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The Late Thomas Merton On Love And Hate

"So, instead of loving what you think is peace,
love others.
And love God above all.
And, instead of hating the people you think are warmongers,
hate the appetite
and the disorder
in your own soul,
which are the causes of war.
If you love peace,
then hate injustice,
hate tyranny,
hate greed --
But hate these things in yourself,
not in another.

Thomas Merton
(Quoted in the June-July 2013 Catholic Worker newspaper)

I love this except for one line which is not an honest expression of the way i think and feel.
That line is: ",,,which are the causes of war."
Soldiers know that they must be taught to kill reliably and on cue.
This is a very difficult task for instructors.
They could not do it unless backed up
by Organization,
by Patriotism,
by Propaganda, and especially,
by The State.
All soldiers are taught to believe that the people wearing uniforms like theirs
are the good guys.
and people wearing other uniforms
(or maybe no uniform at all)
are the bad guys.
Peaceable people can be taught to kill
But it is not easy to kill people you don't hate,
So peaceable people can become hateful
And other peaceable people can become hated.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 1st, 2013 09:38 pm (UTC)
It's interesting how individualistically Merton was looking at this. He doesn't seem to think at all about institutional supports of both individual and isntitutional violence.

Naturally, though, I'm pleased with the distinction between behaviours (and motivaters for them), and their perpetrators....
Aug. 1st, 2013 10:27 pm (UTC)
Yes, and yes,

Peter Maurin argued that is necessary for a healthy society that people be good and also that there be the kind of society in which it is possible to be good.

A writer, whose name long ago escaped me, defined the goal of feminism as a society whose primary concern was the welfare of the individual and individuals whose primary concern was the welfare of society.

I have especially liked both quotes because either the individual, salvational approach or the socio-political approach, taken by itself, is blind.

Edited at 2013-08-01 10:35 pm (UTC)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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