Tuesday, April 17, 2007

You Can't Murder Murder

Yesterday I posted a quote from Dr. King on love and justice. I put that up first thing in the morning, having looked it up for the local Network of Spiritual Progressives group that met the evening before.
The mass shootings at Virginia Tech had not taken place when I posted the quote. In light of that eruption of violence, the broader context of King's Where Do We Go from Here? is crucial. In that speech, King said:
I'm concerned about a better world. I'm concerned about justice; I'm concerned about brotherhood; I'm concerned about truth. And when one is concerned about that, he can never advocate violence. For through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can't murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can't establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can't murder hate through violence. Darkness cannot put out darkness; only light can do that.
The broader context of violence in the age of terror will not be transformed unless and until we take these words to heart.
And we will not open our hearts to these words until we open our minds to the reality of violence in our midst -- the culture of violence, to the myth of redemptive violence, to the icons of violence everywhere in our popular culture, to the violence of American foreign policy, to the money spent and made on weapons both large and small at every level of the culture.
John Nichols posted some compelling words today, with an invitation to watch Bowling for Columbine. If you haven't seen it, it's worth the time -- especially just now. (By the way, anyone locally interested in seeing it, let me know. We own a copy.)

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