Friday, July 14, 2006

Give peace a chance?

So I know I keep posting about perspective and managing one's attitude, but ya know -- there are times that seems absolutely impossible.

Today is one of those times for me.

The first thing I heard on NPR this morning was a report about the ever-worsening conflict in the Middle East. Then a dear friend sent me a link to an article describing the continuing horrors of life on the ground in Afghanistan. I'm bombarded with new from Iraq, a sickening, hate-and-death filled mass of quicksand, a place that sounds more and more like hell-on-earth every day.

I read stories about fundementalists of every religious faith as they roil around in self-righteous furor, hurling invectives at everyone and everything that doesn't fit into their particular world-view.

It reminds me of something my father - a wonderful, thoughtful, loving and intelligent man - once told me: "More people have been killed in the name of God than for any other reason in the history of mankind". The Nazis may have skewed the numbers a little bit, with their precise and efficient means of slaughter, but the statement is still, sadly, true.

Are we still so pathetically frightened, we humans, of difference - so insecure in our own beliefs that we simply cannot tolerate anyone who believes differently?

That thought is heartbreaking.

At least to me, on this particular morning.


Char said...

You make a good point here, and one Pat and I have expressed all too often. "In the name of God" we've had pogroms, inquisitions, holy wars. All because we have different names for the same concept...and entity that created our existance. In this country alone, religious tolerance is sporadic...and religious freedom is a founding principle. Just shows you how contradictory life is, doesn't it?

David said...

It's all about scarcity, or the perception of scarcity. Fear mongering so often takes the form of "they're after our (fill in the blank)". I'm guessing that until we both a) have enough to go around, and b) BELIEVE that there's enough to go around, this fear-of-other will go on.