The Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity vows, “Every human person is sacred across all borders.”
As the world mourns the dead and injured from terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday night, in a Beirut suburb on Thursday, and the downing of a Russian passenger plane over Egypt, people beyond those locations feel the pain and suffering.
In the middle of Friday night’s attacks in Paris was 23 year old Nohemi Gonzalez, a Cal State Long Beach international exchange student from El Monte, a suburb of Los Angeles, who was killed. She was with three other Cal State students in Paris. They are reported to be safe but no doubt all are traumatized.
These recent events signal an escalation of global violence that tears at the core of our common humanity. We have witnessed decades of calculated terrorism that dismisses the value of life. Wars are not restricted to designated battlefields. They invade the solitude of homes and distant communities. There is no safe haven from the destructive forces unleashed on innocent and disengaged individuals, including children and youth.
It is impossible to assign a moral justification for violating noncombatants. The devolution of decency and civility is accelerated by the exploitation of desperate people who are hopeless in their drive and desire for better lives. Such acts of violence advance the demonic mantra, “No lives matter.”
There is no escape from determined intent to kill anyone anywhere to promote a cause of unknown origins. Recent events are part of a long, continuous campaign to destroy human life as a means to conduct insensitive exhibitions of terrorism.
We need better ways to protect, preserve, and provide the essentials to every human person. We must explore and discover effective, humane responses to the cries of the deprived members of our human family. While it is tempting to fight back with greater force, that strategy feeds into a larger scheme creating long, horrible wakes of violence that shatter dreams and destroy life. We can do better.
While military force builds up and police vigilance heightens, we need more effective, permanent strategies to remove hunger, ignorance, fear, and other calamitous conditions that prey on depraved people who commit murderous acts against humanity. The infectious disease that creates killing fields inside public arenas, restaurants, theaters, aircraft, and suburbs must be eradicated. Attempts to stop violence with greater violence are not the solution. The historic record informs us actions that increase harm leave a very temporary and false sense of relief.
Replacing violence with compassionate campaigns may inspire hope, recover sanity, and make the world safer for every human person. Let’s launch alternative, nonviolent methods to change reality and give more people a chance to thrive. Start today in faith communities and humanitarian organizations.