In response to the killing of Osama bin Laden, in a recent Facebook post, a friend quoted from MLK:
“Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
I’m conflicted on this point. I get the ‘deeper darkness’, but when the grasshopper is eating my crops and I must choose between food on the table and his single minded purpose, without regard to my labors, despite the beauty of his iridescent architecture, the beast must go. I mourn the loss of his spirit but rejoice in feeding my kin.
This man, bin Laden, has spawned a plague of hate and had set himself up as the very embodiment of irrational delusion. I’m not sure that reason, in a time when we seem to have collectively lost our rationality, could have achieved a decisive end to this battle. For even a virus is a living organism, and we can tolerate a certain level of infection, but at some point management is no longer an option, if we are to survive.