The Problem with “Biting” and “Devouring”

“If peace is achieved in the longer run as a result of the ongoing peace deliberations, we will have to forget many bitter things for the national cause and move forward though it would be immensely difficult particularly for the families of terrorists’ victims.” We will get to who said this and when in a minute.

First, in the light of the most recent violence and the all-too-familiar rhetoric of retribution, there is another text we might want to consider. From the letter of St. Paul to the Christians in Galatia: The entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed be each other.

What is particularly interesting about this text is that it was written to Christians – people who professed belief in a common Lord and presumably shared some form of Eucharist with each other. Forget about your enemies for the moment; wake up to the fact that your incessant in-fighting, back-biting and hatred for each other expressed implicitly or explicitly will ultimately result in your mutual destruction.Nov 16 chart

The quote at the top was spoken by Dr Hussain Shaheed Soherwardi, a lecturer at the University of Peshawar’s international relations department.* I think it is easier for “we” to “forget many bitter things” than it is for particular families or for the one who has lost a husband or wife, son or daughter. But we are living what happens when the “biting and devouring” go unabated. Victim and oppressor are both destroyed.

And just so we keep this in the realm of reality, the image above is a graphic reminder of just which religious group it is who is suffering the most from religiously motivated terrorism.

It’s Tuesday. May you devote yourself to peace today, especially with the people closest to you.

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Link to the article from which the quote was taken.

Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.