The Plan Of Starvation
One thing we are waking up to as society is that religious extremism in any form (yes, even Christian) only breeds terror and death.
One of my favorite pieces of writing by Aaron Sorkin is housed in an episode of his hit show, The West Wing, titled, "Isaac and Ishmael."
In the episode, The White House goes on lockdown because of a terrorist threat. When the lockdown occurs, a group of students happen to be in the White House for a tour and they are required to stay inside until the threat is dissolved. The senior staff wait with them in the mess hall, and the students begin asking them about terrorism.
Watch the clip, below, then read on.
At the very end of the episode, Josh Lyman (the man speaking in the clip you just watched) says something profound that we all need to be reminded of.
He tells the students who are paralyzed with fear exactly how to combat religious extremism in whatever form it chooses to manifest itself. He says,
I think that statement from Lyman (or rather, Sorkin) is a prophetic word for our time, especially in a world filled with threats. The words point us to a "plan of starvation," if you will, for the terror at work in our world.
What are we to do when terror strikes?
Will we sit down, be silent, hide and feed the fear exactly what it wants? Or will we heed the words of Jesus:
When we look around at the world, sometimes all that we can we see is tragedy. All that we might feel is despair. We see the immediate and not the possible. We see ourselves and not others. We act out of self-preservation instead of selfless compassion. But when we look up, we breed courage. We see a world where we can work together toward healing.
In doing this, then and only then will we starve the terror in the world. Bullies travel in herds, but so do those who seek peace. We are not alone. We are many, but we must set aside our differences and work for the common good. Before doctrines and traditions, we are firstly, "human."
Above all, keep accepting more than one idea. Don't feed the terror. Starve it.
The weapons of our warfare are mighty. And they look like peacemaking.