The Why of Violence Part 2
Violence, as I outlined in my previous article, is directly related to the lack of justice and disregard for timeless truths and principles such as the 10 commandments that are universally recognized and respected standards in virtually every culture in the world. Yet, people in general, and those in authority and government, regularly trample these truths under foot with impunity and worse yet, either seek to justify such behavior or blatantly try to deny it. Either way, this kind of behavior has some unfortunate and serious consequences.
Consider the following:
1. It erodes the basis of trust and makes any kind of planning or commitment virtually impossible.
Acting with impunity outside of the largely universally accepted moral norms, such as the 10 commandments, erodes any basis for collaboration or relationship. After all, if one cannot expect others to behave with moral integrity, why would people put themselves out there to relate with someone who cannot be trusted?
If you shopped at a store that advertised one price and charged a different price, would you want to shop there? Would you recommend that others shop there?
Of course you would not! Why? A universally accepted moral imperative regarding truth and trust was violated.
2. It sends the message that although we are a country based on law, we can ignore the laws we do not respect or deem appropriate.
While many examples abound, one that seems most blatant was the fairly recent decision by our President to countermand an immigration law by ordering those tasked with enforcing the law and who have taken an oath to enforce that law to stand down and not enforce it. Regardless of ones political views, when the president of the most powerful nation of the world acts with impunity to defy the constitution which he has sworn to uphold, what basis then does the electorate possess to vote or elect people to pass laws when the President feels no obligation to abide by the law of the land? Why should anyone feel obligated to obey laws which do not meet their approval? This behavior can only result in the encouragement of anarchy.
3. It sets an example for others who will expect the same privilege to be extended to them.
I’ve heard the expression “everybody lies” more and more lately… as if to drive home the point that because “everybody is doing it” it must be OK. To which those words of my parents immediately come to mind, “So if your friend jumped off the Empire State building, would that mean that it would be OK for you to do the same?” We all remember that universal parental response.
Not acting with integrity, lying, deceiving others, etc. is the moral equivalent of jumping off the Empire State building retort. Instead of using this negative behavior as some kind of badge to give ourselves the right to do the same, it is high time that this kind of behavior is condemned in both word and deed… especially by those in leadership. When government passes laws without reading them and then chides borrowers for not reading the contracts that they signed, there is a huge disconnect.
4. It destabilizes the rule of law which blurs and eventually erodes the acceptable boundaries that have been legally put in place to benefit the purposes of a greater whole and eliminate chaos.
Boundaries are good. The entire universe exists because of boundaries. Earth exists because of very specific boundaries. Just the slightest increase of ocean water temperature or change in gravity would have cataclysmic results for our dear planet. Even our bodies operate within specific boundaries. Societies operate with specific boundaries. It is the way things were designed to be.
The rule of law is not optional in our universe and it is not optional in our society. Universally, people expect that doing what is right will be rewarded and doing what is wrong will be punished. Establishing the rule of law protects the purposes of a greater whole by encouraging right behavior and punishing wrong behavior. Destabilizing the rule of law abdicates control to that of a mob. Eventually, the mob will get organized which in and of itself, creates boundaries. No matter what, anarchy eventually organizes itself. Revolutions eventually organize. Out of chaos eventually comes organization. The purposes of a greater whole are only achieved by establishing boundaries, order and the rule of law.
5. Once the rule of law is destabilized and the purposes of a greater whole are not valued, self-interest and a sense of self-preservation takes over.
The breaking of laws can largely be reduced to that of self-interest or self-preservation. As such, an environment in which the rule of law is devalued, so are the purposes of a greater whole. In its place, self-interest and self-preservation increase and feed selfish and self-centered appetites. With each person more concerned about protecting self, violence ultimately becomes a necessary concern in doing so. One need only look to the recent programs on TV which depict people preparing to protect themselves in well equipped shelters because they fear the violence they perceive will come their way and threaten both themselves and their families. Either the purposes of a greater whole or self will prevail. It is ours to choose.
6. In the absence of laws being respected or enforced, justice will continue to cease to exist. Vigilante violence and rampant corruption will become the new norm.
No matter how we slice it, the bible is correct. In the absence of justice, violence takes over. People become more and more agitated. Frustration sets in and begins to grow. When this happens… violence is the logical next step.
It is only as respect for others, respect for the rule of law, alignment with time tested universal moral principles and attention to one’s own moral compass that we, as a nation will return to a place of safety, trust and growth.
I suggest returning to the time tested Judeo-Christian principles found in the Bible which focus not on self, but a greater Kingdom purpose.