I’ve just finished viewing a clip from This Week with George Stephanopoulos in which Newt Gingrich blames liberals for the Virginia Tech massacre. Follow this link to the clip at Crooks and Liars. To be sure some of the points that Newt makes are valid about the loss of value in our culture, but he takes no umbrage with our love affair with militarism and now nearly seventy years of the creation of a warrior class of American citizens. I think there is enough blame to go around without endorsing an us vs. them mentality. The answer is more gun toting law abiding citizens as Mr. Gingich suggested later in the program. We are a warlike society and we condone violence on many levels. We have rampant militarism. We have sports in which violence is celebrated. Spend a little time viewing hockey and football in which certain levels of violence are condoned. We have structural violence in schools and government. We have lax gun ownership laws. We have increasing levels of poverty. Mahatma Gandhi said that “poverty is the worst form of violence.” All of these issues contribute to a general level of violence. Add to that our society condones another type of violence that we call justice. I really don’t think one can categorically demonize liberals or conservatives. There is enough blame to go around. We need a national introspection into how we look at each other and how we treat each other. We don’t need any more demonizing. We need to learn to love each other. We need to celebrate peacemakers. We need to celebrate those who would show us how to love each other.
“But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”–Matthew 5:44