There Are No Enemies

I’ve just read the amazing story of Martha Mullen, who arranged for the body of the elder Boston bomber brother’s body to be buried in Doswell, Virginia. It’s a courageous act, after all the controversy that burying Tamerlan Tsarnaev has created. A Boston Globe interview says:

“[The protests] portrayed America at its worst,” she said in an interview with the Globe this morning. “The fact that people were picketing this poor man [Stefan] who was just trying to help really upset me.”

Mullen, a licensed professional counselor who has lived in Richmond for most of her life, said she was sitting in a Starbucks Tuesday when it hit her: She could be the one to end the controversy.

“Jesus says [to] love our enemies,” said Mullen, who holds a degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. “So I was sitting in Starbucks and thought, maybe I’m the one person who needs to do something.”

Sometimes I wonder about Jesus’ words, if he even knew some of the things we ourselves know, about pluralism, community, boundaries, and loving people. I wonder if Jesus said, “Love your enemies,” because he understood that there is no such thing as enemies. There are just other humans, living and dying with the choices they make.

Isn’t that the lesson of Jesus’ life, in so many ways? That we are going to live and die with the choices we make? And that perhaps, today, “Maybe I’m the one person who needs to do something.” Maybe, when you see a car accident, you’re the one person who needs to do something. Maybe, when you see someone picking on someone else, you’re the one person who needs to do something. Maybe, when you see injustice in the world, you’re the one person who needs to do something.

It took a lot of courage to do something this big. And it’s probably going to take a lot more courage to take the criticism that Martha Mullen will receive. But I, for one, applaud that courage. And wish I had some of the same.

About Lia Scholl
  • http://twitter.com/ChrisMacDen ChrisMacDen

    Unfortunately, the bomber was buried in a Muslim cemetery without telling the Muslim community. The Muslim community is understandably very upset that they have to now go to the burial ground where he is. Why would a Christian take it upon herself to bury the body in someone else’s cemetery?

  • http://atlantarofters.blogspot.com The Sanity Inspector

    No enemies? Don’t tell us, tell the jihadists!

    Tolerance does not…do anything, embrace anyone, champion any issue. It wipes the notes off the score of life and replaces them with one long bar of rest. It does not attack error, it does not champion truth, it does not hate evil, it does not love good. –Walter Farrell, The Looking Glass, 1951

  • Kristi Jalics

    Walter Farrell was quite wrong, and quite unchristian (I have no idea if he aspired to such a thing, however) when he wrote these words. Life is not about scoring. It is about loving and forgiving and helping the truth to set us all free. Christ taught us to love our enemies and turn the other cheek and forgive seventy times seven. And God said over and over that He is the judge, not us.

    And I don’t understand why the Muslim community is upset that they now have to go to a Muslim cemetery. Perhaps something was not written correctly here. It does not sound as though any Muslims were burying this man…….We need more information, I think.

    • Dntcallmyname Notelin

      u know my ex use to say those words its not about scoring , telling me how competitive i was and again we suppose to run this race arent those words form the bible ?

  • Dntcallmyname Notelin

    hi wow before i came to this site my thoughts brought me to the conclusion and here it is there is no such a thing like enemies thats why Jesus said love your enemies cause really they are not , we know how it is , we’ve been once fighting against something someone but still we wanted to be loved accepted by God , cause we are all people and we tend to make similar mistakes in our lives.


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