Justice expresses the hope that our nation will throw off this dark, apocalyptic, negative vibe that seems to have consumed us the past couple of months, with all the terrorist acts of violence both here and abroad. Real courage is not shouting “light the motherfucker up” or “Zieg heil” at political rallies. It is not xenophobically to conclude that foreigners and people of color are to blame for our problems. Far too many of “us” are of those very people who are targeted for hate bred from excessive fear. We share with the white population American citizenship, appreciation for democracy, and a desire to join with our brothers and sisters to make the nation safer, more tolerant, economically stronger, and to maintain our liberties and to pursue happiness as we see and want to express it.
Demonization of “the other” is far too easy. It does no credit to those who do it. The 1993 movie Gettysburg, written and directed by Ronald Maxwell, has a character utter these words of wisdom: “Any man who judges by the group is a pee-wit.”
We can’t and ought not to accuse all Republican conservatives of being Donald Trump supporters, Neo-Nazi’s and haters. Conservative yes, but not anything but otherwise American. Liberals are not a threat to the survival of the United States. Obama will not take your guns and arrest you. Black Lives Matter are people employing their First Amendment rights to petition their government for redress of grievances. Evangelical Christians are beginning to show they are not all narrow and hell fire and brimstone Christians, but willing to consider the plight of refugees and those here illegally in regard to our immigration laws.
We do have a problem with a group of conservative white Christians from a shrinking middle class who are most resentful about the current state of the country. NRA News with Dana Bash accuses what she calls the “Godless left” of all sorts of infamy, and all but calling on gun owners to get their guns and fight to stop them. Those who equate Christianity with guns are no Christians, just as Muslims who call for violent Jihad are no Muslims. A white man is capable of bombing a Federal Building and killing more people than all but 911 did. A white man killed seven worshippers in a black Church in Charleston, South Carolina. A white man killed two innocent civilians and a police officer at a women’s health clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. At Liberty University, students are encouraged to take gun safety classes, (so far so good) but of also going concealed carry and as the President of that University told the assembled student body, “ending the Muslims” before they walk in.
Just where is the golden rule and compassion that the Quran enjoins believers to show among ISIL Jihadists? American Muslims overwhelmingly reject this. How can conservative evangelicals who see God and Guns as being linked, and central to their faith be Christians when they do not follow Jesus’ command to “love one another.” Christ did not carry weapons with him and call for his disciples to get swords and knives and go kill Romans in a violent uprising. It was not blessed are the war makers and killers, but blessed are the peacemakers. Jesus of Nazareth said his kingdom was not of this world. So Jewish violent Jihad was not the teaching. And it is not now.
Atheists and agnostics simply are living without a specific religious belief but are no less American citizens in good standing. There is in fact no religious test in the United States Constitution. Religious freedom to follow the faith you choose, and not to interfere with adherents of other faiths to follow theirs has long been accepted in this country.
When people want to arm themselves and fight somebody it is a sign they are deeply afraid, and that fear is mastering them into all sorts of hate and twisted thought. It’s a well known principle of lowering stress levels to let go. To let go of fear, hate, its attendant violence and illogic. People who have less education and travel in their lives are more likely to fear “the other.”
Where empathy, compassion, and love reign fear, hate, violence, are rendered harmless. Let’s loose this hate filled negative vibe and unite with each other to rationally protect the nation and act for each other. Who’s winning when we hate each other and turn on each other with violence?
Be positive, empathic, compassionate, open, but yes sensible vigilance is obviously the order of the day. But be positive–positive vibes take less energy and help us think rationally