Today is Easter, a holiday I do not celebrate. I used to, not in the traditional childhood sense of bunnies and candy eggs, nor in the more urgent wonder over the resurrection of the dead. What I used to do was watch marathons of zombie movies, often drunk or stoned when I was younger and healthier. But today . . . Today is a gut punch.
Recently I spent about five days studying the history of the ancient and stunning island nation of Sri Lanka. I grew fascinated with the depth and complexities of people with such a long history, in such a strategic location, and with their bravery from resisting most absolutism.
There are ethnic conflicts, sometimes so severe that the nation is divided into civil war. This is a recurring worldwide problem, with tribal differences and multicultural immersion, as wrong as such petty hatred might be. But religion had rarely been a problem.
On Easter Sunday, while the small minority Christian population celebrated the reason they have a religion at all, and the tiny minority Muslim population either celebrate a prophet, brood, feel left out, or live their lives as any other Sunday, a group of radicals blew up eight filled churches and luxury hotels killing, at last count, more than 200 people. This is the most severe worldwide terror attack since September 11, 2001.
I am heartbroken over this. It strengthens, even more, my conviction against all forms of absolutism, obviously religious, but racial and political as well. All true believers in anything are monsters the moment they condemn another ideology a sin. Today is a terrible day for the world.
Do not offer ‘thoughts and prayers,’ because that sort of thinking leads to tragedy such as this. Offer your anger, your outrage. It is only through this final conviction, a rejection of absolutism–absolutely–that we may hope to possibly live in a world where we can only hate each other on our own horrible merits.
Tomorrow, and for the following week, Elsewhere Series 3 returns with a tour of Africa, starting with Camaroon.