Wednesday, February 22, 2006

And Your Neighbor as Yourself...



People don't like good news. They never have and probably never will. It's something in our genes that draws us to be obsessed with the ugly in life. Barbara Tuchman in the preface to "A Distant Mirror" makes this observation.

"A greater hazard, built into the vary nature of recorded history is overload of the negative: the disproportionate survival of the bad side --of evil, misery, contention, and harm. In history this exactly the same as the local newspaper. The normal does not make the news. History is made by documents that survive and these lean mainly on crisis and calamity, crime and misbehaver, because such things are the subject matter of the documentary process --of lawsuits, treaties, moralists' denundiations, literary satire and papal Bulls."

We see it every day in the press. Television news lives by the maxim "if it bleeds, it leads".

In times of war the press feels a duty to demonize the enemy. It's a responsibility handed down from the political system with whom the press walks hand in hand. The fifth estate and all that. We portrayed the Natzi's as monsters (which, in fact, they were), Hitlers portrayed the Jews as monsters (which, in fact, they were not), the Japanese during the war were characterized as demons. After all it's so much easier to eliminate a non-human. Way back when the English ridiculed the French after battle of the Spurs , so named because of the speed with which the later withdrew from the field, and the reputation to this day is upheld and maybe with good reason. But I digress.

The problem nowadays is that our present war is not with a nationality, as before, but with an army of the people, no uniforms, no particular country. They are only united by religion. So by demonizing the radical crazies the unradical not so crazies are caught in the media blast. It's kind of like suicide bombing by the press which, as we are seeing, also get caught up in the destruction.

We have armies of ideas and usually the negative ideas. I've read most of the worlds religious writings and there are several things certain. One is that although the relationship between God, nature and man is one of life and death, while they are living on this earth God wants his people to be happy. That's what we all want, isn't it? Happiness? "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?" My religion of choice is Christianity and the words, "love", "joy", "happiness", resound through the Biblical passages not only of my religion, but of all religions. Why is it then the messengers dwell on sadness, grief and contention? Like I say people don't like good news. Doesn't David (the King and psalmist) say "Serve the Lord with gladness?"

It's much easier to hate than it is to love. Love takes a giving of ones self. It takes a certain kind of submission. Someone made the comment a church the other night, the Christian army is the only one that kills it's wounded. There is, down the road from us the small Pilot View Church. It's doors are closed and other than a picnic on the grounds one summer day I've never seen it used. The doors are locked, the congregation scattered. Why? Because the pastor and the members were at odds and rather than submit in Christian love, the church was closed.

What of Islam, the message of "Allah, the compassionate, the merciful?" It's the same mentality and the message of Islam is submission. But the extremists take the historical warlike chapters of the Qur'an as their focus. It's like if the Christians took up the sword of the Old Testament and went searching for the prophets of Baal to slay them.

Hate is a drug and like all drugs it's not good. It's an anesthesia for our lives. We wallow in the our misery. We exalt it. We complain and whine about our situation when the remedy is so simple. We miss the point. The law is written on our hearts but the heart attack was fatal, the patient died. And that's the news.

7 Comments:

Blogger Capt B said...

You "Get it" good stuff budd!

6:08 AM  
Blogger The MacBean Gene said...

Wow! A comment from Capt. B. My week is made! Huzzah, huzzah! I love this guy!

7:05 AM  
Blogger D L Ennis said...

Well said Dave!

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Mrs Lifecruiser said...

This is a really good post, love it :-)

It's touching the subject of a draft that I've been working on for the moment. Gonna post it soon...

9:15 AM  
Blogger Bonita said...

Great observations, Dave. It's true, when much is taken out of context and refocused in a negative way, it is missleading. We need of a collective voice of discipline, integration and care.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Binty McShae said...

nicely put macbeane

1:16 AM  
Blogger The MacBean Gene said...

Thank you, D.L., Mrs. Life, Bonita and Binty for your comments. It's a good feeling to come up with a post that people can appreciate.

5:02 AM  

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