On Monday May 22nd a suicide bomber set off a bomb outside of the Ariana Grande concert killing 22 people, including children, and injuring 59 others. Officials say the evidence of the scene indicates a suicide attack.
On the same night, the US experienced numourous perspectives analyzing the situation and attempting to find a solution. As these networks do, MSNBC gave as objective of an account of the situation as they could, CNN gave as social media friendly of an account of the situation as they could, and Fox News gave as hate bate of an account of the situation as they could. Although Fox News is famous for their fueling of prejudice, this case seemed reasonable. However, the question becomes where is the prejudice directed.
There are those who will suggest we bomb their regions and hope we get the people who did this or where the ideology derives, but this is unrealistic. People have to be reminded, the world is still trying to heal the wounds of countless families who have had bombs accidentally dropped on their loved ones because they lived in those regions. Places in the world still mourn the unjust loss of their loved ones, which is how we get terrorists today.
“The Lord, the Lord, a God of merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilt, visiting the iniquity of the father on the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation.” One does not need to adhere to any particular religion to understand this notion. If one does not clear the guilt of one’s sins/wrongdoings, those sins will continue to haunt those that come after you seeking for the guilt to be cleared.
Therefore, the goal should not be to shed more blood with the intent to combat vengeance with vengeance, but to clear the guilt from which the act of vengeance came from. If we do not, we will be giving our children not only the sins of our fathers to deal with but our sins as well. To truly combat this evil, we must clear the guilt of what caused the evil’s vengeance.
The question is then, if you had your family members unjustly killed, what would the killers need to do for you to forgive them. Your response cannot be to take their lives because “their” is the United States and those who worsened the Palestine/Israel conflict.
Terrorism today is vengeance, “the chickens coming home to roost” as the saying goes. If vengeance is the problem, what is the solution? Forgiveness is the solution to vengeance. In a complicated world, this kind of forgiveness is not easy. How would you forgive people who killed your family without feeling like you dishonor the unjustly taken lives of your family members.
As the countries responsible for causing the vengeance, we must provide these regions of the world the best resources and opportunities to forgive us. Instead of causing more vengeance, as Fox News would have some people want to believe, as is their job to pour gasoline on the fire, we must remember that hate doesn’t drive out hate. Love drives out hate.
The goal here is not to love this enemy, but to give the enemy a route to loving and forgiving us. Until we clear the guilt, it won’t matter how many bodies we kill in retaliation, the sins of the past will continue to return. We must be completely conscious of a situation so we don’t make irrational decisions.