Thursday, April 22, 2010

Measure for Measure

I believe in Natural Law: law is discovered, not created. My jumping out of an airplane without a parachute is the immediate application of the Natural Law about the intersection of gravity and stupidity. My beliefs about floating like a soap bubble, except in my dreams, are irrelevant.

Some laws, like the above one, are immediate. Others, unfortunately, take a while, sometimes years or even decades, to manifest themselves. Let's take the example of the mass killing of innocents in war. Some – sometimes many – support this as an unpleasant necessity during wartime.

These supporters of mass murder forget this saying: "In the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you" (Matthew 7:2). Following that comment is this one: "First take the log out of your own eye, and you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:5).

What we do to people will be done to us. It might take years, but as is said, "What goes around, comes around." The cause-and-effect isn't hard to trace, but unfortunately, what goes around often comes back around to the innocent. It was applied to the innocent in the first place.

Let's look at just one thing the U.S. government has done in the not-so-distant past. It dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, when the Japanese were trying to surrender, but not unconditionally, as the U.S. demanded. The bomb at Nagasaki, unknown to many, wiped out one-seventh of Japan's Christians.

Not allowing the Japanese to negotiate a more dignified surrender extended the war by about six months…and American casualties were running at 7000 a week.

These days, those who have attacked the U.S use those two bombs to justify what they have done. They say, "You see the mass murder you have done to others? Who are you to complain about the mass murder done to you?"

One of the defendants in the first WTC bombing (when the towers didn't fall) stood before the judge and specifically mentioned the U.S. dropping nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He essentially said, "Who are you to complain about your innocent people being killed when your country has done the same to far more innocent people in the past?" The measure by which the U.S. has judged others in the past now returns to us.

Killing innocent people, whether one or many, is a violation of the Commandment, "You will not murder." Those four words are why it's easy to trace cause-and-effect. "Murder will out," a phrase first used in Chaucer's “Canterbury Tales” but noticed as far back as the ancient Greeks, is as true now as then; the crime always shows itself, and it always comes back. It comes back far worse when it's mass murder in war.

Most Americans were shocked when the WTC was attacked. Some weren't. I wasn't, not particularly, although I never expected another attack on the twin towers. I suspected some kind of blowback was coming because of the U.S.’s interference in the rest of the world, with its supporting "friendly" dictators and their oppression, torture, and murder of their own people.

Even those in the administration were shocked, and they shouldn't have been. They failed miserably at their job, with all the billions of dollars at their disposal. Why did they fail? For one thing, they forgot about the log in their own eye. "We attacked Iraq a decade ago when it didn't attack us, we attacked Panama, we attacked Serbia, we have made a history of supporting some of the worst dictators in the world . . I don't understand why they attacked us! It must be because we are good and they are evil." Hardly.

And all because these foolish, puzzled people forgot four simple words: "You will not murder." That Natural Law applies not only to individuals, but also to governments. Governments always think they can exempt themselves from that law, even though none can. I suppose those in government pride themselves on realpolitik and their understanding of the world. In reality they're crackpots; they understand little. They learn even less, otherwise they wouldn't keep making the same mistakes over and over, for decade after decade. Are they clueless about human nature?

One of the inherent characteristics of governments is that those under its spell all have permanent logs in their eyes. As a result, none ever understand that what they deal to other people, sooner or later will be dealt back to them. Unfortunately, overwhelmingly, it's the innocent citizens who get the payback.

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