There are many reasons given today for violence as if to point to the "why"of any particular violent action. Racism, inequality, religious zealots, power struggles and the like come to mind. Yet in my opinion, many are excuses for, but not a reason for, violence.
Excuses are offered to justify actions that would otherwise be considered, at the very least, inappropriate, to being criminal at the worst. Excuses for violence often point to the emotional component of “frustration” which eventually can lead to violence. Perceived slights, negligence, inaction etc. can certainly result in extreme frustration.
Frustration is the emotional result of feeling powerless to impact or change reoccurring situations that deal with unresolved problems or unfulfilled needs. As frustration builds, so does the likelihood of violence. That said, I do not believe that the frustration is at the root. Making decisions to act out while impacted by emotional overload can never be good. Furthermore, emotions are never an acceptable excuse for inappropriate behavior.
What I do believe is at the root is the lack of justice. I say this because the scriptures in Isaiah 59 clearly show that where there is a lack of justice, violence takes over. Violence will continue to reign until there is a clarity of both law and the ability to enforce the law in an equitable and just manner for all concerned.
I know that someone is thinking, “Yea, but who is going to make the laws?”…and furthermore, “Who’s to say whether or not they are just?” Exactly… who is to say?
Historically, it could be argued that the 10 commandments and Jesus command for us to love our neighbors as ourselves form the basis of most law that is an acceptable standard world-wide. There is something universal about the need to recognize law and structure that is authoritative, protective, just and resonates with what rings true.
Timeless truths such as not stealing, not bearing false witness, not cheating on ones spouse, not coveting that which does not belong to you, loving others and honoring ones parents all ring true universally. I would also submit that the imperative of not having any other gods before you also resonates. After all it is God himself that gave these laws. Whether people recognize him as the Law Giver, they certainly recognize both the authoritative truth of His laws and the secure base on which a person can build a life of integrity.
In spite of the fact that these laws are largely universal, we are living in a day and age where it is becoming more acceptable to ignore these principles with impunity. While our fallen nature enjoys stretching the truth from time to time, unchecked, it leads to bold-faced lies that we actually believe are appropriate and justifiable. We do this in spite of the fact that there are those, including ourselves, who actually know the truth. To be clear, each of us will make a decision as to what or whom we see as authorities in our lives and to whom we willingly submit.
Sadly, this worsening behavior of ignoring well established principles has become especially true with those in leadership, government and those running for public office. It is also steadily filtering down to the general public at large and negatively impacting families all over America. It would seem that having no regard for the ideals set forth in the 10 commandments and possessing a purposeful lack of integrity is now a largely acceptable quality… so long as one is receiving a personal benefit. It is the "why" of violence. In my next installment I will be listing at least 5 unfortunate consequences of this kind of behavior and the negative impact it is having on our great nation.
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