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Sunday, October 25, 2015

SERIOUS CHURNINGS…/…/the-real-power-of-isis.html
This article has my mind churning seriously. Do we need 'struggle and self-sacrifice, at least intermittently'? I'd say we do, although not necessarily violent struggle, etc., Chris Hedges to the contrary. But the poor dupe of Arab imperialism is right about one thing: war can and does give our lives meaning. But there's a legion and a half of laudable causes for which to struggle and sacrifice something of ourselves; killing each other is stupid and wasteful at best. Here's a short list of some: good and loving homes for all the poor unwanted animals in shelters or on the streets. Cleaner air, water and land along with renewal and 'greening' of our infrastructure (worldwide) including switching to renewable energy sources. Aren't these ADULT ways of giving greater meaning to our lives, giving voice to the voiceless? Allow me to point out to my gentle readers that hankering after martial glory and super-power is something done by children of a certain age and mostly boys at that. Men know how hollow those things are and they should also have some creative ideas about better ways to put the need to struggle and sacrifice oneself to better use than killing each other!
While the West still has time, let us look to the spiritual 'underpinnings' of our freedom. While it was, and still is, a prerequisite for a free society to separate religion and state, let's not forget that liberating movement began in lands where the 'default' religious setting was Christian and Protestant (of one variety or another) at that. Today, let's be thankful that our R.C. brethren have learned to live with, yea even appreciate that separation. Let's hope the Muslim world, as a whole, learns it too. But in the meantime, let Europe remember that, when Muslims claim to be offended by this or that European tradition or show of Christian devotion, to STAND FIRM as too many of them are still where they equate willingness to compromise with weakness. Show NOTHING that may be so interpreted. If Muslims don't like it, let them return whence they came!
Most of us find meaning in our relationships--with each other, other creatures and with Creation as well. The medieval mystic Meister Eckhart wrote, "The world is all relationships." And so it is. Has anyone noticed that the current Islamist unrest is fueled by old men who don't seem particularly close to anyone and acted out mostly by young men in their late teens and twenties--that is, those with the fewest and weakest relationships with other beings?
While keeping religion and state separate, we need to LIVE OUT the love we claim to be at the heart of our own traditions with as much resolve and passion (silent but none the less ardent) as we can--and remember, and make clear to others, whence it comes! And make it clear we're not ripe for anyone's takeover because we both know the bad, and appreciate the good, in our own societies with as much passion as anyone--and direct that passion primarily to ends of life, not death. Don't many Muslims agree that the jihad within is the greater struggle? Let's see if we can turn those who aren't doing that yet to where they are. Let our struggle and self-sacrifice be directed toward life (including defense of our own ways when and while necessary) and maybe we can turn most of our possible enemies that way too!