• Boasts on the raid and brutal killing of Osama bin Laden
• Continuing Muslim-Christian clashes in Cairo
• President Obama losing no sleep over the raid and killing of Bin Laden
• “Buy-elections” in Malaysia
• Endless heavy fighting in Libya
• Building of a large rare earth refinery plant in Malaysia
• Sectarian clashes in Egypt over the alleged conversion of an Egyptian Christian woman to Islam
• Gunmen attacks in Afghanistan
• Brutal and explosive murder of a Mongolian model beauty
• Government-controlled media inciting and provoking hatred, religious disharmony and heaping odium on Christians in Malaysia
• Continuous vows around the world to avenge the death of Bin Laden
• Political character assassination via manufacture of pornography in Malaysia
• Bombing and killing of security forces in Thailand
• The rise of a “new McCarthyism” in Malaysia, etc, etc
It is somewhat sickening to be bombarded daily with these. Is there no good news? Such promotion of violence destructs the very continued existence of the human race, our world community. Violence such as these destroys and humiliates the very dignity of every human being. These so-called ideals, promoted by some selfish and corrupted politicians are seen as the most pitiful sham for them to remain or cling on to power.
There are many nations like the United States, Malaysia, Middle East, Thailand, Australia, China, Pakistan, Africa, even Britain, who claim to be fighting for religious truth, justice, freedom, equality and other values of the spirit but what do we actually see?
A Trappist monk, the late Thomas Merton, sometime ago, has this to say about the exploits in Vietnam…
“Vietnam seems to have become an extension of our old western frontier, complete with enemies of another “inferior” race. This is a real “new frontier” that enables us to continue the cowboys-and-indians game which seems to be part and parcel of our national identity. What a pity that so many innocent people have to pay with their lives for our obsessive fantasies”.
It is a fact that this statement is still so relevant for us today. There are still so many countries and governments around the world today who blatantly persecute “inferior” and “innocent” people with their political “game” of violence; whether physical, spiritual or emotional – destroying human dignity, curbing human freedom.
In fact, Gandhi too, learnt a lot from Jesus’ words quoted in the Sermon on the Mount. To Gandhi, political freedom, without the spiritual freedom of the individual person that flows from authentic human unity, held no meaning at all for him.
“When the practice of ahimsa becomes universal, God will reign on earth as He does in heaven” – Mohandas Gandhi (ahimsa is a Sanskrit word for “nonviolence”. Himsa means injury or harm or violence; the privative a- negates that meaning.)
Should the oppressed or persecuted write or speak out against violence of political war - whatever the inner conscience seems to dictate? Or should these people maintain a discreet monastic silence, bury their head in the ground, as if all is ok...and just pray for a better tomorrow?
We have seen that the Christian spirituality is not one that is withdrawn from the world…we have a mission in the world. Transformed Christians, wherever they may be, must commit themselves to the pursuit of justice and the truth.
We have to make ourselves heard. …Christians have a grave responsibility to protest clearly and forcibly against the trends that lead inevitably to crimes which the Church deplores and condemns. Ambiguity, hesitation and compromise are no longer permissible.
…We have still time to do something about it, but the time is rapidly running out. …The great issues that face us are the defense of man, the defense of truth, the defense of justice.” (Thomas Merton)
This mad world of today seems to love promoting violence and only understands love as mainly sentimental love....or love of money...love of power.
As Christian pilgrims, we know that love is much more than that…“love comes from within and goes out to the other, not because of the lovableness in that person’s actions, but because one sees a human dignity, the very image of God, that even violence and evil cannot erase. It is the love Jesus spoke of when he called his followers to love, not only the neighbor, but the enemy and those who persecute them” (William H Shannon)
In this mad age of aggression, do you allow such endless noise and distractions to affect your journey? What will the future be like for our children? What is your response to help heal the world today?
Do not just HOPE for change, VOTE for change! Vote for a better world today! Bring back the good news...
– Mohandas Gandhi