The Blame Game

In the 24-hour news cycle there is the 24-hour violence cycle. We hear one disastrous story after the next and process unending horrifying images of carnage and death. This is a damaged and hurting world, of that there is no doubt. In instances of man-made violence, our secular culture finds shallow satisfaction in playing the blame game, often scapegoating the marginalized person(s) involved, thereby allowing them to “attack” something “out there”. Sadly, the history of violence and the history of religion walk much of the same path. Immature religion tends to create aggressively judgmental people who find it all too easy to place themselves on the side of the just, good and worthy while projecting their own fear, evil and malice onto another group that they can attack at a more comfortable distance, as though it is someone else who has to die.

The truth is that we are called to die (to ourselves) first. As Richard Rohr says, “Authentic religion is always about you, it says you change first.” Whenever we find that we have entrenched ourselves on a particular side of a divisive social issue, we should stop and ask ourselves, “Have I examined my own role in this… what am I able to address in myself, and how, with God’s infinite mercy, can I love the other person?”

3 thoughts on “The Blame Game

  1. Tonight I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary for Peace in Israel and Gazza. I found myself naming the musteries as follows: 1) The Agony in the Garden: The people of Gazza wait in fear for more bombs to fall; 2) The Scourging at the pillar: bomb fall on the people of Gazza wounding tem teribly; 3) The Crowning with thorns: Bombs fall through the roofs of Palestinian homes causing their homes to fall ontop of them; 4) the Carrying of the Cross: Medics must carry stretchers to reach the wounded as ambulances are being fired upon; 5) The crucifixion and death on the cross: Palestinian families watch their loved ones die or come upon the dead bodies of their children, parents, brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends. Tomorrow I am fasting for an end to that conflict, and I am going in habit to pray the rosary in front of, or as near as I can get to, the Embassey of Israel here in Chicago.
    Reeba posted a music video yesterday titled “pray for peace.” The words ring around in my mind and soul.

  2. We must be the ones to change, to lay down our lives… So true. And if we can learn to love ourselves in the process, we may find the grace to love others just as they are… Good stuff, Will!

  3. Great blog! Right on point. Someone just recommended Richard Rohr to me last week when I was in NC. Which book are you referring to?

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