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In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the holiday we celebrate today, I am reposting my two cents, first published June 13, 2008.

 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Matt: 5:43-44

  What would the world be like if Christianity as a whole really took this seriously? 

     While these words certainly sound nice, and few disagree in Sunday School, it seems to me that very few actually live these words.  Our nation was touched and somewhat perplexed at the compassion of the Amish a couple of years ago after a gunman killed 5 small Amish girls before killing himself.  The entire community forgave him, turned up in droves to his funeral, offered his widow condolences and the Nation generally approved.   I wonder if there was any controversy within the Amish community themselves.  Five years earlier, a cowardly civilian attack performed by hijacking airplanes and flying them into skyscrapers launched a cry of retribution leading to two wars with millions of casualties, the relaxing of civil rights and Geneva convention protocols, and lifting the torture ban regarding prisoners. 

   When other countries asked not to jump into war, to slow down, we derided them.  When Singers spoke out against the idea of war they quickly became Pariahs and were decried as unpatriotic, complete with burning of albums and death threats.  In short, most of America acted the way the natural man does, we returned violence and intolerance for violence and intolerance, loving our neighbor and hating our enemy.  At my own peril, I am going to take a journey down into politics and war, a subject fraught with contentious traps, and explore the possibilities of nonviolence and loving our enemies.

 

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It’s here again and back on schedule.  This week I’ve got emotion, fear and stigmatization on the mind, parables, heaven and hell and success for the soul and whoopee cushions, spleens and lots and lots of protein for the body, to name just a few.  So without further delay I present especially for you, the reader, the creme de la creme of the internet I happened to have stumbled across surfing the internets- Read the rest of this entry »

    ” We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.”

            Doctrine & Covenants 121:39

      Few things in life distort the relationship of communities and society more than power and politics.  The American revolution and the revolution in France introduced democracy to both America and Europe in roughly the same time period.  The French revolution ended up much more violent and tumultuous than the former, described by Charles Dickens as “the best of times” and “the worst of times” simultaneously.  The French revolution was an extremely violent and intolerant uprising.  It led to mass beheading and guillotining of the aristocracy.  It led to the rise of the first of the modern despots in Napoleon, who enthralled the recently empowered majority, was voted into power which he refused to release and unleashed upon the rest of Europe, as the revolution ran off its rails.

The Storming of the Bastille in 1789

 

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