In our society, domestic violence is a crime, duels are outlawed, employers are required to provide a harassment and discrimination free environment, animal abuse is punishable and a person can be held in custody for psychological evaluation, if found destroying trees.
The reason for these laws and practices are because we want to keep our society safe and guarantee the basic human rights for everyone.
It is generally understood that violence is inhuman and uncivilized, and nothing is solved by violent acts. These behaviors just complicate the situation, even more.
For example, domestic violence can cause permanent and life long trauma to kids, create a perpetual chain of hateful reaction to the acts of violence, and can cause injury, disability or even death to any of the involved people. This can break and tear-down families forever and grow a generation of kids, which is more likely to be violent as adults. The serious grudge, hate and other psychological issues, affecting an abused person, that may cause serious problems for abuser, as well as for other related or unrelated people who may come in contact with the abused person. In addition to this, an abusive person is most likely to not keep it to his home and abuses all his contacts, one way or the other.
Same is the case with all other types of violence like, on job harassment and discrimination. These effects are far reaching, serious, long lasting and very hard to heal and treat. Killed, hurt or otherwise affected people have kids, spouses, siblings, parents, relatives, co-workers and friends, who are traumatized forever, and carry grief and grudge for a long time. Some of them may even try for a revenge.
On the very night of His arrest, when violent men made their move on Jesus, He told Peter who was ready to fight: “Put your sword back in its place… for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”(Matthew 26:52)
People are also caught up in the law enforcement and justice system, which is thought to catch and punish the perpetrators. This causes a serious trauma to his relatives, friends, neighbors and co-workers, which becomes a part of their lives.
All direct and indirect, physical, psychological and behavioral forms of violence are not acceptable in our culture, traditions and laws. But, it is totally incomprehensible to me that in the same society that hates violence so much, the worst form of violence, war, is still just not acceptable, but in many cases desirable.
In a world filled with sinful people (Romans 3:10-18), war is inevitable and sometimes is necessary to prevent even greater evil. If Hitler had not been defeated by World War II, how many more millions would have been killed? Wounds caused by Nazis are still fresh in many Jewish minds. Had the American Civil War not occurred, the status of African/Americans might be quite different today.
The above mentioned problems and adverse effects, in addition to the tons of other unwanted effects and consequences, are caused by war, on a much larger and much more serious scale. I mean, scars, wounds, grudges and losses from war last generations over generation, for centuries or even thousands of years.
- The current wars in the Middle East are really only an extension of the conflicts between Sunnis and Shias Muslims that goes back centuries. The difference between Sunnis and Shias is over who the true successor to Muhammad is.
- Hindus still complain about the atrocities done by Buddhist conqueror Ashoka, thousands of years ago.
- Muslims still have grudges about the crusades.
- Budhists still tell stories to their children about killings done by Hindus.
Violent criminals oftentimes believes that the victim is less than a human being. Every killer fabricates his own excuse to kill his victim. It seems to me the same criminal approach exists in wars, on a much larger scale. It’s cause is the us or them approach. In most cases, the perceived enemy is not considered human. In their view they have the rights to eliminate their enemy and the enemy must effectively stop to exist.
We must realize that every person killed, hurt or otherwise affected in these conflicts, is a human being, and most likely has kids, brothers, sisters, mother, father, relatives, neighbors, friends and co-workers. The scarred people can carry pain for the rest of their lives. In case of war, as opposed to individual crime, the number of affected people could be in millions or even in billions. In addition to this, both sides face serious psychological, economic and social consequences. These effects are felt not only on national, but also on individual, family and community levels. The direct or indirect effects of war hurt everyone, at every level, in the form of orphaned kids, physically and psychologically disabled vets.
Whatever the excuse for war is, your religion, ideology, country, nation and ethnicity, why would you do something for which your cause will be hated for years to come? If we’re going to get any closer to eliminating violence and war, we’ve got to stop hating and interrupting the generational cycle of hate. If we are really passionate about our religion, country, nation or ethnic group, it would be better served if we were to do something good.
This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place. – Jeremiah 22:3
Instead of dividing into competing camps, try instead to eradicate hunger; provide clean water; fight pollution; make sure that people have clothes that are appropriate for weather; they have a place to live; they get medical care when they are sick; and their kids get appropriate education so that they grow up into productive adults and do not continue the cycle of hate.
Because hate causes more hate, love is the solution, not violence. Issues can be resolved by constructive behavior, not by the destruction caused by war and terrorism. We can start this process by not creating an artificial divide between human beings.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” – Matthew 5:9