“There is so much suffering, so much hatred, so much misery, and we with our prayer and our sacrifice are beginning at home” – Mother Teresa
Even the home is now under attack. In faraway New Zealand, a house of worship, the perceived sacred home of God for over a billion followers worldwide is converted in a harrowing moment of madness into a charnel house. Fueled by something deep and incomprehensible within: a festering, surging, mindless hate.
Conditioned by environments-some electronic, some caustic leadership rhetoric, some palpably, terribly sick-men and women travel to the extreme ends of an unending spectrum to kill and wound and degrade. Powered, also, by this newest outrage against humanity-vulnerable, defenseless humanity-would be the bitter, barbaric cycle of revenge springing from the same pulsating, galvanizing hatreds.
It is the apex of savage irony that this latest murderous expression of fathomless hatred is unleashed in a sanctuary of religion. For the teachings of the major faiths are peaceable to and at the core. And yet over the years, there have been more and more killings by (believe it or not) religious extremists near, around, and inside houses of worship than before.
These profanities mock man and god; they desecrate all that is holy and as pure as man can aspire to; and they set the mind and stage for more to follow in different places from the trigger fingers of different agencies. The dormant simmering surrenders to a pent-up exploding. For a massacre in a mosque provides the powerful basis and raw energy to stoke the embers of flickering radicalization into the raging heat of numbers and converts and missionaries with only mayhem on their minds. There is the heavy risk, too, of sporadic imitations from those who feel incentivized. The blood of youth runs thin and recklessly hot.
Cooler, wiser heads must prevail. There cannot be the usual sanctimonious sympathies, and then it is on to the just as usual cleverness of nuanced incitements to the listening willing. The threatening, lengthening expressway of violence and brutality must not be allowed to continue from the lips and postures of leaders-be they religious, political, or social-through playing to the passions and resentments of those waiting to absorb such fare and then interpret dangerously, lethally.
Cleaner, humbler hearts that trust in the above and an Almighty have to submit to His will, and reflect and project the majestic transcendence of that which is believed and embraced. That which must be extended now through pain and sorrow. This is what has to be lived even more now in this time of loss, anger, and grief; exhorted still some more now when the floodgates threaten to collapse. Blood is on everyone’s hands now; there are no saints.
The house of barbarism is not limited to that of targeted religious places. Increasingly, houses of education have found favor with those who have the heinous in their heads and hearts. A home of learning, a hearth of mentoring and preparing is invaded and young children poring over poems and plans are mercilessly mowed down in a hail of gunfire. Again.
This time it is not the distance of the cruelly named Christchurch, but right here in neighbouring Sao Paulo, Brazil. Students dead at the hands of former students. There is just too much anger, too much readiness to shake off the shackles of restraints. When that is shrugged off and scorned, then what follows is what is experienced. What happened in Brazil did flit through here in Guyana. The unthinkable by the unmanageable.
Regrettably, these incidents though criminal, have more than the regular criminally-minded objectives of plunder and other wickedness. New Zealand and Brazil, and the others before, are about greater evils. Among the primary intentions are to violate grievously and to terrorize psychologically because of religion, politics, skin color, or sheer inexplicable inhumanity. Man made in the image and likeness of the divine crumbles into anything but….
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