Each day I am shocked at the evil in the world with senseless killings and maimings, all in the name of retributions for supposed insults. It is never-ending cycle when the powerful attempt to retain their power, or the weak try to overcome the powerful. The names change, but the hatred remains the same.
The Rev. Sam Adams pointed out in his sermon two Sundays ago that King Herod was a horrible dictator, but it wasn’t until he felt threatened that a “new king had been born” that he committed the gravest of his sins: killing all boy babies around Bethlehem that were under the age of two in an effort to destroy the one true king.
The personal attacks that are posted on Facebook and other social media may be just smaller versions of our need to reign supreme. Cyberbullying has caused deaths and suicides when the victims can’t take it anymore. Good people have their reputations destroyed by religious zealots or political extremists. No one is totally free from being targeted. Recent events in Paris have magnified the horror of how the human race is willing to destroy itself through a reign of terror.
Is there an end, or does the vitriol just continue to escalate fueled by the immediacy and widespread promotion that the internet affords us?
What will make a difference and break this cycle of despair?
Perhaps it is time for the rational moderates to rise up and to take control. What if we made an eleventh commandment, “Thou shalt not criticize a group which is not yours?”
In religion, instead of people killing and hiding behind their religion, “Muslims” should rise up and collectively condemn these thugs who give their religion a bad name, provoking an aura that they are not a loving people. “Christians” should only be allowed to condemn the “bad Christians” who judge others and hate everyone including themselves. I’m a Christian and have often written on my blog and publicly denounced other self-professed Christians who lie and cheat, beat their wives, or are untrustworthy with strings of broken promises. True Christians need to rise up and condemn the extremists Christians who aren’t really following Christ and give Christians a bad name.
After the killings in Paris last week, it was good to see Muslims taking to the internet to denounce the acts, declaring that their religion does not endorse killings and that these are extremists who are not following the tenets of their religion.
What about politicians? Instead of the Republicans hating and spewing condemnation about everything the Democrats do, how about if the moderate Republicans started standing up to the extremists and declaring that they aren’t holding up the good parts of the Republican platform. And vice versa. What if the Democrats consistently condemned their party’s extreme wing for their craziness and vitriol?
Just like King Herod, it is when we feel threatened that our “way” becomes the only “way” and we strike out with violence to defend our supposed superiority. King Herod chose to kill all the boys under two to try to maintain his kingdom. Is that where we are headed, or can we start promoting a peaceful co-existence with those who aren’t like us, by condemning the crazies who are our own?
If you are a Christian, condemn other Christians when they don’t exhibit the love of Christ. If you are a Muslim, condemn those who profess to kill in the name of Mohammed. If you are a Democrat or Republican, call out those in your own party who only think of their political aspirations and not of the people they serve.
What if the next time you take to Facebook or other social media, you’re only allowed to criticize your own?
Set aside “free speech” and “artistic expression”. They are only a crutch for your hatred, King Herod.
Blessings, my friend,