I’ve always believed that there is a time and a place for peace. It should always be the first thing you seek when you face a situation, but, unfortunately, not every situation calls for peace. Sometimes your only choice is to whip out the big guns and let them rip.
Back in the 1930s, for some reason a number of dictators rose to power in Europe. You had Adolph Hitler in Germany, Benito Mussolini in Italy, and Francisco Franco in Spain. One of those dictators, Hitler, got a bug up his ass and started marching across Europe, taking countries left and right. He started with Poland, but he didn’t stop there. His plans were to take over the whole area.
Things only got worse when Italy joined the alliance, and Mussolini started putting similar oppressive orders in place in his country. The Nazis were moving fast, and they were making dangerous friends along the way.
Eventually they started invading Scandinavia and bombing Great Britain. The United States chose peace over fighting, taking an isolationist stance and not wanting to get involved in World War II. That is, until the war came to them.
While everyone was watching Europe, no one was paying as much attention to what was going on with Japan. They, too, had an idea to take over the world, and they eventually joined the Axis Alliance with Hitler to do just that. They got the bright idea to attack the United States by bombing Pearl Harbor at the end of 1941.
Now, if there’s one thing I know about the United States, it’s that you don’t mess with them. Al-Quada learned this after 9/11, and the Japanese learned it after Pearl Harbor. Suddenly they were all in the war and kicking ass with the Allied Forces. Though they fought in Europe and helped the European allies overthrow the Nazis, it was in Japan where the most vicious fighting took place for the United States.
It was a bitter battle across the Pacific, and bodies fell on both sides, some floating on the ocean and others falling in the jungles. The Japanese at the time were a determined force, egged on by a vicious dictator of their own, who would rather resort to suicide than lose. It was at the loss of their own civilian people that they fought on. Whole families were being burned up in fire bombing raids, women and children were jumping from cliffs, and children were starving to death.
I am by no means pro-bomb. I think that the atomic bomb is a horrific device that should never be used in combat, or anywhere else, for that matter. They are just too destructive, and the aftermath of their explosion is too horrific to even discuss here. If you want to know more, just read the book “Hiroshima.” (Just don’t do what I did and read it cover to cover in one night and then go to sleep. That was a nightmare I don’t wish to repeat.)
Debates still rage today as to whether the Bomb should’ve been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and I’m not going to join the argument here. I honestly think when Truman approved their use, he wasn’t sure exactly how bad they were. However, if the Bomb had not been dropped on Japan, that “oh, my God” moment would’ve never occurred, and it would’ve been dropped somewhere else later.
It could’ve been worse, too. Fat Man and Little Boy were not very big bombs, and they were still devastating drops. At the time, scientists were already pondering the development of the hydrogen bomb, which makes the two bombs dropped on Japan seem like temper tantrums. I fully believe that if the bombs hadn’t been dropped on Japan, the first bomb used in combat would’ve been an H-bomb, and it would’ve been dropped on a bigger population.
But the Bomb aside, my point was that peace was not an option during the World War II era. The Nazis were a vicious force that caused the senseless deaths of millions of people, most of them targeted for stupid reasons, like religion or sexual orientation. (Yes, gays and asexual women were targeted by the Nazis. It’s not widely discussed.)
Can you imagine the number of deaths that would’ve occurred had we had DNA technology in that era? I don’t even want to think about it. Especially since my background includes some of the people that the idiots were targeting.
My point is, that the Nazis and Japanese would only be stopped through force. The Nazis would not respond to being handed a daisy and a hug. Neither would Italy or Japan. Especially not Japan in that era. They’d likely gut that hippy with their sword.
But that is on the world stage. What about the more small scale situation? Let’s take an abusive home, for instance. There are extreme Christians who do not believe in divorce under any circumstances, including a spouse being abused by another spouse. They believe in removing the spouse from the home (usually a beaten wife) and talking to the abusive spouse. There is a lot of bullshit about turning the other cheek and forgiveness. How many women have died because of this?
It's not that I advocate beating the crap out of abusers. My first solution to this problem is to call the police and report the abuse. But if you are the abuse target, sometimes you fall into situations where you don’t have a choice in the matter. You fight or you die.
I recall an experience with an abusive father where he lost his temper over a math lesson. (I will not use names as this is a sensitive story.) This came around the same time he threw a book at his kid and kicked the shit out of her because she couldn’t pronounce the name of main character. (The subject of this abuse still can’t read that book thirty years later.) Today, I believe it was about messing up the names of the decimal places or something equally stupid.
She was fourteen at the time and tired of his crap. The minute he went out the door to go to the store, she locked it. Despite the fact that he had a key, he ordered her to open the door. She did, and he promptly hit her in the face. She hit him back, twice as hard.
The moron didn’t get the point. He turned bright red and rushed into the house, grabbing the girl by the shoulder and attempting to turn her over his knee, like she was a little child. She saw red at that point and adrenaline kicked in. The next thing she knew, his lip was bleeding and a man twice her size was flying over the coffee table to the concrete floor. She walked around the table and put her foot on his chest before he had a chance to recover.
Before that point, the beatings had been getting worse as she got older and bigger. It was as if her father thought he had a good, sturdy punching bag that he could take his temper out on whenever he pleased. There was book incident. There were the few times he dislocated her shoulder. She doesn’t know how many times she had things thrown at her, from books to TV remotes to food. The church didn’t help, her grandmother didn’t believe her, and she didn’t want to be taken away from her non-abusive family and stuck in a place she hated, so she didn’t call the police. If that brutal battle had not taken place, it’s possible this woman would be dead today. Turning the other cheek and forgiving the behavior was not an option.
That being said, I do not, under any circumstances, recommend beating up your abuser! Indeed, not everyone is strong enough to fight back without getting seriously hurt or killed. Furthermore, your abuser may retaliate and make things worse. The best option in the case of an abusive home is not peace, nor fighting, it’s flight. Get your ass out of there! You can fight from the outside, using the law. There are more resources around to help you today than there were when this girl was fighting her father.
One final warning, though. If you find yourself in a place where the focus is on forgiveness and reconciliation, it’s best to look elsewhere. Churches today are often not good resources for abused people (especially abused women), as this is their primary goal. There is a time and a place for forgiveness and getting back together, and an abusive relationship or family is not it.
Forgiveness is always thrown in my face concerning my own father. According to social media friends, I’m supposed to forgive the asshole because it will make me feel better. There is no way in Hell I will ever forgive that thing for what he did to me.
I don’t let him ruin my life, either. Not by a long shot. I have moved on and developed a life that I can be proud of without him. But he will never get any forgiveness from me. He can pass into the afterlife, whatever it is, with the guilt of that crime. Let Purgatory deal with him.
I may have a disdain for romantic love, but that is only partially because of my experiences with him. There are other shitheads out there who deserve credit for that one. In the end, though, it was my own choice to draw the conclusion that I did.
Forgiveness. It’s a word thrown around by well-adjusted people who have never had the misfortune of experiencing abuse. It’s easy for them to say “oh, just forgive them” when they’ve never been kicked over a book or had their face jammed into a wall for not smiling enough. It’s hard to forgive the slappings, or the dislocated shoulders, or the thrown objects that abused children experience.
I’m here to say that forgiveness is not a requirement. Anyone who says otherwise is extremely naïve. You don’t have to forgive them, or put up with their abuse, or even go to their funeral when they die. Just don’t let some asshole rule your life from beyond the grave.
This brings me to the end of this week’s blog article. Peace is an option in many cases, and the prevention of war or violence is always preferred over a conflict. However, there are times and places when peace is not the best route, or an option at all. Remember the Nazis. Remember that dad.