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“Only love can drive out hate”

Regular columnist Philip Young is reminded of Martin Luther King’s words as he follows reports of the war in Ukraine.

The war in Ukraine has brought very dark days back to the continent of Europe. Jesus is the light of the world and right now we need to hold onto the promise that, “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:5).
God weeps when the darkness of war overshadows us, but always His goodness is more powerful than human evil, and his goodness will prevail. As we approach the celebration of Easter let us see again, in the resurrection of Jesus, that life overcomes death, and that love overcomes hate.
There should be universal and international outrage about the aggressive war being waged by Russia against Ukraine. If anyone doubted that war is a great evil, then what Russia is doing in Ukraine should dispel any lingering doubts.
There seems to be little doubt that the blame for this war lies with Putin and his inner circle. What they are doing is destroying and killing other human beings without any regard for the sanctity of human life. The blame lies fairly and squarely with Putin the aggressor. The free world needs to log the war crimes he is committing and then put him, and his inner circle, on trial by a process of international law.
We cannot lay the blame on the Ukrainian people, who are bravely defending their right to exist as an independent country. We cannot blame the Russian people, most of whom only wish to live their lives in peace, but are having the truth hidden from them. The Russian soldiers are following orders and are not entirely to blame. We need to blame those who are giving the orders and supporting Putin in his madness and destruction. What he is doing is evil and I am sure he is a sick man.
Putin's war is showing us, in a very alarming way, the utter destructiveness and uselessness of fighting one another. It is showing us that all sane people must unite and become peacemakers. All of us should be very afraid of escalating this war into a Third World War. Escalation into a nuclear war could leave the whole planet a wasteland and, of course, we would all be the losers.
Now is the time to declare that love is the only force in the world that can overcome hatred and war. What Martin Luther King said 60 years ago has now become urgent, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Are we as human beings able, at this time, to unite in love, or are we to let darkness and hatred get the upper hand?
We are approaching the season of Easter where Jesus shows us that love is stronger than hate and, that life, in all its fullness, can overcome death. Love, as always, is the answer and Jesus has already shown us the way. Will we follow?

The photo above of Martin Luther King is by Unseen Histories on Unsplash

Philip is willing to speak up against the present war being waged by Russia and would welcome invitations from radio, television or any other interested group. He says, “As a pacifist I am not willing to bear arms, but I am willing to stand up for my beliefs and to face any consequences for doing so. It is the least I can do for the suffering people of Ukraine, and for the Russian people who are not hearing the truth. Speaking truth to power is a traditional Quaker response to falsehood and lies.”  

Philip Young June 2014Philip is an Anglican, Quaker, and a member of the Third Order of Franciscans, and now lives in Felixstowe. Until July 2014 he was the Diocesan Environmental Officer for the Norwich Diocese. In June 2017 he stood as an Independent Candidate for the General Election in the Suffolk Coastal Constituency.  He is now Associate Priest at St. John and St. Edmund in Felixstowe and a freelance writer on spiritual and political matters. He is available to run Quiet Days, give talks, presentations or to preach and can be contacted at philipyoung@btinternet.com. Philip is developing a new website www.revolutionoflovenow.com.


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