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Monday, January 21, 2008

Pleasantly Pissed off at Peace.

Not too long ago I read a quote from, I think, President Eisenhower. The quote went something like this, "Justice and peace are opposite sides of the same coin." The quote is short and sweet but conceals so much agony in the middle. Lets explore the two sides of this complex coin Dwight D. was talking about.

As children we complain about so many things not being fair. We somehow grow up thinking that life is supposed to be fair. Why is that? I think a fair and just world only exists in the imagination of children. We may desire things in our life to be fair to a point. But no one complains about unfairness when they get the better part of it. And we have a hard time looking at what it takes to make things just. Another quote I have heard goes like this, " If you like justice and sausage, do not watch either one being made." The fact is most people do not have the stomach, nor hardness of heart to get the justice they think should exist. Justice is the absence of things like mercy and grace. Justice dishes out what we deserve fast and furious. When justice is feared, peace is realized. This is because we do not want justice looking our way and serving up what we have coming. We may not realize internal peace, but certainly social peace, or at least I think so.

So what about the side of the coin Dwight D. calls peace? What is peace anyway? Has anyone out there really found or experienced anything resembling social peace or internal peace? That place where all of our worries are not existent. Have we found this elusive peace in our experiences with love? Life and love is just one big, on-going conflict. Where is this peace the President was talking about? We commit our lives to a person, job, project, faith, or anything else really and from then on it is one big conflict. A long list of conflicting issues is revealed. Some of us resign ourselves to the fact that "that is life" and we march on like good little soldiers. We give up on our childhood idea that somewhere out there is a place called peace. Instead we move into that place called conflict and set up shop. Christ himself even forewarned us that he did not come to bring peace but conflict. So why do we sell this crap to our kids about peace?

Once we realize that this place called peace is not for us to know, then we turn the coin over and are forced to wrestle with justice once again. Who's justice will be served up. Historically it has been the justice of the wealthy majority. And I think we all know how just that really is. Power and strength is the root of justice. Peace is nothing more than a fairy tale. So where does this leave us? Where does it leave the weak and battered? I wonder what is on the two sides of the coin they look at?



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