As many of you know, the phrase, “Make love, not war” was coined in the 1960s by the Hippie community, in opposition to the Vietnam war. Indeed, it was their motto, though it had other connotations besides not making war. We need not dig too deeply into that. The phrase, however, does ring a bell for me when I reflect on this past year’s notorious events and how I relate to them.
My parents, Pat and Mary, were born and grew up in small cottages in adjacent villages in the west of Ireland during the final years of English rule and occupancy. They lived through the reign of terror of the much hated Black and Tans. They experienced what it was like to live under the yoke of oppression and oppressors. They remembered the Easter Rebellion uprising and the subsequent execution of Irishmen who today are considered martyrs for their country and their people. Had I myself lived in that era, only God knows how I would have reacted. My parents grew up, married and brought up in the faith five children, as few other parents have done. Yes, they made love and not war, but they understood what oppression can do to some.
Now on to the invasion of the US Capitol on January 6 by the rioters who created havoc and were instrumental in the deaths of five innocent people. There is little doubt in my mind that all decent minded Americans decry the actions of those marauders. There are, however, a couple of questions that I, as a naturalized citizen, put to this nation. Where were many of those who now cry foul when our great cities were being looted, burned and worse still, citizens killed, during the summer long riots. Where were they? And what prompted these riots?
The Capitol has been referred to by many as a sacred place and has now been desecrated. I most certainly do not suggest otherwise. What I do suggest, however, is that this sacred place has been desecrated many times previously by some whose words have uttered falsehoods and lies, like the cows casually dropping their turds on our grazing pastures. Remember those who tried, in these sacred halls and elsewhere, to destroy the good name of Justice Kavanaugh. Mazie, in the true spirit of Aloha, have you apologized to Justice Kavanaugh for your participation in that outrage?
When I first decided to pen this column eight years ago, I had no intention on getting involved in any way in the politics of this land. However, it was only a matter of time before I called out those guilty of oppression by word, deed or omission. I do so in the manner of Jesus Christ who called out the hypocrisy of the religious leaders of his time. In our time Jesus would have a “hay day” if he were to address our US Congress. For Him the Truth is Sacred. Aloha.
Fr. Pat Killilea ss.cc.
St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa.