"As a 9/11 family member, this topic of peace is profoundly important to me. My brother, Donald Freeman Greene, having hugged his beloved wife and young children goodbye, headed off on an early flight on September 11, 2001 to visit our siblings on the West Coast. He died on that beautiful morning as a passenger aboard United Flight 93. Young men, deluded into thinking that they were acting in accordance to their religion’s beliefs and/or to benefit their people, had taken over the plane in an act of extreme violence. Their intent to use the airplane as a weapon, most likely aimed at the United States Capitol, was thwarted by passengers who came together to retake control of the cockpit." Terry Greene
"A chosen people is the opposite of a master race, first, because it is not a race but a covenant; second because it exists to serve God, not to master others. A master race worships itself, a chosen people worships something beyond itself. A master race believes it has rights; a chosen people knows only that it has responsibilities." Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Not in God's Name, Schocken, New York. 2015.
As someone who does not identify as a chosen people or part of a master race, I ruminate about how to respond to the world, particularly that part of the world I cannot endorse. So I am comforted by the people who have taken on ministry and who feel responsible enough to care for community.
How do I act on a feeling of responsibility without assuming that I know what other people should do, or what we should do? It's very easy to slip into a political preaching that suggests I know, or that my being a good example means that others should follow it. Or worse yet, create…
A very important article in The Guardian analyses the rise of hyper-masculinity and the phenomenon of Angry White Men. "Sociologist Michael Kimmel is one of the world’s foremost experts on the phenomenon. - His recent research has looked at topics including spree killers (who are overwhelmingly male and white), as well as the relationship between masculinity and political extremism."
In the article there is a report on a study on testosterone where 5 monkeys are observed. The one who rises to the top beats up number 2 and number 2 beats up number 3 - and so it goes down to number 5.
I want to clarify the line between men in general and patriarchal values propagated and imposed on human society.
In order for patriarchy to succeed, it had to kill more efficiently than the nine months gestation it took for a woman to give birth. So the craft of war became more than simply defending territory. It became the ritualized erasure of our human nature for the rule of centralized power.
And no, it hasn't succeeded in diminishing the human population on this planet but it has succeeded in sustaining an ideology of what it means to be a man.
Civilizations built on myths of great conquerors. Histories about the exploits of the greatest killers. Inventions of race, religious ideology and ritual that transformed the teachings of thoughtful prophets into crusades. Endless games of winning and losing. Men who celebrate life through medicine, science, education, art, philosophy and poetry must be dismissed as soft, shamed as effeminate.