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Us and Them: The Just and the Unjust.


What is it about us humans?

The tragic shooting in the USA last weekend could be passed off as a random act of violence if not for the fact the gunman chose the target and the audience. His target was the government even though he had no political gripes. It seems his anger was at the system and not individuals. So to get this message across, he chose to murder individuals.

Likewise Islamic fundamentalists strap on bombs more frequently and kill people as some kind of protest. They can do this because they do draw a line and divide people into Us and Them.

They do not see those they kill as part of their world. They devalue their humanity and vilify their existence and replace the idea of them murdering people like themselves with the idea that they are doing some deity somewhere a service.

In World War One, the German army marched under the banner ‘God is on our side’.  The Russians and the English and French also had similar banners. No wonder God was confused and the war raged for 4 years and millions on both side died right?

In World War Two, the Nazi’s had so vilified Jews that many Germans thought more concern about shooting a dog dead then shooting a Jew. The Us and Them factor glowed hot.

We like to sort and order. We classify people by skin colour. By nationality. By religion. By the clothes we wear. By the sport teams we support. By the food we eat. By the sexual relations we have.

All of these are apparently necessary subsets. Somehow we need to separate ourselves from others so we can better come to terms with our individuality.  It also makes it easier to kill someone not in your subset as we do not belong to that subset. We basically remove them from our concept of humanity.

The killings in the USA was done by some person on the edge of sanity and reality. Currently there is a debate raging in regards to what triggered the rage.

It’s funny how people can use rhetoric that conjure images of the inspiring tale of armed revolt of the USA founding fathers,  but when people on the edge of sanity and reality decide to get armed and revolt, then suddenly it becomes not what they meant at all.

Further, we the public begin to find things, anything, that will help us cull the killer from ‘Us’ and classify them in the ‘Them’ pile. The idea that there could be no difference can be too much to bear for many. There MUST be a reason otherwise what is to distinguish the nasty murderers from the Us of us.

So the first thing that is done is the vilifying of the killer. He was a loner. He had strange views. He made a disturbing video. He wore his underpants on his head. Whatever straw to cling to and classify this man as non human or rather non sane human.What does not seem to be an issue is the religious views of the gunman. I believe he was raised a Christian. Does this mean we do not allow the building of Christian Churches within a 10 mile radius out of respect?

Conversely, when similar people on the edge of reality and sanity decide to fly planes in  buildings, this is interpreted as an example of everything they stood for and that includes their religion. People demand that Mosques are banned within a certain radius. Others  offer a message of peace by burning books. Anyone of the same religion as the terrorists are obviously terrorists in waiting and they need to be punished because God is on our side. The truth of it all is they were making a political statement, just like the gunman last week. 9/11 was not a religious attack. It was a political one. Like the killings last week.

Where the white Christian gunman is identified as a loner and mentally disturbed, the non white Muslims are identified as part of an organised group, and therefore all Muslims must be punished as some form of payback.

The Us and the Them.

A politician in Australia tried their hand at biblical quotes. If you are not aware, there have been some rather devastating floods in Queensland.

The leader of the opposition, when asked about his thoughts how some parts of the city was untouched and others under water he responded with:

”Look, the rain falls on the just and unjust alike”

He meant to say that this is a random act of god. But that is not what that biblical statement is about at all. Something that surprised me considering how this particular man almost became a priest so he should know what the statement means.

Basically it means this. You may think God is on your side. You may think the enemy is a godless heathen. But guess what? God sends them rain to water their crops and feed them because he does not think that and maybe you should pull the finger out of your own butt holes and recognise the fact that God loves your enemies as much as he loves you. And if God can love your enemies then you can too.

Now this sentiment works even if you are not religious. The people you call your enemy are people just like you.

There is no Us and Them. We are all humans. We are all the same. And even if we see differences, God/nature/fate does not. Maybe we should stop talking about what divides us and focus on what we share as a species.


A. Ghebranious   2011      (All Rights Reserved)

  1. Forester permalink

    Nice point Ash on the hypocrisy of not highlighting the Christianity of the gunman. Had he been a Muslim, no questions would have been asked about his sanity!

  2. Jennifer Baratta permalink

    The US REP hurt is recovering miraculously.

  3. Miglo permalink

    Hitler was a churchgoer. Says it all.

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