January 14, 2003
"I think war is based in greed and there are huge karmic retributions that will follow. I think war is never the answer to solving any problems. The best way to solve problems is to not have enemies."
Singer Sheryl Crow, back stage at the American Music Awards, 2003
Someone needs to ask Crow if she’s ever been beat out of a gig, you know, where someone else got the job she really wanted, the one upon which her entire future rests? Should this be true, perhaps we can all ask her how she left it with her erstwhile “enemy” and avoided “war.”
Simple-minded solutions to complex problems actually do work sometimes, but for them to work they must be based on sound principles. Crow’s solution to conflict resolution is simple enough, but I think it is affect by too many loud sounds reverberating through her skull from far too many performances.
The person who has no enemies either is dead or has no principles. For it is standing for something, whether a recording contract that pays millions or big ideas such as unalienable rights, that gets us in trouble with others. Crow can ask her attorney to sweet-talk the record companies for her. We ask the military to rattle their swords for us.
Not that making friends has no advantages. Paul wrote to the Romans that we should try to live at peace with everyone when it is within our ability to do so. Paul listened to God. Had he lived 40 or more generations earlier, he would have heard God telling the Israelis to slay all those Hittites, Ammonites and Philistines.
Imagine Sheryl Crow standing before Goliath with her guitar. “Come on, Gol. Can’t we all just get along?” she asks as she strums and sings, “Imagine all the people…” I prefer a well-placed smooth stone from David’s sling.
There are two kinds of peace and the lack of understanding this is what confuses Crow.
One kind of peace results from avoiding conflict. The quality of this kind of peace depends on subjection and submission to those who are stronger and who care little about conflict or human life – Osama bin Laden comes to mind. This kind of peace is easy to win, but it is transitory and always leads to a loss of liberty. It is, in the long term, a brutal peace.
The other kind of peace comes from standing for something. Standing for time-tested self-evident truths – unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, for instance – results in long-term peace. Real freedom results from sound principles winning over passive submission, but only if those principles are worth defending.
But when the principles for which we fight are in themselves brutish and ungodly and we stand for the wrong thing, and we must become the brutes who can only win with brute force. These are not principles worth defending, and they are not American principles. Abortion rights comes to mind.
Sending knives and scissors into the womb to kill a human life is as bad a kind of terrorism as is sending airplanes into tall towers. Abortion rights is not a decision for which we should be fighting, and to do so makes us as bad as the brutish enemies we seek to destroy.
If Crow and her kind understood and were willing to die for unalienable rights, if they were willing to put at risk their lives, fortunes and sacred honor, then there would be peace. A peace worth dying for is what defeats our enemies. And it places us in good stead to obey Christ’s directive to love our enemies as we do ourselves.
The good news is that George W. Bush understands what brings true piece, and he is president – not Sheryl Crow.
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