A March A Ride and A Funeral
Last Saturday (January 27) my conservative, biker, blogger friend Robbie and I attended two different events, and in one sense, they were at opposite ends of an ideological spectrum. In an oversimplified nutshell, he thinks we need more killing to achieve peace, whereas I think we should just stop the violence and start working on the peace right now. But the more I've thought about these two events, one a funeral for a young man killed in Iraq, and one a peace march in downtown Austin, the more I've come to question the reality of "opposing" viewpoints. Yes, there are very real and important differences in our points of view. But there are also points of common ground, and I'm wondering if it might be worthwhile to explore those for a change.
I encourage you to read Robbie's post about the funeral of Captain Sean Lyerly, who died when his Blackhawk was shot down in
At the same time that service was going on, I joined several hundred people in the streets of downtown
I can't imagine anyone in
Could we please wake up, people? President Bush keeps telling us we're fighting an ideological war. It seems to me that an ideological civil war has already broken out in this country. And if we call ourselves peace workers, and if we are "fighting" for peace -- whatever the hell that means -- then we've got to start working right here at home. We who believe in the immediate cessation of an immoral war have to start treating our "enemies" at home with compassion, dignity and respect. Christ did not raise up an army and smash the
I believe in my heart that Robbie is a good person in his heart. He writes things on his blog that absolutely make me cringe, and yet there are moments in which he writes things that reveal a good heart and a seeking mind. I have a firm belief that every person operates to the best of his or her ability, and makes decisions and choices to the best of his or her ability, with the level of consciousness currently available to them in each moment. Everybody's looking at the world through a different set of perceptions, beliefs, and cultural conditioning. The world looks different to each of us. But we have to realize that there is not a single human being on the earth that has a handle on Absolute Truth. Absolute Truth is beyond human comprehension. If we think we know it, possess it, that's proof that we don't. So, without giving up our deepest core values, I think it might be wise to relax the rigidity of our positionality, our all-black or all-white thinking, and find a way out of these deep, divisive ideological trenches from which we're gunning each other down like meat puppets on the Maginot line.
We have to make the first move, friends. Join me in asking ourselves at the end of each day, "What have I done to make this world more peaceful today? Who have I touched, and how? Have my actions been in keeping with my expressed principles? How can I do better tomorrow?" There can be no peace out there until I find peace in here. I'm pointing at my heart. And now I'm going to bed.
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