SO WE ELIMINATED THE BAD GUY

WE CAN STOP CHASING EVIL AND BLOOM LIKE FLOWERS

WAS OSAMA REALLY A BAD GUY?

INTRODUCTION

Recently, I have become very connected to a twelve step program in my recovery from alcoholism, and to my surprise, the "program" is profoundly spiritual in its foundation and in its invitation to live a sober lifestyle.  However, NOT religious.  The difference between the spiritual and the religious has become increasingly clear to me as I enthusiastically attend AA meetings daily at 6:30 in the morning.  What an awesome way to start out my day.  Better than any gym workout and far more meaningful to me than any morning prayer service.  Well the morning meeting is a prayer service in the broadest sense of the term.

So when I received one of those solicitation emails to join examiner.com to write on the topic of religion and spirituality, I became instantly "jazzed."  So I submitted the following blog as a sample of my writing on the topic.  To my surprise, I was turned down by examiner.com stating that I lacked knowledge on the topic.  Found that to be very interesting.  You can tell me what you think in the comments below.  I would appreciate that!

MY SUBMISSION TO EXAMINER.COM

Have most people forgotten that Bin Laden was an United States’ ally whom we supported in the Afghanistan people’s struggle against Russia?

How does it happen that. throughout current American history, little unknown rebel allies go from being white knight heros whom we support, to being dark evil forces whom we seek out and eliminate?  How is it that good and evil are so relative when it comes to politics?

Perhaps the missing piece in this puzzle is parallel to the difference between religion and spirituality.  Most, perhaps all, religions point fingers at anyone whom they consider to be the evil forces, and the "church" works diligently to eliminate the "them," either through shunning, excommunication, or death.

Isn’t it interesting the use of words like “eliminate.”  In the Viet Nam war, the bad guys were “liquidated” and many of them were women and children, and many a Viet Nam Vet continue to live with these ghosts haunting them twenty four hours a day.

In contrast, participants in Twelve Step programs discover, from the beginning, that the Twelve Step groups can exclude no one.  There is no authority structure within the democratic organization of a Twelve Step program, and yet Twelve Step programs function quite well with little or no chaos or anarchy.  Isn’t that amazing?  The twelve step program has no religious affiliation but is deeply spiritual in its foundation and depends exclusively on a Higher Power, although no one is excluded from the group because of their disbelief in a Higher Power.  Isn’t that amazing?

There are no evil forces against which the program fights and seeks to eliminate.  All members are accepted as good people who take life one day at a time lest they slip back into their addictive lifestyles.  Every day, members pray for and commit to serve those who continue to be “controlled” by their addiction.  Those who continue to live with their addiction are not considered evil.  There is no difference between “them” and “us.”  Participants recognize that everyone is on his or her life journey.  Some are fortunate enough to have embraced sobriety, but there is a clear awareness just how delicate or fragile that embrace can be.  Sobriety and addiction are each a choice away.

So whenever you align yourself with a political or religious group who takes it upon themselves to label some folks evil and some folks good, beware.  You never know the day you may end up, for no good reason, in one camp or the other.  Perhaps it has to do with the size of your contribution.

Such religious and political groups are spiritually bankrupt and out of such bankruptcy comes the quest to destroy the evil forces which are a projection of the organization’s own incapacity to live up to its religious standards which often lack spiritual foundation.

For example, most religious denominations reserve some right of “infallibility.”  Some even claim their infallibility to be a gift from the Holy Spirit.  Folks who do not accept the church’s infallibility are excommunicated or thought to be NOT IN GOOD STANDING.

Yet the Gospel says, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”  M-m-m-m.  Spiritually, there is no mandate to excommunicate your neighbor.  The only mandate is to LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR.  It is not in anyone’s purview to determine who is good or evil.  Only to love your neighbor.  A tough one isn’t it?  Yet to assume the authority to determine who is good and who is evil is the beginning of the end for each of us.  Life becomes a never ending serial like the cowboy movies of the past.  The bad guy shoots the good guy and now another good guy goes after the bad guy and shoots him, and soon a whole slew of bad guys come together to go afer all the good guys and so it goes on and on.  There is no peace as long as someone holds the power to determine some of us are good and some of us are evil.

THANKS FOR READING AND COMMENTING

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Comments 10 comments

Jim_OH 5 years ago

I didn't feel any vengeful joy at the news of Osama's death, but I am glad he is prevented from directing further violence against us "infidels." When I heard of the killing the beginning words of a prayer I read a long time ago came back to me: "O Lord, who wills not the death of a sinner, but rather that he be converted and live..." I would have preferred that Osama were captured, but that was probably not feasible. It may be that the only way to assure his neutralization was to kill him. 1) The SEALs couldn't know at the time of the killing whether they would leave Pakistan alive; Osama's people might have counterattacked and freed him. 2) It was a reasonable expectation that he would have an explosive device under his clothing--he surely had time to put one on after learning the attack was under way and before the SEALs reached him. 3) Had he been taken prisoner, al qaeda or other sympathising terrorists likely would have begun taking and killing hostages, demanding his release.


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 5 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Hi Jim

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading and commenting. You are absolutely right (I think) about your assessment of the attack on Osama. The rules of war, the rules of engagement do not allow for many options here! And the rules of war for folks like Al qaeda are not "fair" so once you engage all bets are off. I am against war but I also realize that as long as war is still a part of our way of life there is no such thing as an humane war. An oximoron. And I am one, naive as it may sound, that still believes we can resolve many if not all our international conflicts economically if we are willing and creative enough. For example, I read that what attracts Afghanistans to the Taliban is that the Taliban offers them jobs. Interesting observation.

