lived in a small village where the villagers had
to provide their own law enforcement. And suppose
one of your neighbor's homes was invaded by a gang
of punks who raped and killed several members of the
neighbor's family. And suppose those punks, even though
they have stolen everything left in your neighbor's
house, now announce that they intend to stay there
What do you think
should be the proper course of action to be taken
by you and the rest of your fellow villagers? Here
are some choices:
1. Take the position
that it is not really your concern. After all, it
wasn't your house that was invaded! You really don't
want to get involved! Sure they are punks, but they
haven't bothered you directly, so why should
you do anything about it at all? Go about your normal
business and forget it.
2. Take the position
that since no one likes violence, "PEACE" is the only
real answer. Advocate "PEACE". Hold a "PEACE" vigil.
Get some of the other villagers to join you. Light
a candle. Maybe light a bunch of candles. Pray for
3. Take the position
that everything can be settled through negotiation.
Set up a meeting with the punks. Or better yet, set
up several meetings. Reason with them. Cultivate dialogue.
Negotiate with them. Maybe make some concessions to
4. Surround the
neighbor's house. Threaten to lay siege to the house.
Threaten to starve the punks out. Sure, the neighbors
who survived the invasion of their home, and are still
in the house, might find this a bit dicey, but it
is best to avoid violence. After all, someone could
5. Get your friends
and neighbors together. Work out a plan to storm the
house and free those innocent people still alive in
the house. Storm the house. Throw the punks out. Kick
some butts. Apprehend and prosecute any surviving
punks upon their capture. (Warning: Dangerous. Someone
could get hurt!)
Which choice would
In a small way,
the above scenario is what faces the United States
and other countries, in the Middle East Crisis, as
a result of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The Mid-East
problem is on a larger scale, but the moral, physical,
spiritual, and ethical considerations are, or should
be, basically the same. One of our neighbor's homes
(Kuwait) has been invaded by a gang of punks (Saddam
and his crowd). Innocent residents of Kuwait have
been raped and/or killed. What should we do about
By the time you
read this, one group of Anchorage residents will have
made a choice. On Saturday, January 12th, they scheduled
a "PEACE" rally for the park strip. They told interested
participants to bring "a candle , and a friend" to
the rally .There were announcements made about this
rally in local churches.
I did go to church
and hear the rally announcements. I did not attend
the "PEACE" rally itself.
Don't get me wrong.
I enjoy peace as much as anyone. It is simply that
I believe that "PEACE", while generally good, cannot,
and should not, always be our immediate goal especially
in our present, real world. Right now there are too
many things here on earth that need correcting. We
can strive for peace after we correct those problems
and perhaps, from time to time, we'll achieve it temporarily.
But only death will ensure eternal peace, and even
then, eternal peace is ensured only if we act properly
here on earth.
condemned the "'doctrinaires' whose eyes are so firmly
fixed on the golden vision of universal peace that
they cannot see the grim facts of real life until
they stumble over them to their own hurt, and, what
is much worse, to the possible undoing of their fellows."
No pacifist, Roosevelt maintained that "aggressive
fighting for the right, is the noblest sport
the world affords"! By the term "right", as in "fighting
for the right" , Roosevelt meant the "right" goals
such as Justice, Equality, and Freedom for every man
and woman. Roosevelt believed that until these "right"
goals could be achieved and provided to everyone,
simply preaching "PEACE" as "the highest good" often
serves as a excuse for "cowardice and sloth".
Are we our brother's
keeper? I believe we are. I believe we have a duty
to come to the aid of another, whenever we are needed,
and that the duty to help others applies to countries
as well as individuals. If we saw a woman being raped,
would we be justified in simply ignoring it and going
on our way? Obviously not? But is there any real difference
when it is an entire country being raped? Don't we
have a duty to intervene there also?
There are two
kinds of peace. One is the peace that comes from the
absence of war, and the absence of physical conflict.
The other type of peace is a sort of inner peace,
a peace within oneself that is only achieved through
a realization that we have done all we can reasonably
do to help our fellow man. The peace that comes from
an absence of conflict is an easier peace to obtain
than inner peace, but inner peace is much more rewarding.
Inner peace is REAL peace. And sometimes, when another
is in trouble and needs our help, we can only achieve
real peace, inner peace, by swiftly going to their
rescue, with all the weapons we have, and all the
fight that is in us!