Over recent weeks a series of events in the states surrounding the Russian Federation has erupted that certainly are not being greeted with joy in the Kremlin. Each crisis center of itself is not a definitive game-changer for future Russian security. Taken together they suggest something far more ominous is unfolding against Moscow. A recent RAND study prepared for the US Army suggests with remarkable accuracy who might be behind what will undoubtedly become a major threat to Russian security in coming months.
In 1981 the United Nations declared by unanimous resolution that September 21 be recognized as The International Day of Peace. This is a “globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.” (see: internationaldayofpeace.org).
Why is “building a Culture of Peace” so hard for us?
Every reasonably intelligent person will say that they want peace and yet a Culture of Peace eludes us. At this point many a reasonably intelligent person will also reflexively qualify their desire for Peace with some form of the following: “…but we can’t have Peace as long as they…”. So the work to establish a Culture of Peace stalls.
“Who do you think you are?” is usually expressed as the indignant rejection of an insult but if we consider it as a serious question for ourselves to answer, it may shed some light on why it’s so difficult for us to establish that Culture of Peace.
Maybe we think we are inherently a violent and warlike species. Maybe we think it’s “in our genes” and that “we can’t help it.” Maybe we believe that, despite our best efforts, we are killers from a long line of killers.
That is the Old Story.
This is the story of us, locked into a world of toxic competition in which some must “lose” in life in order for others to “win.” It’s the concept that supports capitalism as we know it and keeps us in seemingly endless wars.
But is this who we really are?
There is a New Story (see: mettacenter.org) of humanity that is emerging. This story paints a very different picture of who we are. It shows us that, at our core, we are actually good rather than evil. We are inclined to cooperate and help each other succeed in life. We see this truth emerge again and again when some sort of disaster strikes (remember how people treated each other right after 9/11?) and our differences are quickly put aside. For however brief a time, we see each other clearly. We see each other as fellow human beings instead of as members of some artificial category.
Creating a Culture of Peace becomes not only possible but natural when we start to remember who we really are and start letting go of the false narratives that hold us prisoner.
As a means to reaching this end there is the concept of the two hands of Real Peace. One hand is closed and says “I oppose your injustice and destructiveness” while the other hand is open and says: “I’m open to you as a person.” This is a realistic practice. We can affirm the humanity of every person without exception while standing firmly against all systems that oppress any person anywhere.
This Real Peace rests on the foundation of our relationships with each other. These relationships form the bonds of our inter-connected nature. That is where our real security begins and how it thrives. It is not our neighbor’s fear of us that makes us feel safe. We feel safe with each other because, in some way, we see each our neighbor as family. Security is the result of knowing that what happens to any family member happens to all family members. We have defined “family” in an exceedingly narrow way for far too long. That needs to change and change fast.
Building a Culture of Peace does not mean that we will live in a conflict-free world. There will be conflict well into the future as long as human beings are involved with each other. What it does mean is that we solve our problems without resorting to violence. It means we recognize that the problem is the problem and not that people are the problem. It means that we give up the illogical belief that hurting others, or ourselves, is a viable way to resolve conflicts.
Building a Culture of Peace is both realistic and natural for the human family when we understand who we are in relationship to each other. We hold ourselves back from this realization by continuing to cling to our artificial categories of identification. We imagine that we are members of a particular nation, religion, political party, profession or class. No such category gets close to the depth of who we really are as beings. That would be like going for your regular medical check-up and having your doctor assess your health by examining the clothes you’re wearing. It doesn’t get to the heart of the matter.
If we want to establish a Culture of Peace in human society we will need to establish that culture within ourselves as part of the process. We need to heal the injuries sustained by our fragile humanness by claiming the truth of our own sacredness. Not only our own but the sacredness of everyone else as well. There is no one who isn’t. This sacredness is by no means limited to human beings. It encompasses all of creation.
We get to the heart of the matter when we recognize the sacredness of All. There we will find the Culture of Peace.
And Fr. Nolan. I tried to get Fr. Nolan on the podcast. He called me back and left me a very nice message, saying he’d be happy to do an interview but he can’t because he’s been silenced by the bishops.
God help us!
