The Right & Wrong Of Violence

Commitment to the principles of “No Hate No Violence” doesn’t mean that violence is never necessary and justified to defend yourself, your family, your community or your country. It doesn’t exclude defending those who cannot defend themselves against violence, and it is certainly sometimes necessary to protect life, liberty and property, just as it is sometimes the only recourse in countries with authoritarian dictators who use violence against their own people.

We would prefer to see authoritarian governments change their attitude towards violence in general and treat their people’s lives and liberty with respect. We expect the same from organizations in this country and around the world who claim to speak for “the people”. If there’s hate involved in how they operate, they need to be encouraged and educated to change that attitude because the violence that they bring about will be their downfall in the long run.

Violence and hatred beget violence and hatred. That is the stark lesson of history, and every child learns it early in school and on the street. Hatred proceeds unrestrained to violence; and violence breeds more hatred. Every time.

Look at all the people going from hate to violence every day in our country. We want to see the people in the world get rid of hate. Is that naïve to say? We don’t think so. It is a simple statement. Sometimes simple is all that’s needed to say.

Hatred is learned; no baby is born with it. All hatred is all taught and learned, so if you want people not to hate, then they will have to learn again. Learning can be taught to a person or be experienced by a person, but either way it has to occur if hate and violence are ever to diminish. We believe that the learning must include tolerance and understanding of each other because we’re each different from every other person, and we all have different thoughts and different ideas.

Violence is never a solution, unless it’s to defend life or liberty or human rights, individual or collective. Human rights are given to individuals, not just groups. The human rights of the individual –  that was what our forefathers wanted to promote and defend. They believed, as we do, that human rights are God given, they are natural, and they are individual to each person. Every individual has their own individual human rights, and to the extent that people value their own human rights, they can learn to change their attitude toward the human rights of others and this may be how, in the long run, to get rid of hate and violence. It’s not going happen overnight, but if as individuals we can start with ourselves then hopefully we can turn any rhetoric we find ourselves using or thinking closer to expressions of tolerance and understanding.

One of the reasons that this won’t be an easy or quick task is that so many people make so much money promoting hate at the expense of the vulnerable, which includes almost everyone – think about that one. How really vulnerable we all are when someone is spewing hate and preaching violence even when we think their hatred and violence is directed at someone else and not us personally. Whether we see it or not, we are all involved.

So every time we see the media or anyone promoting hate and violence, let’s ask who benefits? Not you or me or anyone or anything we care about, that’s for sure. Promoting hate is an evil way to make money , but we allow it because the haters shelter under “Free Speech”. We think that promoting hatred comes under Justice Brandeis’ definition that “the right to free speech does not extend to yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater”. If we put the promotion of hatred in the same category as yelling “Fire” in a theater much of it would diminish virtually overnight – after a few high profile prosecutions with maximum penalties.

And while we’re at it, let’s demand more of the good news we know is out there. There are so many amazing individuals doing incredible things with their lives – let’s hear about them! It will make us all happier.   There’s no place in this world for hate, there’s no excuse for any voice that promotes hate towards any religion or culture.

Making the world a better place by rejecting hate and violence, and trying to be a happier person who is more loving toward others – that’s truly a religion as far as I’m  concerned.

 

 

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