Belligerence vs. Grace

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Free speech. First Amendment. My rights. Belligerence vs. Grace.

Free speech is rampant these days. Say what you want and how you want to say it. It doesn’t matter how you say it because it’s your right to speak how you want.

What an honor to live where we can freely insult, criticize and throw bundles of chagrin to those folks we don’t like for one reason or the other. Now compound that free speech with the right to own weapons designed to kill, and we in America have one hot mess.

I’m all about free speech. I’m all about the right to own a weapon. But the difference between me and Mrs. Geller who recently hosted a free speech event to mock another’s faith, and the difference between me and the two men who brought their legal guns to shoot down those who wished to mock their faith is a chasm wider than the distance from here to Neptune.

White folks chastise black folks for using terms that are slanderous, unless used by the very folks targeted for the belittling. Women can call down another woman using ugly words and innuendos that a man dare not even whisper. Politically correct speak is considered demonic by some, and an essential guide to sensitivity by others.

From where I sit, it seems like belligerence has taken on grace like the swath of tornadoes running over the U.S. countryside this spring.

Fingers are pointing back and forth ideological points of view so much so that I’m thankful that laser guns aren’t attached to those arrow straight pointed fingers—otherwise it would be darned dangerous to even step out from one’s doorway. ZAP! Downed by a finger pointed laser blast.

Grace? Well, isn’t that some singer from a 60s rock n’ roll band?

No. Actually, grace is an art form steadily collecting dust in the drought of common sense.

Bullies! Good (by those who bully). Bullies! Bad (by those bullied). Faith, sex, weather, history, books, technology, earthquakes, food, insects, water—you name it—it’s either right or left, or black or white. No middle ground. And the only gray is in some fifty sexy shades as defined in a sketchy written book.

It’s sadly amusing to watch the explosion of volcanic belligerence in the world of faith. It doesn’t matter which faith—many seem to ride a parallel collision course with each other. And at the core of each of these faiths is grace—a silent sentinel to what we seek in the act of faith. Not seeking fear. Not seeking retribution. Not seeking domination. Most faith foundations come from grace. Grace is peace. Grace is patience. Grace is joy. I’m pretty comfortable believing that the evolved human condition is to accrue wisdom and life’s transcendence.

How have we come to this spot in the road where belligerent speak is an accepted right? How have we twisted the words of wise men and women to candy-coat harsh language? I’m not talking swear words, I’m talking words that dare another to come after your provocative expression.

What would happen if for every vile act against humanity there was a collective action of grace? Am I too John Lennonish? Too idealistic?

What if we changed the recipe a bit and added cups of grace to humanity as opposed to a pinch of grace? I know that some will succumb to the violence. I understand that there are those who crave the blood. I comprehend the seduction of power. Still, the universe continues to expand, and so do we as humans on this itsy-bitsy speck in the midst of infinity. Is it there, outside of our planet’s gravitational role that grace thrives? I mean, the beauty to the eye inspires.

Communication is a gift and a gift should be something wrapped in beauty. This gift of free speech is a gift of grace, not of belligerence.

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