The Moral Responsibility to Speak of Peace

The Nation is entering a dangerous period. On the Left, there is growing militancy with perhaps a small armed faction; on the Right, there has been a decades long development of well armed militias which historically had been mostly anti-government, but which today seem to have an unspoken alliance with the White House, apparent connections with various local police forces: and who seem only to wait for the word to trigger all-hell-breaking-loose events.

It is a time for voices of reason, the voices of maturity, to speak-up and speak loudly. There will be real violence on the streets and it could happen sooner rather than later. Those of us who see the injustice of discriminate and indiscriminate violence, who see the futility of the use of violence in an effort to achieve a better world, it is our time, our responsibility to speak forcefully, to be the adults in the room and to state loudly “enough is enough”.

It will take courage to espouse the nonviolent message, it has not been a prevalent theme in U.S. discourse since the late 1960’s through the early 1970’s. War has occupied the Nation throughout much of the intervening period and part of the penance for our transgression against the Vietnam Veteran was that we dared not question American military operations out of fear this would be interpreted as disrespect to the soldier. Of course the opposite is true: the highest level of respect we could have paid the soldier would have been to question, to argue against, desperate U.S. military bids to maintain its global hegemony through wars in which soldiers die and suffer grievous injury. We have let the soldier down.

The result of our failure to stand against war has led us to become a highly militaristic society both externally, and internally. And now, when the Left and the Right are so far apart, the only way that significant factions on both sides of the debate believe they can solve their differences is through violence.

For those who recognize their moment to speak-out against the impending violence, know, you stand on the high moral ground. The moral superiority of the non violent message certainly must find resonance in the hearts of adherents to the violent factions on both the Left and the Right

On the Right there are significant ties to Christian variants, however far these variants have strayed from the Master’s teachings, teachings which, however, they have heard, which were pounded into their hearts, which can be utilized to exercise restraint on their impending violent behavior. These teachings of peace and brotherhood strike hard at the foundation of their movement. That strike needs to be made. On the Left, the links to Christianity are perhaps not as strong as on the Right, but the links quietly and strongly exist. Also, there is a strong humanitarian presence on the Left which argues against violence. It is these high moral spaces within the individual to which we must appeal: spaces built on foundations of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and humanitarian traditions which presumably exist in all of us.

The forces of violence have had the microphone far too long; it is our turn: the peacemakers, to be heard, forcefully and loudly, with the moral authority of the high spiritual place which accompanies our message. Exercise that manhood, exercise that womanhood: speak peace with strength and courage. Speak what we know to be true: that we can avoid the violence, through manly and womanly sacrifice to the greater good of the Nation. To do otherwise represents our subjection to the dark and weak forces which around us. Now is the time to speak for peace.

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