Saturday, July 9, 2005

The Easy Way Out

From my readings of ultra-conservative and/or fundamentalist blogs and websites, one message comes through clear as day -- Liberals, socialists and the people they are apologists for are the kinds of people who always look for the EASY WAY OUT.

People on welfare are lazy bums who want to be taken care of through no personal effort of their own. People who engage in wanton vices are people with don't desire to put forth the effort to develop proper levels of self-control. People who choose not to follow the chosen religious orthodoxy are people who simply want to do what they want without a bunch of religious teachings to stand in their way. And this list could go on and on and on...

Yet, the precise thing that makes a person an ultra-conservative and/or fundamentalist (of ANY religion or ANY political ideology) is that they themselves are guilty of taking the easy way out. Their chief message is one of hate and hate is the biggest cop-out of all!!

When we perceive that another person or group has denigrated, slandered, insulted, disrespected or injured us in any way, the natural human inclination is to reciprocate, to mete out what we feel was lodged against us.

We see this behavior in young children. Child A hits Child B and, more often than not, Child B immediately hits Child A back and usually a little bit harder. This is a common problem in marriage as well. One spouse says something to upset the other and the argument soon escalates as each individual tries to respond with a nastier and more hurtful rebuke.

We respond in these knee jerk ways because it's EASIER to respond in kind than to take the time to analyze the situation, consider all the variables and then come to a well thought out position. Yes, it's far easier to react emotionally than to react rationally because the former takes no mental effort at all and the latter takes a lot.

Look at one of today's most important issues and you can see this dynamic in play. The Islamic zealots committing acts of terrorism are reacting emotionally to their perception of US-backed oppression. Instead of trying to understand the complexities of the global captalist system and trying to develop nonviolent mechanisms to mitigate its effect on their culture, they take the easy way out by merely hating any westerner or western-sympathizer and trying to do them in through gratuitous violence.

On our side of the pond, American fundamentalists follow the same tact. Instead of trying to understand the motivational forces that would drive a fellow human to turn themselves into a suicidal/murderous weapon, they react emotionally by simply stating we should go kill all or most Muslims.

In both cases, each set of fundamentalist is committing the very same sin. They have chosen to take the easiest way out by HATING what they refuse to contemplate and try to understand. In doing so, they have become carbon copies of each other and their philosophy of hate is negating the very principles they say they stand for.

Love takes effort; hate does not.

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