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Old 06-01-2004, 07:26 PM   #1
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Practicing What We Preach

With the great divergence in views on faith and religion, one common denominator that we all seem to agree on is the requirement to love on another. Whether someone is a Christian or atheist, I can't recall an argument against this stance.

Do we really practice it?

Case in point. Before my wife's surgery, one of the women from her bible study visited us in the pre-op room for prayer. We had some time, so we were catching up on various things.

Our friend told us that their new church building had been vandalized. An individual or group had broken in and made a real effort to damage the new sanctuary.

I thought her reaction would be

Instead, she asked "what did this person need in their life that would lead them to this action?" Her desire to care for the needs of the vandal was a demonstration of loving our neighbor (even the most unlovable).

This got me to thinking of our reactions to other matters. What was missing from the soldier's personal life that would lead them to mistreat prisoners? Not just external things like "lack of supervision," what did their heart need?

I guess loving our neighbor could be one of the greatest challenges we face.
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Old 06-01-2004, 08:07 PM   #2
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Re: Practicing What We Preach

Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


This got me to thinking of our reactions to other matters. What was missing from the soldier's personal life that would lead them to mistreat prisoners? Not just external things like "lack of supervision," what did their heart need?

I guess loving our neighbor could be one of the greatest challenges we face.
The soldiers in those photos sure were having a fun time
weren't they? The cause of the abuse, I strongly believe,
were orders from Army intelligence and/or the CIA.
They wanted information no matter what the cost.
But, they didnt want the prisoners marked up. Just some
"friendly" mental torture that would break their spirits,
and force them to talk.
It got out of hand is an undertatement. I wonder what
is happening over in Cuba in that prison there?
Surely, the soldiers are at fault. But, I believe their superiors
knew what was going on. If it weren't for the photos, this
would never have made public I bet.
The real culprits are the intelligence community who egged
on this abuse. The soldiers were "only doing their job."
Too well, if you ask me.
So what's going to happen. A few soldiers will be punished,
while those that gave the orders will go unpunished.
On the other hand, there's some that believe this wasn't abuse
at all. So what if this happened? It's "payback time" for 9/11 is
their battle cry. Very strange logic. Iraq had nothing to do with
9/11, but Saudi Arabia did. No matter. Who cares about facts
anyways. To quote that great American president, Ronald Reagan,
" Facts are stupid things." <insert sarcasm here>
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Old 06-01-2004, 08:10 PM   #3
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I believe this, and I agree, it is one of the biggest challenges in life. I am afraid I've fallen short on several occasions.
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Old 06-01-2004, 08:15 PM   #4
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wow .. you know I think that is a good question .. good for that women I mean to think of it that nature she must have a deep understanding of love thy neighbour.

I dont know .. it's a rule I try to live by and I dont always exceed.. the most recent test for me was about two weeks ago when a police officer from my boyfriends old division was killed on duty.. he had his throat slashed by a young kid who had premeditated the act by claiming he was a robbery victim to lure cops to the scene.. it ws brutal and you know my first reaction was not what was missing in this kid to do such a thing.. I was angry and bitter and I admit at that moment I didnt have a bit of sympathy for the kid but if you get caught up in that it's a dangerous place to be and it doesnt serve anyones purpose

But then the questions do come
what was missing from him , what filled him with so much hatred that he would commit such an act.. and he if he had felt more of that ideal "love thy neighbour" in his life would it have stopped him
those are alot of questions that I dont have an answer too ..
a life was ended all too short from a vicious act by a kid so filled with hate to do such a thing it is beyond my comprehension

all I know was what was taken away from alot of people including him and his family..



as for the soldiers well I dont know .. how do people get from ordinary men to willing executioners , that was the question Chistopher Browning asked in his book.. why did ordinary germans and members of Hitlers Order Police participate in mass murders..
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Old 06-01-2004, 09:05 PM   #5
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Wow, NBC - this is a question that is so front burner in my life right now. In my thoughts, if we loved one another, there would not be so much red tape in getting aid to the poorest countries.

It really hits home for me though, since I am heavily contemplating how to love my neighbor when it comes to my husband and divorce. How can I practice loving one another when I am so angry at him for leaving without trying one more time to make it work? Where do I draw the line of trying to be fair to him and keeping my children's lives as stable as possible?

OK guys, here's where my usual writing road block comes in. I've been sitting here for almost 10 minutes trying to complete this post somehow and usually at this point I'd delete it and call it a day. Tonight, I'm going to post anyhow. I need to work on this road block.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 06-01-2004, 09:09 PM   #6
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I think it's blatantly obvious people don't live by this rule.

If they did, then everyone in the world would be equal. But some are more equal than others.
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Old 06-02-2004, 08:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
I think it's blatantly obvious people don't live by this rule.

If they did, then everyone in the world would be equal. But some are more equal than others.
yeah i love this quote from "Animal Farm"

nbcrusader:
preaching without living and practicing it is useless because nobody believes you if you tell them:
"Do what i tell you should do, not what i do"
It dosn't work when we try to parent our kids, it dosn't work when we just preach to our neigbours and of course it dosn't work in politics.
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Old 06-02-2004, 10:38 AM   #8
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As the saying goes "actions speak louder than words". If you actually *do* it, it's a powerful teaching tool, because you're making people think about what they do. If you just talk in terms of "we should do this" but then don't carry it out, then you're not really going anywhere with it. There was alot of compassion and insight in what NB's wife said about the vandals. I'm impressed.
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