By: Frank L. Hoffman
Jesus taught us to be peacemakers, but the vast majority of people don't want to do that. They would rather make war and commit other acts of violence against their fellow human being, the other animals, and the environment in which we all live.
Most people do this because we live in a violent world, and they wrongly believe that in order to survive they must be stronger and more violent than "the other guy".
Yuri V. Klitsenko sent us the following article on January 13, 2007, which gives us an example of the decline in moral values and the escalation of violence:
Erosion of moral values in Russia
MOSCOW, January 9 (Itar-Tass) - The murders of priests is a sign of the moral degradation of the society, Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia told reporters on Tuesday, in connection with the death on Christmas night of the priest of the Peter and Paul church in the Alapayevsk district, Sverdlovsk region.
Unfortunately, it happens increasingly often, the top hierarch said, recalling the arson of the priest's house in the Tver region a month ago, in which he and his whole family died.
"And now, a priest was killed in the Yekaterinburg diocese for icons which the wrongdoers schemed to steal," he said.
"I believe it is indicative of the degradation of the society, because a person of sound mind is unable to commit such a crime. When someone is ready to steal icons and kill a priest for the sake of getting a drink, I believe his degradation is obvious.
The murder of any person is always a tragedy … but the murder of a priest during the Christmas holidays goes beyond the boundaries of good and evil," - the patriarch said.
On January 6, criminals entered the Peter and Paul church in the village of Neivo-Shaitansky and asked priest Oleg Stupichkin, 40, to talk with them. He did not refuse, and told his wife he would be back in an hour.
Some time later she saw smoke in the church. The priest was lying in the floor with his skull smashed; and icons were missing. Police detained two local residents, with earlier criminal convictions, aged 32 and 33 immediately after the crime, who had on them several stolen icons. The remaining icons were found hidden in a snowdrift in a cemetery.
The priest is survived by his wife and four children.
This is not a Russian problem. This is a problem that involves the whole world, and unfortunately the vast majority of people don't want to face the root of the problem.
Let's look at a single aspect of how we sanitized violence in our society. Every day most people sit around the table and eat and talk, and even joke without giving the slightest thought to how they're condoning the torture and violence inflicted upon the animal whose flesh and secretions they are eating.
The more people condone any act of violence, the easier it become to condone or justify other acts of violence.
One of the reasons that we're vegan is that it makes a public statement that we're against all forms of violence, whether it be against humans, other animals, or the environment.
If we are going to survive as a race, human beings need to wake up to the fact that if we don't stop sanitizing all violence in our society, we're going to do a lot more damage that simple shooting ourselves in the foot.