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Peace only path to survival

Dear Editor,

A myth for our times.

The Hopi have a myth, if you want to call it that. They believe that this world in which we now live is the Fourth World, that most of the people living in the Third World were destroyed by the Great Spirit because they were so violent, that a few people were allowed to escape. However, they were met by a great spiritual leader who told them that they must now always live at peace with other people. The Hopis have always tried to do this, and they survive.

The Hebrew/Christian tradition has a somewhat similar myth, if you want to call it that. It tells us that at one time in the life of humanity the Lord God decided to destroy people because they were so violent. According to Genesis 6:13, “And God said unto Noah, `The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them from the earth.'” And then the Lord God sent a great flood which destroyed all the people except Noah and his family and a pair of all the animals.

Here in the USA we have a very different myth, it you want to call it that. We, or at least many of our leaders, apparently believe that violence is the one great solution to all our problems; and a big part of our national budget is spent on military things. We have the ultimate weapon, the atom bomb. We have thousands of them, and some of them are big enough to destroy a whole city. And we have many other dangerous weapons, and planes to deliver them anywhere in the world. And we can have our military everywhere in the world that our big corporations think they can make a lot of money. And now our leader wants to go to war with another leader who he thinks may want to get some of these weapons. We killed about a million people in that country not long ago, many of them children (talk about your terrorism), but now he wants to get their ruler. Same ruler, same solution.

Many people in the U.S. don’t support this myth of violence but we don’t know how many since we don’t get to vote on this matter. They believe that violence only leads to more and greater violence, and that the only way to peace is with justice and goodwill. Many people point to our past history in support of this belief. Many other people don’t have any idea which is the better way. They want to be patriotic and support our leader even if they think his ideas are bad. Every dictator appreciates this. These people don’t know what to believe because the big corporations and people with money don’t want things to change and they have the money to get their friends elected to office, and they also control the news media.

It is the belief of this old guy (84) that our nation and even Western culture are now at a crossroad. Either we turn to a system of peace, justice and goodwill for people everywhere or we continue down the path we have been on since day one. But we need to ask ourselves if people go into another cataclysm, using all the terrible weapons now available, can humanity survive? That is the question. The U.S. is supposedly a democracy. We need to let our leaders know that we don’t want violence; we want peace and goodwill. If they can’t do it, we need new leaders.

While we’re at it, we also need to find ways to live peacefully with the rest of God’s creation. It isn’t our world; we just live here. As one religious leader expressed it, we need to show reverence for life. Let’s vote for that. This wonderful world is getting to be one terrible mess, and it’s because of us.

Chuck Worley

Cedaredge


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