Monday, July 25, 2011

A Prayer for Norway

We are too often confronted with trying to make sense of the senseless. The bombing and mass murders in Norway are now added to the list of atrocities we must reconcile. In the United States, we have our Timothy McVeigh and Unabomber and the KKK and Jared Loughner and all the civil rights murders and other armed militias with their violent ideologies and conspiracy theories. The Muslim World has its Al Qaeda which attacked New York City and later bombed a mosque in Iraq to incite a civil war for geopolitical purposes in the power vacuum following the removal of Saddam Hussein.

Norway now has its Anders Behring Breivik

These hearts of darkness stun us time after time. The faces of evil, as much as we would like them to look Middle Eastern, most often don't. The look like us. They look like an Omaha teenager. Or a kid from Arizona or Colorado. Or from anywhere, USA. This latest incarnation looks like he should be modeling sweaters in Norway. It's disturbing and frightening and perplexing as we do the psychological postmortems and find the threads of pseudo Christian or racial or Islamic fundamentalism and their accompanying chaos of ideological, economic, and political manifestos.

The immediate reaction of irresponsible media was to blame Muslims for the Norwegian attacks. How wrong that has proven. I'm listening to the Beatles' Norwegian Wood as I write this. It was written by John Lennon who was murdered in 1980. Yoko Ono issued a statement the next day, saying "There is no funeral for John," ending it with the words, "John loved and prayed for the human race. Please pray the same for him." So love and pray for the human race.

That's about the only thing here that makes sense.



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