To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Sunday, July 14, 2024


A Civil Society?



Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Dan Martin took medic Paul Franks’ middle-finger gesture as a sign of defiance. Should every road-rager react in anger at a flipping finger, chase down the finger owner, then call Trooper Martin to “Go get that guy?”

Martin didn’t hate; he was in a state of hostility, ill-disposed toward medic Franks, which led to scuffles between medics and troopers. Couldn’t Trooper Martin have been tolerant, warning the medics to act in a less-childish manner, and verbally chastise them to respect the rules of the road?

Substitute for troopers Nations X and Y; for medics Nations A and B; and scuffles become wars, with deaths and hatred.

The National Abortion Federation says the murder of Dr. George Tiller by suspect Scott Roeder was the eighth abortion provider murdered since 1977; another 17 have been targets of attempted murder. Reeder’s life began broiling 10 years ago when joining an anti-government group; anti-tax; then abortion. He compared Dr. Tiller with the Nazi death-camp doctor, Josef Mengele. In 1996, Roeder was arrested in Topeka, KS, for an invalid license tag which declared Roeder a sovereign, immune from state law.

Trooper Martin and Killer Roeder are imperious people; persons who have a strong desire to exercise authority or force their wishes on others – being dominant, based on real or assumed superiority.

Hate is at times unintentionally fostered by governments and people. Part of President Obama’s speech at the Naval Academy, “We will maintain America’s military dominance and keep the finest fighting force the world has ever seen.” What happened to Teddy Roosevelt’s “Speak softly …?”

The U.S. has lately started a crash program to expand its diplomatic presence in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan by building a new embassy on the order of the Vatican City-sized complex in Iraq. It may be economy-delayed at present, but when the financial picture is brighter …? America has 700-plus military bases scattered across every continent. The service academies probably offer no courses as to why – no debates or discussions.

President Obama’s “Military dominance … world’s largest fighting force,” the Iraqi Embassy, the Pakistan Embassy, and 700 military bases are large word and entity footprints on foreign soils. Will this foster resentment, then hatred?

A Chamber of Commerce promotes stability and growth policies and action of a community. If the chamber of a large city establishes a presence in a small city – a grand building on an extensive acreage – wouldn’t there be, at the very least, anger and resentment. “Who do they think they are?”

Humans are complex; there are shades of gray, more than an internal battle of good versus bad. There is good in the worst people, bad in the best people. Humanity can soothe and terrify, be brutal or caring, love and despise; the ever-present battle of freedom and control.

So, why do so many people find it easier to hate than to tolerate and love? Some may have been taught by family and friends at an early age; a recognized bigot may be popular among some. Others acquire hate and bigotry later in life. Research says a high percentage of haters are poorly educated.

Fear is usually central in hate, bigotry, and racism; humans fear that which is not understood. Fear drives one to prove superiority, and to dominate. Shakespeare: “In time we hate that which we often fear.” To feel superior, another must be subjugated – to feel up, one must put down. [1 John 1:11]: “He that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in the darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.”

The song “Aquarius,” from the hit 1960s Broadway musical Hair: “When the Moon is in the Seventh House, and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then Peace will guide the Planets, and Love will steer the Stars.”

Is the world now in the “Age of Assault” – an era of animosity, aversion, and abhorrence? People must minimize the negative – fear and hate – and accentuate the positive – tolerance and love. Otherwise, the world’s children will inherit domination of the Dark Angels of their nature.

The advice of the U.S. House Chaplain William H. Channing in the mid-1800s: “Live content with small means; seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement more than fashion; be worthy, not only respectable, wealthy, not rich; study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; listen to the stars and birds, babies and sages, with open heart; bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common.

“It will be noted, no government can do this for you; you must do it for yourself.”

Cecil Acuff lives in Perkins, OK and is an occasional contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

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Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.