I’m sure many of you (like me) have been engrossed in the developing story of the tragedy in Norway. It is with disgust that I read a portion of the shooters “manifesto” and was horrified at seeing his thought process. Yet, after having read Mein Kampf, I can see scary similarities between the Norwegian shooter and other totalitarian leaders and regimes. The truly terrifying part is that there are many people who believe that the world should be divided into two groups, them and us. That unyielding rigidity of thought has caused humanity generations of strife, discord, and loss of life. It is still creating issues worldwide.
We live in an age where we can no longer be defined simply by where we were born or what version of God we choose to pray to, if any. It is far past time for us to set aside these notions and begin the realization that as a society, we are better and stronger if there are differences in the people that comprise that society. Yes, there are things that currently exist as thoughts or religious beliefs among other members of my society (America) that I do not understand, but that does not mean that my beliefs are any better or any worse. My view is that as long as another’s beliefs do not harm others, I have no right to object. However, the second that someone’s thoughts or beliefs endanger others, it is my belief that the greater good must be protected and the innocents defended.
We have politicians now arguing about so many ideological issues that it makes me wonder… when did we give our government or any government the right to tell us how we should think? How we should love? How we should raise our children? Again, these issues are currently being fought out in halls across the world, but my sole thought goes back to our founders, who stated something that I am sure many had thought about before, but had never been so brave and daring as to put it into writing:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. (Declaration of Independence)
It is my hope that as we go forward, while paying witness to the horrific tragedy that has engulfed Norway, we remember the victims of other hate-fueled aggressors, and we pause momentarily to remember that just because someone looks different, prays differently, thinks differently, or loves differently it makes them no less or more a person than we are. To quote Mother Teresa, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
My prayers go to the families and friends of all of the victims in Norway.