My first thoughts upon learning of the horrible attack on the Boston Marathon was that I wished I had a magic wand that could be used to eliminate violence in this world. Clearly sane and rational approaches to maintaining a civilized culture are not working, if they even ever existed.
How anybody could find it reasonable to attack a crowd of people enjoying an annual festival in the city of Boston is beyond my ability to understand. Bringing it home, a man believing he has the right to smack a woman because she will not shut up is equally unfathomable. Believing that arming a bunch of teachers to solve the problem of crazies shooting up children in schools makes no sense.
Our culture makes no sense. We spend billions on building increasingly dangerous weapons, yet claim to be a peace-loving people. Peace-loving people don't spend their treasury on drones that can kill, by remote control, both targets and collateral damage. Collateral damage makes no sense. Whose collateral is a child blown apart because they happened to be playing in a street next to a target? Did somebody pledge that child as a down payment on cheap oil for Western nations?
We are kidding ourselves that we promote peace. We are a war-mongering and violent society. We love war and the profits it delivers to the kings of commerce more than we love the innocence of children the world over. Jane Stillwater, a California blogger, in a piece titled "Always Searching for New and Better Ways to Kill People" had this to say about America: "It's not at all hard to believe that our most popular national priority right now is to see how many more new and effective weapons of death we can supply our troops with, supply foreign dictators with, supply our cities' paramilitary police with, supply every rabid gun-nut and gangsta in the country with and/or also supply ourselves?"
We are kidding ourselves when we talk about soldiers as heroes. From the beginning of time, soldiers exist for one purpose, to ensure that the powerful get what they want, whether they deserve it or not. Kings used armies to keep themselves in power and take for themselves the wealth created by the work of labor. Kings of commerce today use armies to keep themselves in power and take for themselves the wealth created by the work of labor.
While I'm on this soap box, let me tell you how offended I am by businesses who place signs outside saying that they alone built their business. I know the hard work of entrepreneurs. The successful ones work long hours, seven days a week. They sacrifice daily to make their business successful. But nobody does it all by themselves. Businesses need roads that are paid for by the community to get supplies and customers. Businesses need the public airwaves to promote their products, they didn't build that - they just use what we as a community built. Businesses need skilled labor to build their wealth. Those skilled workers came from schools that we as a community built.
America is capable of being the magic wand that we need to get rid of violence, but we can't do that so long as we continue investing in weapons of mass destruction to the detriment of schools and research. We can't continue supporting dictators and kings for the sake of some cheap oil. We can't continue sending belligerent old white men to represent us in Washington. We can't continue raping the beautiful planet we live upon and expect it to continue providing the things we need to survive - clean water, air and soil.
We need to stop deluding ourselves that we are a Christian nation. There is nothing Christian about waging war. There is nothing Christian about loving guns more than we love our children. There is nothing Christian about destroying the bounty that we have been gifted. There is nothing Christian about violence, whether it be domestic or foreign.
Claudette Konola can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her website at www.Konola4Colorado.com.