The story about the six people who were killed today at the Sikh Temple near Milwaukee (7 including the shooter) has got me very concerned about…well where do I start? Okay here’s what bothers me. The news reports seem to be suggesting that the shooter was targeting a Muslim mosque but was misinformed and thought that the Sikh Temple was in fact a mosque.
It would be a horror for the world regardless of whether the shooter reached his intended target or not. Let me make that clear. But to think that we humans are capable of hate on such a misguided level is staggering. At my local Hindu (Sikhism broke from Hinduism about 500 years ago) temple I once saw a car drive by and a young male shouted out the window some anti-Arab slur, which…I don’t even know what to say about that. If someone could see a Sikh temple and think that it was a mosque and carry out what this person carried out today, I have no doubt that someone has the mental (lack of) capacity to think “Hindu Temple? There must be Muslims in there!”
There is so much misguided hate, I don’t even know what to say about it. I am at a loss and yet I try. People don’t think. They just hate. Not that well-thought-out hate is any better. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler is considered to lucid piece of writing at least, but look how that ended up. I am trying not to get angry and I have already made the effort to keep in mind that, as with the Colorado movie theater shooting, if I am going to pray for the victims I must also pray for the shooter. I have to. He was just as much of a lost soul as anyone and therefore if the victims needed prayers, he surely did.
I don’t even want to get into the issue of whether this was mental illness, a hate crime or an act of terrorism. I don’t really care anymore. All I know it is hate. We are probably always going to have hate, and we are probably always going to have violence And the Bhagavad-Gita shows us that violence can be used toward a righteous end. It is possible if we are in the right state of being. But I don’t believe that hate ever mixes with violence to achieve a righteous end. Hate always involves the ego, or some nationalistic angle or some kind of pride. Hate and violence are literally a deadly combination, as we saw today in Wisconsin.
I have never been more convinced that we are, indeed, in the Kali Yuga. I pray for the world. All this over six (7) people? some may ask. Yes. I will never get used to this no matter how often it is getting to be happening. And it will never…ever…be okay. We have to demand better of our species. I, for one, insist upon it.