I Can’t Go For That

Being a combat veteran, people tend to think I’m much more comfortable with violence than I really am. As a matter of fact, while I have no qualms about protecting myself or others, I hate violence. When I’ve even had to think of defending myself or others, I end up feeling devastated and sick. I would love to live in a world without violence, but we can’t seem to stop stirring the pot.

Lately a lot of people have been pointing fingers at the Republican party over the multiple murders at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. I can’t get behind that. I am strongly pro-choice, and I am disgusted when anti-choice advocates call abortion “murder”. However, to lobby that same accusation back at them is a bridge too far for me. I don’t believe in fighting fire with fire. Making inflammatory remarks about someone else’s inflammatory remarks only worsens the problem. Moreover, that kind of rhetoric persuades no one and only pushes anti-choice advocates deeper into their trenches. We are not solving any problems with an agenda of blame and shame.

Another problem I’m having in this case is the vitriol directed at Christianity. I am not a Christian myself, but I have known many in my lifetime. Some of them are annoying and even disturbing zealots that I choose to avoid. Many of them are sweet, gentle people who find great comfort and strength in their relationship with God. I could say the exact same thing about Muslims. When they get blamed for violence, though, we jump to their defense. Why don’t Christians get the same consideration? Is it because they are more privileged in America? Either way, this sounds like religious intolerance, and I want nothing to do with it.

We will never agree on everything, but we won’t stop this violence unless we come together. Pointing fingers does not bring anyone to our side. It only drives us apart.

I really do hate violence. I’d love to live in a world without it.


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