Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matt. 5:11-12.
I thought of this passage --actually the last of the Beatitudes and the one not quoted very often-- when I read the harsh words in our local paper today aimed at the director of our peace group. While she's as human as the rest of us and has her faults, Karen speaks with a prophetic voice. Prophetic in the sense of "speaking for," in this case, speaking for those who wish to see our government and that of other nations diversify their security portfolio, one might say, rather than sink all their efforts and funding into military means.
Karen also illustrates, I think, another one of the Beatitudes: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. I've often heard this teaching of Jesus interpreted in terms of sexual purity. However, I remember once reading a commentator who said that a better translation would be Blessed are the single-hearted. In other words, someone who has his or her heart set unwaveringly on a lofty, noble goal and who will not be moved.
She always says what she knows to be true, even if sometimes she may say it a bit undiplomatically. Still, the charge that she spews "venom," is itself rather venomous. I'm also amused at those who see only military might as capable of keeping our rights alive and who never acknowledge that another way of keeping them strong is to exercise them regularly in public, particularly when this is likely to be met with contempt and ridicule.
I guess I can understand that seriously calling into question military recruitment isn't something likely to earn one accolades. Still, it's amazing how pitiless people can be toward someone who entertains a point of view so different from that of the dominant culture.
I sent a very strong letter to the paper myself last weekend. I chose my words carefully, and certainly did not call any person or persons names, but I did decry what I believe to be misdeeds on the part of our Executive and Legislative branches. I think my letter has a chance of getting published.
So I'm bracing for the worst.