“All’s fair in love and war” the old saying goes, but true love is focused on the good of the other and filters itself accordingly. During the past few hundred years, Western civilizations fought their wars in the name of a king or on behalf of a country, with conventions (at least in principle) that were supposed to guide their warfare.
Those old boundaries, the kind found on maps, don’t matter quite so much anymore. Al Queda and their assorted ideological and spiritual cousins like ISIS, Hamas, Boko Haram, Hezbollah and other clusters of warriors bent on the destruction of Western civilization/Christian faith/the Jewish race. This summer’s grim news reports have underscored that the rules for this kind of warfare do not follow our tattered old Western playbooks. The reactions to this summer’s grim news reporting in both mainstream media and among the social media community I follow have been mostly of the insult-following-injury variety. Perhaps because warfare by definition is all about one side versus another, polarized talk in our culture has left me feeling as though I need to duck in order to avoid the next verbal punch. [Read more]