Allow me to preface these remarks with this: I’m profoundly grateful for the work of our troops and our government in their courageous acts to keep my and mine safe.
I’ve tweeted and have made status-updates on Facebook in regards to what has occurred over the last three days, but felt I needed to put all of it down in one place for my own sanity’s sake.
1) I love this country and what she stands for. Therefore, it disturbs me deeply when what we stand for takes a back seat to our safety. Men and women have died so that we might have the freedoms we cherish – we each need to be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice as well. This means, at times, we need to do what is right (as opposed to what is comfortable). Although I do not grieve his death, I do wish that we could have shown the world, especially those areas where there are blossoming democracies, what due process looks like. Would there have been tremendous backlash, and potential terrorist attacks in attempt to have him freed? Yes. (See ultimate sacrifice, above).
2) These last few days I’ve been appalled at the fist-pumping, “hey, hey… goodbye” actions of others. This wasn’t a Superbowl victory. We are not entitled to a Victory lap. I can understand relief… and satisfaction… and pride in the work of our Armed Forces. Can we really find joy at the death of anyone?
And this is where I blame the Munchkins.
And yes, I’m serious.
When you consider where we as children of this generation have learned how to respond to the passing of an enemy – what comes to mind? “Ding dong, the Witch is Dead…”.
Not the words of Proverbs “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him.”
Not the words of Jesus “‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously .”
Not the words of Martin Luther King – and remember, part of that mis-quote of this past week WAS his.
Instead, we respond like Munchkins who in the middle of it all find themselves questioning “Which old witch? The WICKED witch”, as if we know that this is one in a series of evil that will need to be destroyed and then rejoiced over. It’s a cycle, and we know it… and one that cannot be stopped if we persist in allowing it to continue. “Which Witch was this one?” we ask ourselves?
What we learn as the Munchkins’ story unfolds is that this act doesn’t abolish evil. It can’t. The witch’s sister arrives to avenge her death… much to the terror of Munchkinland.
In the end, of course, all is well and evil is forever abolished in Oz (well… unless you read Baum’s 13 sequels in which Evil becomes incarnate again and again).
There is another way. I propose we teach our children – yet another round of munchkins? a way which responds to the death of any individual as a loss of life, and opportunity. I propose we teach our children to find ways for light to counter darkness with light. I propose we find new ways of meeting hostility with kindness, persecution with forbearance, and error with truth.
In other words, let us teach from the Wisdom of the Christ… and not the Lollipop Guild. May this be a time for thought, and prayer.