Sunday, November 11, 2007

oD: The Riddle of the Christian Gunman

Abdulsaidka writes:

"maybe the name of the gunman is Christian, you didn't clarify what he was and what is your point in that please?"

No, the paper definitely did not mean that the gunman's name was Christian, or Brian or John.

The headline meant he was a gunman from the "Christian" social group in Beirut - a Phalangist of some kind I guess. (this was a few years ago mind; not now. I do not want to start another war). He was shooting people, and he killed 9. He was probably on a roof. I cannot remember more, but there are three main possibilities:

1 Maybe it was in a gunfight with other gunmen, in which case he was just being a hero,
2 Maybe he was shooting at the man who shot at him, and killed the man who shot him but also killed another 8 innocent citizens. That would make him a soldier, but not a very good one. The 8 civilians he killed would be called "collateral" in Iron Mike's language. At least it would be if he was an American official soldier. If the gunman was against American interests, it would be called some kind of "terrorist atrocity" maybe. Anyway, it happens all the time, especially with bombs.

3 Or maybe all 9 were civilians, so in that case he was a terrorist, by definition (if he was doing it for political purposes).

I said he could not be a Christian, because he was killing people. On second thoughts, I am being too "judgmental" (that means passing judgments on other people. It is a failing of mine). I meant in the sense of Christian as someone who tries to follow Christ.

I believe that Christ would not shoot people with guns, torture them, drop bombs on them or any bad stuff like that. I do not call myself a Christian, but I do try to follow Christ on this point at least.

(I am not very good at it in that I get angry easily, but I do not hit people, but maybe I would if I had had my country taken away from me, though I hope that I would join people like OneVoice instead of killing).

Many people who do call themselves "Christians" would believe as I do that Christ would not shoot people with guns, torture them, drop bombs on them or any bad stuff like that, but they say it is OK for them to do it.

They justify it by saying that
they had to in self defence, or that
the other side made them do it or that
they were going to bomb us in 45 minutes, or that
they are trying to get hold of nuclear weapons,

(but never because they wanted the oil under their sand).

In the scientific term used to describe ego defence mechanisms, they "rationalise" their motives, to reconcile in their minds the unbridgeable difference between what Jesus Christ said about loving their neighbour, and what they are in fact doing.

I hope I am making sense to you here.

So when I thought he was not a very "Christian" gunman, I meant that he was not being very loving to the 9 he killed, nor to their families and friends. I was saying he was being unChristian. But in saying this I was being unChristian, by judging him to be not a Christian, I was being unChristian myself maybe.

I love the music of Bob Marley. He said, "We're not here to judge the good from bad, but to do things thing that are right". That is a quote from the New Testament.

(He also said, "One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain").

It is not our work to be saying this person is good and that person is bad, and especially not to say "this man is not doing good" when we are doing even worse things ourself. Jesus made himself very clear on that point.

I hope I have cleared up what I meant about the Christian gunman.



PS I am pleased that God, Allah, El, and YHVH are all different names for the same great Being. Truly the One has many many names. Almost as many names as there are groups of people, but that's OK. It's natural, we have lots of different languages, the Great Spirit gets lots of different names.

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