If Only He Had Been a . . . but the Enemy is Us

Yes, indeed, we have met the enemy, and the enemy is us.


The enemy is us: look in the mirror
The enemy is us.

If only he had been a Muslim, then we would have known who to hate.

If only ISIS had been behind this, then we could see how many other people we could kill in retaliation.

If only he had a skin color that was anything but white, then we could plan on 200-foot high border walls.

If only he had been a she, then we could have blamed it on feminism and worked harder to keep women oppressed and in the kitchen.

If only he had been poor and uneducated, then we could have blamed it on stupidity and the desperation of poverty.

But he was a he; he was white, he had education, wealth, and no connections to any terrorist groups.

He was, in other words, us.

And we don’t like to hate ourselves.

We don’t like to examine ourselves that closely.

We don’t like to think that the potential to do such evil exists in our own souls.

But it does. What the Las Vegas mass murderer did on a macro scale this once, many of us do on a micro scale daily.

He devalued the humanity of every person attending that concert; we devalue the humanity of everyone who disagrees with us or doesn’t dance to our particular tune.

Check out the incivility on Twitter, Facebook, any other social media platform. See how we treat one another behind walls of anonymity.

Notice that we have elected to the position of supreme leadership in this country a man who spends in days routinely demeaning anyone who doesn’t make him feel good about himself, denying them their humanity, while his supporters egg him on.

Check out our religious disagreements. Both sides of the so-called “orthodox-progressive” divide happily condemn those on the other side to eternities of separation from all that is good and holy. Each wrap themselves in robes of deluded self-righteousness.

Check out the smallest of intimate relationships that teeters on the verge of dissolution. Hear each hurl accusations at the other, neither willing to offer the benefit of the doubt or admit to personal wrongdoing.

Those tiny blowups infect our society in larger and larger doses.

How easily we remedy our personal angsts by simply disposing of the other. Working it out, because both must adapt, change, gaze hard at themselves, make often painful moves toward real health, is just too much trouble.

In truth, we can no longer blame the “other” for our malaise.

Yes, indeed, we have met the enemy, and the enemy is us.


Photo via Visualhunt

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  • Chuck Johnson

    Yes, indeed, we have met the enemy, and the enemy is us.-Christy

    Christy, you have been to seminary and you have learned how to play word games.
    But I am not impressed.

    I am not that shooter. – – – Are you imagining that you are ? It would take a lot to convince me that you are.

    Your extensive immersion in the guilt and the sin of being a Christian seems to have undermined your sense of curiosity, logic and decency.
    You can do better than this.
    Put aside your ritualized Christian notions. There are more things to know and understand than you have imagined.

    There are more things in heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

  • Richard Worden Wilson

    Sorry: he is not us. Too simplistic and jingoistic.

  • https://www.pinterest.com/bconservative/ Carrie ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    I like this article, and I’m happy I’ve reached a stage in my life where I can grasp the concept.

    In my youth immaturity, I’d have defended my white privilege to the ends of the earth without even knowing that’s what I was doing.

    Thank G-d for maturity and life experience! And thank YOU for this well thought-out article.

  • jekylldoc

    The original Walt Kelly observation (taking off from “and he is ours,”) was about pollution and environmental destruction. It’s a good comparison to make with invective and divisiveness. In the name of expressing our ideas, values and reasons, we are often tempted to throw in a little condemnation, rejection and devaluation. And it pollutes the air we need to breathe, and it pollutes the water that should wash us clean and sustain our life.

    For the 77th time, the Kingdom of God is not the state in which the good guys always win. The Kingdom of God is peace.