Anywho, thanks again for your comments

Vern


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

This is a great hub with beautiful pictures.

I am really enjoying reading your hub and I look forward to reading many more.

I vote up all the way.

Take care

Eiddwen.


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 5 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Thnaks, Eiddwen

I really enjoyed your hub on soulmates. I'm glad you liked the pictures. They are really awesome to take! So simple with digital camera.

Take Care

Vern


BennyTheWriter profile image

BennyTheWriter 5 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

"Was Osama Really a Bad Guy?" I like your provocative edge. We're convinced, of course, that he was, by virtue of the fact that he did some horrible things. But rarely do we consider the other side of the picture. Yeah, he was BAD, but are we GOOD in every respect? To take it further, as you do: is it even possible for us to know, either way?

I appreciate your warning: "So whenever you align yourself...beware. You never know the day you may end up, for no good reason, in one camp or the other." The bittersweet nature of taking sides--you cast your own future into doubt. I also agree that many religious institutions are so spiritually bankrupt that they defeat their own purpose. It's so ironic, it would be laughable if it weren't so troubling.

Very profound points Vern, as always.


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 5 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Hi Benny

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Well, Osama was a good guy when he was fighting the Russians. How quickly we change our alignments. I think I wrote a hub about good guys and bad guys! Can't remember the exact title, but I think it is "There are No Good Guys and Bad Guys."

Well Osama had loved ones just like all of us good guys do!! And he fought for his convictions just like we do and we did in our own revolutionary war. We sometimes forget we fought for our independence against what some thought was a GOOD country, England! It is all bordering on craziness as long as we value right and wrong and rules to legislate right and wrong and rules to determine who and what is right and wrong. I work hard at living in a realm beyond right and wrong. I like to think in terms of "is what I am about to do, is it going to be lifegiving to the people around me and to myself? Is what I am about to do, is it going to be respectful to myself and it is going to be respectful to the people I love? I can always make a case, from a self centered perspective about an action I want to take being right, but it ultimately is not lifegiving to anyone.

Anywho, thanks for commenting and reading. Good to hear from you again,

Vern


BennyTheWriter profile image

BennyTheWriter 5 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

An awesome perspective and way of life, I say! Thanks for sharing your enlightenment. Don't be right, be life-giving...gives me a lot to think about.

Benny


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 5 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Hi Benny

Sometimes I am quite passionate about this perspective especially when I see within my own church and within other denominations, good people being "Killed" not literally but figuratively, but in earlier times, even literally, because they are not doing the right thing or not following the right way. In fact, to my surprise, I erupted at Christmas breakfast this past year when a family member began talking about his committment to do the right thing. I began "inviting" him to get beyond that and perhaps his "committment" was creating more problems for him than he realized and doing the right thing was not following Jesus who so often rejected the right thing in favor of what was healing. Because of a painful past experience, I got quite loud and began to weep!!! I wish I had a picture of his face. He was an inlaw, so I imagined he wondered how in the heck he got involved with our family, but actually he was very understanding when it was all cried and done!!

Anywho, Dr Lora says, "Now go do the right thing," and Vern says, Now go do what is lifegiving. They are not always synonymous, unfortunately.

Take care

Vern


Kenny 4 years ago

In your own words,

1. "There is no authority structure..." That is the problem with people today, they do not want authority! God is the ultimate and supreme authority.

2. "So whenever you align yourself with a political or religious group who takes it upon themselves to label some folks evil and some folks good, beware." Sir the Bible distinctly tells us who is evil and who is not. If God says they did evil, then they are evil.

3. "Such religious and political groups are spiritually bankrupt and out of such bankruptcy comes the quest to destroy the evil forces which are a projection of the organization’s own incapacity to live up to its religious standards which often lack spiritual foundation." I do not know of any Christians running around starting holy wars and chopping peoples heads off." People are religiously bankrupt without Jesus Christ as their Savior. Jesus Christ destroyed evil wherever he went. I guess you do not like that Jesus healed those that were Demon possessed.

4. "For example, most religious denominations reserve some right of “infallibility.” Some even claim their infallibility to be a gift from the Holy Spirit." Only God is infallible and I know of no Church that teaches Infallibility.

If this is what your group teaches, they are in fact attacking what they think is evil. Wow!


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 4 years ago from Yucaipa, California Author

Hi Kenny

Thanks for reading and commenting.

1. I think leadership is a critical element in our lives. It is different from authority that is often power based and used abusively.

2. There are plenty of very good people, particularly in the Old Testament who did all kind of evil acts, but God did not declare them as evil.

3. And unfortunately, there are Christians and non Christians who will kill another person in the name of God and holiness. In this country, we refer to these acts as hate crimes. On a world scale, we refer to these acts as terrorism. I appreciate all the stories about Jesus healing people and I believe we all have the power to heal if we will just be willing to pray and use that grace and power.

4. And I know of one church in particular, the Roman Catholic Church who does claim infallibility, and most fundmentalist religions, Christian or otherwise, treat those they judge as "unsaved" with an air of infallibility.

The "group" I refer to is a twelve step group which is a support group for those folks who wish to free themselves of addictions of one kind or another. It is a deeply spiritual program and has God as the central focus of the program.

Again, thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Vern

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