Written by Emmanuel Charles McCarthy
Does anyone really believe that the current government and media script we are living in just emerged on the spur of the moment from nowhere to take over the entire national conversation and reality? Does anyone really believe that the official government and media script of the events of September 11, 2001, that two planes knocked down three giant skyscrapers into their own footprints at free fall speed? Does anyone really believe the government and media script of the Patriot Act, which began the process of systematically closing down democratic processes by placing unprecedented authoritarian dictatorial power in the hands of a relatively small coterie of people, and which was supposedly was written at warp speed and which was passed at warp #10 speed by a 99% vote in a Congress 99% of whom never read the Act before voting, is unrelated to the life people in the U.S. are enduring on September 11, 2020, and will be living under for the rest of their lives?
For that matter does anyone honestly believe that the murder of Salvador Allende, the democratically elected President of Chile, on September 11, 1972, by the U.S. Government under the immediate direction of Henry Kissinger, National Security Advisor to the President Nixon, is not the product of the same mind-set and U.S. government policy as the murder of 2,400 people on September 11, 2001, and the murder of God only knows how many as of September 11, 2020, by the Covid19 government operation? On April 3, 2020 Henry Kissinger joined up with Bill Gates calling for the mass vaccination of everyone to stop Covid19!
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge — even to ourselves — that we’ve been fooled.” — Carl Sagan, The Fine Art of Baloney Detection
Being bamboozled by a daily diet of government and media scripts is just a risk everyone must live under who resides in the United States in the twenty-first century. There are in the U.S. an overgrowth of multi-million dollar “public relations” and advertising corporations whose sole agenda is to bamboozle as it fit their clients, government or private corporation, including religious corporation’s, needs.
Politicians, who are professional bamboozlers, give hundreds of millions of dollars to these advertising firms at election time. Major and even minor U.S. elections are largely determined by who has the best bamboozling team. And, since bamboozlers have to pay, via their PR firms, big, big bucks to the media to effectively bamboozle the populous, the media will put out any script, truthful or untruthful, on which it can make a buck. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Sullivan vs the New York Times makes it all but impossible to win a libel case against a media outlet even when it is proven beyond all reasonable doubt that it intentionally lied and its lying caused harm. So, when these bamboozling politicians get into power is it even sane to believe they will renounce their old bamboozling ways and tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Such is the world in which everyone who lives in the U.S. today has to function. People just have to continually be figuring out whether, say, the food they’re buying will, as they are told in the advertisements, build strong bones and muscles, or will, as they are not told in the advertisements, cause cancer. C’est la vie. Today, truth is totally mobile. And, money is the vehicle that carries each day’s “truths” to the populous. Again, c’est la vie. Such is life at this time and probably for centuries to come in a society controlled and governed by bamboozlers. Live with it.
There is, however, one aspect of this bamboozling national environment that concerns me infinitely more than all others that I will not serenely live with nor voluntarily participate in, namely, when Christians are intentionally bamboozled into doing evil to other sons and daughters of the Father of all under the auspices that they are doing good and God’s will as revealed by God Himself in His Word “made flesh” Jesus Christ. The most egregious and long-running example of this is institutional Church officers bamboozling their people into believing that Jesus’ command to “Love your enemies,” is morally and spiritually compatible with the most ordinary activities of war, e.g., ripping people’s eyes out, slicing their throats, burning their faces off, blowing their brains out. Such bamboozling of the people of God by Church leaders generation after generation is radical evil in the strict sense. It is the institutional brainwashing of the beloved disciples of Jesus as well as all of the sons and daughters of the Father of all into accepting as the truth of Jesus that the way of hell is the Way to heaven.
Church rulers know well and use shamelessly to their advantage, the truth which Carl Sagan is communicating when he writes, “If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us.”
-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy
P.S. Tomorrow, September 12, I will present a spiritual/moral reflection by Dr. David Ray Griffin, who has been for over forty years a professional theologian focusing on process theology as a method to perceive and interpret the Good News of Jesus Christ. He has written eleven books, e.g. The New Pearl Harbor, on 911and the lies the U.S. government and media have propagated to hide the fact—and its immense implications and consequences—that the official 911 government report is erroneous to the point of absurdity and a cover up. But, he has written twenty-four books on philosophy, theology and religion. What he writes about tomorrow will not have one direct word about 911 in it.
Is this true? We discuss it on the latest podcast, Episode 51: COVID and 9-11. In the first 15 minutes, we discuss Trump’s foreign policy.