By Will Hecht, Guest Columnist
The editorial comment “History tells us that might eventually makes right” (Morrison County Record, July 27) is disconcerting for this reader. As stated, such specious generalizations ignore the thoughtfulness needed for such a serious subject: What or whose “history”? What is “democracy’s gains”? What “rule of law”? What “consequences”?
The opinion is empty of hope and offers only that killing people is an acceptable means of resolving differences — “eventually;” killing in fact is the go-to means for geo-political conflict resolution; and then the violence of such behavior is sugar-coated by using the flippant statement, “might will make right.” What inspiration is needed to have the courage to quit? Is this moral vacuousness what we want our children to inherit — our grandchildren?
Sadly, such reasoning seems all too prevalent in our predominantly Christian society. So, I ask: “Where in the New Testament does the nonviolent, unconditional love and compassion of Jesus Christ reflect the Old Testament’s violent retributive justice, the ‘might will make right’ of the editorial comment?”
I recall being taught that the new is intended to change the old; and no teacher of mine ever said it would be easy. What defect of character allows for Sunday’s display of loving compassion and obeisance in front of the crucified Christ while during other hours of the week giving expression to viewpoints that reflect an unjustly simplistic interpretation of world history (socio-economic conditions, political ideology and movements, religious belief systems, etc …), of ignoring bigotry in any of its social manifestations?
Can nearly 7,000 dead and over 50,000 wounded Americans in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, at a cost of $4 to $6 trillion (and counting), be thought of as “might will make right”? Vietnam? Korea? The two world wars? 9/11? Columbine? Where does it begin and end? As a volunteer in the U.S. military (1969-71) and the U.S. Peace Corps (1984-86) I have no misconception which method of diplomacy has a more enduring, vital vision for world peace.
I believe there is a sickness in our country when increasingly it is acceptable to argue it will benefit society by reducing or eliminating government assistance programs for education, housing, medical care, nutrition, etc.; for equitable health care, for a living minimum wage; yet, without question, support funding the military-industrial complex prescription for the same old snake oil: “might will make right.”
I do not appreciate this ethical lethargy and ask the editorial writer and this paper’s readers to imagine a world without “might will make right,” and find ways to work for it. Peace work is real work; it is working for “human decency” and “civilized behavior.” What would Jesus do?
Will Hecht is a resident of Little Falls.