Promotes Violence to humans, to animals, to our environment, to our
economy, to our education, to our finances, and to our health
By Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman - [email protected]
Terrorism and the Church
Every time we hear of an act of terrorism, our heart skips a beat and we
feel a deep inner sorrow for the victims of the terrorism, most of all.
However, we also have a sense of sorrow for those who commit these acts,
because of the utter hardness of heart and depravity that would allow
them to do such evil things. The sorrow we felt over the 11 September
2001 terrorist attack on four jumbo jet passenger planes, the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon was debilitating, for it came on the heels
of the sorrow we have been feeling over the unimaginable suffering
inflicted upon most of the animals that are raised for their flesh,
by-products, and body parts.
This tragedy is all part of our collective lack of
compassion for our fellow creatures, whether human or otherwise. The
same kind of mentality that takes joy in killing a deer, running a sword
or spear into a bull, boiling a live lobster or cat, running a factory
farm, setting off a car bomb, also takes pleasure in flying loaded
passenger planes into buildings. And in the midst of this, many
Christians who are to be the peacemakers of this world, sit at their
church and home dinners munching on the remains of suffering creatures
while desiring to take revenge for such actions against humans. Many
seem to want revenge against people for violence inflicted against us,
and from what we've seen, some people want revenge against any Moslem,
or people who look like them or have similar accents. We have forgotten
that vengeance belongs to the Lord (Hebrews 10:30). Why aren't more
churches decrying the abuse to humans that is going on in many parts of
the world every day? Why aren't we speaking out against the abuse, and
yes, terrorism, against billions of animals in our own country? We
believe that it's because we don't personally feel the pain. When will
the Church and the world learn that all these evil acts are tied
together and are opposed to God's desire for our lives? When will we
open our eyes and ears to the suffering around us and to the increase of
violence in almost every aspect of our society? When will we begin
speaking out with a commanding cry for peace and compassion? When will
we learn to live by our Biblical teachings in their true context, and
not in some distorted interpretation to try to justify our evil acts?
Think about what we are taught in the Beatitudes (Matthew 3-11):
3. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven."
If we are truly poor in spirit then we will also feel the pain and
anguish of every other living creature, whether human or non-human, and
do something to help eliminate their suffering.
4. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be
We mourn over the loss of a loved one whether a human or a companion
animal, or for those caught in the tragedy of 11 September 2001, but
those who truly mourn, also mourn over the pain of every human and
animal, and do something to comfort them.
5. "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the
There is no gentleness in hunting, factory farming, or in acts of
terrorism, and we are to be the gentle ones to set the example for the
6. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for
righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."
If we truly hunger and thirst for righteousness, then we will take a
stand against all evil forces in our society, and no longer accept those
corrupt things that give us personal, short term, satisfaction.
7. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive
If we are not merciful to the whole of God's creation, how can we expect
to receive mercy for ourselves? The simple answer is, we can't !
8. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see
If we are pure in heart, then we will not participate (directly or
indirectly) in any act of violence that is inflicted upon any human,
animal, or the environment.
9. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be
called sons [children] of God."
The apostle Paul tells us that the whole of creation anxiously awaits
the revealing of the children of God to eliminate its suffering (Romans
8:18-25). Based on the amount of suffering in this world, there seem to
be very few peacemakers, and thus very few children of God.
10. "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the
sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
We hear of very little persecution of this type, because it is far
easier to close our eyes and ears to the evil around us and to keep
quiet, than it is to go against the "norm" of society that promotes
11. "Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and
persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account
If we aren't experiencing these things, then we are probably not doing
much to promote the peaceful kingdom of God, and thus evil and violence
flourish in the world.
If the Church all over the world began to live by these
principles, we would indeed change the world, and eliminate the violence
around us. We should be making people who participate in violent
activities (directly or indirectly) to feel uncomfortable about what
they are doing, until they no longer do such things. It's time for us to
stand up, speak out, and be counted as true peacemakers.
Go on to
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