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Monday, 16 November 2015

Hashtag. All lives matter.

This past weekend has seen tumultuous, tragic events taking place.

Hundreds have died because of needless, senseless, hate filled violence. In Beirut, Nigeria and Paris to name just a few.

But all the focus has been on just one place, Paris.

And I have to ask why?

Why is all the focus, the outpouring of rage, the cries of injustice, the demand for a solution focussed on this one place.

Image result for beirut bombingYou might have seen this photo, which was circulated by Angelina Jolie. This is a bomb blast that erupted in Beirut. (I'm not sure when this photo was taken, I can't guarantee it is current to these events) There was however a series of bomb blasts, suicide bombers, the action of ISIS in a Hezbollah stronghold. Many have died and hundreds were injured.

I didn't see the flag of Lebanon appear on Facebook profiles. So obviously we care less about this right?

Because that's just one terror organization attacking another. Here is an article posted in Time Magazine , because the people of Beirut are asking this same question.

There is also the report of some slayings in Nigeria. Well the problems in the African continent are many fold. The Sudan, The Congo, Somalia, Libya, Algeria, the list of trouble spots there is almost as long as the list of nations.

What about the war in Yemen, ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Israel. Well, maybe Israel is a different story, because it is Israel that is tarnished with the fault, it's currently fashionable to blame Israel for everything, so there's no need to feel sad about that right? Oh yes, there's another one you probably haven't heard of, West Papua. Where the people are being brutally oppressed by a neighbouring country.

So why does Paris get all the attention? Is it because it's a place we would all like to visit? It's the city of lights, the city of love, the site of Jim Morrison's grave. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, The Louvre, The Moulin Rogue. A cultural centre of art, history and romance.

I'm not trying to belittle this tragedy, and I am not sympathetic to Islamic extremism. I simply want to know why we responded the way we did.

Maybe we're tired of all those other, unfashionable places and their little troubles. Those places aren't romantic. They're not centres of art, history and culture. Well actually they are. Maybe it's just that none of them have the "Mona Lisa".

Most disturbing of all. Is what I see in social media. Post after post of retaliation, hate, anger. Sadly, so much of it from Christian friends. Some of whom incidentally, seem to have spent their Sunday watching two girls beat each other up for entertainment.

Even more disturbing. And this is the thing that has my real attention. Is this article about French Mayor Robert Chardon. He is calling for legislation to ban Islam from France. A sentence attributed to Mr Chardon is, "it's the only solution for most of France's problems".
It was only a generation ago that someone in Europe spoke about problems and solutions. That was in the 1930's. The problem, was the Jews. Except they weren't going around bombing people.
Is Europe on the verge of wholesale, systematic, state sponsored ethnic cleansing. AGAIN?

We remember the holocaust, that others try to deny. We say never again, not on our watch. But the language is starting to emerge, again.

To answer my first question. If there was not a current flood of "refugees" in Europe. Then the attacks in Paris might not be seen as part of a larger threat. The troubles in Beirut and Africa, are not really a threat to us, are they?

Do all lives really matter? Or just the ones from western democracies?

As a Christian, I have to say, yes they all matter. Because as a Christian, I want above all else, to be transformed.
I want the mind of Christ. I want to exhibit the nature and character of God. I want my DNA to be reprogrammed, overwritten with superior coding. I want to be like Him.

So what does God say? What does "the Christ within me, the hope of all glory" say, how does he respond?

Here's a few verses you can look up. Ezekiel 18:23 and 32, 33:11. I'll tell you what they say.
God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked.

We care more about the deaths in Paris than elsewhere. Our grief is selective. No one was deserving of a horrible, fearful death. Yet who are we to say that the death of an innocent child in Beirut, is less tragic than a fan at a Death Metal concert in Paris? Did someone deserve it more?

Here's another verse. It's pretty much one of a kind.
Psalm 11:5 "The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked, those that love violence, he hates with a passion."

God does not take any pleasure in the loss of a soul. And he abhors the act of violence, as much as he hates the act of retribution. Because in the end, everybody loses.

We cannot be selective in the outpouring of our grief. Nor can we advocate the act of retribution.
I saw a response to one of the many posts this weekend. One that said Pray for Paris, Pray for Peace.
The view taken, was that this was an ineffectual approach. Obviously they thought a good old bombing campaign was the answer.
Well maybe it is. If the god you pray to is impotent.

You've probably heard the phrase, "war is a necessary evil". I have always held to the view that war is not always necessary, but it is, always evil.

I've changed my view again.

War is made necessary, by the evil within us.

1 comment:

  1. It's very simple. Fear or love. Fear is what runs the world and love is struggling to shine through. When man learns to love without fear we will all be living in the purpose of God.