I, the enemy.

“An eye for an eye” “the beam in your eye the splinter in theirs.” Cain murdered his brother Abel. Sarah despised her handmaiden and child and Abraham sent Ishmael away. Who killed Jesus, Romans or Jews? Unresolved conflicts and unforgiven, seemingly unforgivable incidents are the stuff of which all the conflicts in human history are forged.

So Czech sculptor David Cerny (foto with ¢â‚¬ËœBaby” over Prague right) is untrusting of Germany as Czechoslovakia enters the European Union, “it’s like someone from New York talking about Texas. Except Texas never attacked New York and killed a couple of million people.” Recent revelations of US abuse of prisoners leave some Iraqis feeling they traded the inhumanities of Saddam for those of American troops. We should not turn our eyes from such travesties, nor should we hold on to our “we’re the good guys the Iraqis the bad guys” oversimplifications. The truth be known: every human is capable of inhumane, inexplicable behavior. Jesus gospel message is clear there are no “good guys” among you, “all have sinned and when unchecked tend towards selfish behavior.”

I love how Solzhenitsyn put it: “If it were only so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

Our tendency to exalt ourselves and demonize our enemies is one reason I oppose the culture war motif so common in conservative Christianity these days. We tend to excuse bad behavior and attitudes when we’re dealing with “the enemy.” We tend to focus on their evil and explain away our own. Jesus said, “love your enemies” and consider the beam in your own eye.

Meanwhile Hollywood continues to find entertainment value in classic wars, paying Brad Pitt twenty million dollars for “Troy.” Educators will be excited to learn Brad found the Iliad worthy of his attention. (after reading it he said, “I was surprised. It wasn’t a task at all. I really enjoyed it. There’s a reason it is what it is.”) One war Disney does not want to engage is the fallout had they promoted Michael Moore’s anti-Bush film. In the Middle East crowds are roaring at a film that makes a religious cleric the brunt of jokes.

What is a talk show host to do after radio? Is KIRO radio personality Dave Ross really considering making a run for Congress?

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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