Letters to the Editor

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KILLING: Love for others enables us to forgive

Letter by Ralph W. Emerson, Tacoma on March 23, 2012 at 8:47 am | 6 Comments »
March 23, 2012 8:47 am

Re:”The question is, what keeps any of us from killing?” (David Brooks column, 3-21).

After graphically portraying the murderous side of human nature, Brooks comes to the momentous conclusion that “the real question is not what makes people kill but what prevents them from doing so.” But he stops there without answering his question.

What keeps people from killing and violence? The Buddhists could tell us. So could such Hindi as Mahatma Gandhi. So could Christians who practice Christianity the way Jesus taught it, as well as some others. Jesus said “. . . love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you . . .” and ”Forgive and you will be forgiven.”

Forgiveness often has a startling effect, because it immediately disarms the aggressor and causes his remorse. It also wins the sympathy of observers, whether individual or international.

Many don’t practice religion in name, but the basic principle is the same. The principle of love pervades human thought just as surely as does the notion of hate, and love for others is what enables us to forgive. Fear is at the basis of all violence, and love overcomes fear in our hearts. With a heart full of love it would be impossible to harm anyone. Love fulfills all moral requirements.

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