REVELATIONS: What's going on in the world?
Sept. 19, 2012 at 9:19 a.m.
An overwhelming sadness has troubled me of late, regarding the condition of humanity in some areas of the world.
It seems there is so much need, for so many people, and no matter what solutions are brainstormed and implemented among nations, peace and progress remains out of reach.
War, killing and tragedy are everywhere. It's happening every day, in every part of the world.
Has it always been like this - the savagery of humanity?
This is the question I asked myself Wednesday, when I awoke to the news (a day after the anniversary of Sept. 11) that U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died during a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
The attacks are said to be prompted by an Anti-Islamic American-made film produced by an Egyptian-born Christian, now a resident of California.
Other unconfirmed reports suggest the attacks on the U.S. consulate building in Libya were planned, and may be linked to the anniversary of 9/11.
But whatever the reason, weapons were fired, rocket-propelled grenades were launched, and people died. Riots and protests commenced, and now there's talk of military action on the country.
Why is this happening?
It's a simple enough question, and perhaps an overly naive one.
But I simply can't understand the "why."
I watched clips of the film, "Innocence of Muslims" on YouTube, which depicts the Prophet Mohammed in an unfavorable light.
Followers of Islam are highly offended at any visual depictions of Mohammed. Oral and written depictions, however, are permissible.
As a non-Muslim, I was immediately turned off by the abysmal acting and low-budget sets of the film. It's a horrible execution of cinema and I doubt the filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, will have career longevity in Hollywood.
But even though I wasn't offended by the depictions of Mohammed, I can understand why the film would be seen as inflammatory.
If someone made a movie about the horrific nature of Jesus, I would take offense.
The difference is, I wouldn't kill or harm my offenders.
But I don't think most Muslims would, either.
I am personally familiar with many Muslims who live peacefully in the United States, who would never seek to kill or harm their fellow man, regardless of any offense taken from a film produced to insult Islam's prophet.
So why is it happening so often in the Middle East?
Is it the culture? The education level? Excessive poverty? Government corruption?
What is it?
We have all these international peacemakers and academics theorizing the reasons for violence in the Middle East among fundamentalist Muslims, but to date, no one has figured out how to stop it.
I don't have anything in my soul that wants to see another person die at my own hand, or suffer at my expense.
I've never raised a hand to anyone in my life. The thought of violence makes me physically uncomfortable - even to the point where boxing and ultimate fighting matches are difficult to watch on television.
But across borders, and throughout nations, people are fascinated by violence.
We have become a humanity disinterested in peace and progress.
It's happening here, too. In our own backyard.
No, there are no bombs, that's true.
But I've witnessed in recent weeks a flow of verbal bile and unnecessarily hostile exchanges take place over the religion of political candidates, the death of illegal immigrants in Goliad, the erection of a Pray for Obama sign on North Navarro Street, and now the death of four Americans in Libya.
Why has our ability to disagree become so disagreeable all over the world?
I want to know why, so I can attempt to wrap my brain around what my role needs to be to become a better, stronger ambassador of peace here in Victoria, and anywhere else I end up.
Maybe, if only for a moment, we all stopped fighting and pointing fingers, and started using our words and energies to love our enemies, we could finally end the violence, stop the bombs, and enjoy the peace God so desperately desires for his children.
Jennifer Preyss is a reporter for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach her at 361-580-6535 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @jenniferpreyss