"Why are conservatives able to see so very clearly that Hizballah is evil and that Israel has every right to eliminate it from the face of the earth?"
"Religious wisdom suggests that the more overwhelming the military might, the more dangerous its capacity for self- and public deception. If evil in this world is deeply human and very real, and religious people believe it is, it just doesn't make spiritual sense to suggest that the evil all lies "out there with our adversaries and enemies, and none of it is "in here" with us--embedded in our own attitudes, behaviors, and policies. Powerful nations dangerously claim to "rid the world of evil" but often do enormous harm in their self-appointed vocation."
I share Bob's distaste for Hizballah. I, like Bob, would love to see it, al Qaeda, and other organizations like them vanish forever from the face of the Earth. But just how do we make that happen? By going to war with them and killing every one of their members? Terrorist organizations are not countries that one can defeat the way one defeats a nation and keep it in check. Israel can kill every terrorist and destroy every missile launcher it sees, and I believe that more will take their place as long as requisite cultural and social conditions prevail.
I confess that I don't know how to change those conditions. But I suspect that one element of the way is for those beset by terrorism to change themselves by acknowledging their own shortcomings and the capacity for evil that resides within their own hearts before they're corrupted by their own military power in their use of violence to stop violence being committed against them. One does not stop terrorists who hate and want to kill every one of your kind by hating and wanting to kill every one of them.
Bob calls my way of thinking pathologically "magical," "narcissistic," and "New Age." But I suspect that every great spiritual sage would disagree. And so does the sage deep within my heart.
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