Now, don’t get me wrong.
I am a fan of Vince Lombardi.
I don’t know that many passages from the bible have been quoted, debated and misused as much as Brother Lombardi’s famous quote.
After tossing and turning and dreaming horrid dream last night (something becoming more and more frequent – gonna have to watch my diet or see a shrink or something), it was one of those mornings where you wake up unable to breathe, ribs feeling like they’ve been punched in a boxing match all night, and pretty much mad at the world.
But thinking about the big “V”.
Yes, it is a motorcycle Alice (and a damned fine one), but it is also a state of being.
Unlike the mood I woke up in, THAT mood feels pretty good.
So Lombardi was right, in one vein, it can be the “only” thing.
But I asked myself – are there times that it is not “the only thing” ?
I have to say, resoundingly, “yes”.
Think about it.
Is it worth the winning if in the process somebody has to die (say, your Grandmother, or your favorite dog, “Harvey”) ?
Is it worth winning if in the winning your soul is compromised ?
Is it worth winning, if everybody else (and I do mean “every-body”) loses (1)?
“Succeeding with great difficulty”, one definition of winning, yet the question begs to be asked “what measure, success” ?
When you have an agenda that benefits a few, or perhaps even only one, is that winning?
There have been countless stories related in the past of men, who for a time, led a people using a mix of brutality, fanfare and cunning to convince them that through this superior force and regal display that they were both protected, and well-served.
There is NO need to recount the cast of usual suspects here, not in this forum.
We have all heard the comparisons, ad nauseum and I’ll spare any further detailing here, out of respect for your sense of “oh brother, here we go again” and to cut down on the wear and tear on my “philangeal” joints (eh, eh).
The truth be told, I never liked it, not one iota, when conservatives were compared to certain of these “types” of suspects, and so I’ll refrain.
Having said this, of no doubt, and I mean absolutely no doubt, we, as a free people, must NEVER forget (again, remember, this is NOT a comparison).
We must never forget the Alamo, and what Santa Anna did there.
We must never forget Aushwitz…
…or the Gulag…
…or the incarceration of Japanese-AMERICANS during WWII.
We must also recognize, in no uncertain terms, that there is a PROFOUND difference between those incarcerated AMERICANS, and, say, Adolph Hitler.
Can you imagine how different a world we would currently live in were there to have been a GITMO in ’35, and were HE to have been water-boarded in it?
So, why should Jimmy Carter get so much attention?
There is no comparison (honestly), to the above-mentioned “evil” men, and I do not mean, even through inference, to imply otherwise.
What is more interesting here is not so much the essence of these callous dictators, but more, what effect does our current culture have on the psychologically “negative” reinforcement (truly a positive thing, when it works) of the “images” of these men?
What I mean to say, we live in a culture that practically crams “erase the hate” down our throats, yet we also love our football and boxing (again, no comparisons, but tacking it back to the concept of “winning”).
I would counter that there is nothing evil, or bad, even, in hating evil.
In persecuting it.
In ferreting it out, and in starving it to death.
What those men mentioned above did lacked any humanity or anything that even approached a human treatment of one’s fellow man.
But at one time, they were perceived as winners.
They won the people’s hearts.
I can find no love in my heart for this, and no admiration for this brand of winning.
Again, what price, success?
I refuse to erase that hate.
I will not.
So, laying wreaths on the graves of those who would hurt us, I do not believe, is a fair interpretation of the biblical admonition to “love one’s enemy”.
Loving one’s enemy can be found in the re-building of Japan and Europe after WWII.
It is loving the people who Nero led to infamy. It is forgiving them for putting such a man in power, and destroying such men of glory.
It is helping them to understand the way of the Christian, and I would argue, the way of the free man.
Christianity itself flourishes in a free society (and this borne out the world over).
God Himself grants each of us the freedom to “choose” to follow Him.
Why then must policies be forced down our throats?
I’ll tell you why.
It is the egomania of one man, and the seeming inability of an entire nation to stand up to him.
Never ask again how it is such men come to power. They come to power by our senseless indifference, our unforgivable apathy and our relentless proclivity toward envy and a multitude of other such sin.
In short, it is not the man who should be excoriated, but rather, the sinners who put him there.
Now is the utmost, crucial time to remember the admonition “Love thine enemy as thy self”.
It is, truly, the ultimate in victory.