Villains, victims and violence


To the Editor:

Anyone who violates another’s human rights by attacking them physically, verbally, or graphically is not just a bully or villain but a terrorist.

From France to Ferguson, we must abhor and condemn these terrorist acts, whether they are motivated by mercenary, missionary, or monarchial objectives.

These universal vigilante acts have proved that violence begets violence. Has violence proved that “freedom of speech” is more sacrosanct than “freedom of religious expression”? Or vice versa?
The common sense response to protecting global human rights, is very simple. “Do unto others as you would do unto yourself.”


In the USA, we boast that our human rights are clarified in and protected by our Bill of Rights. But we cannot be so smug as to think these documents are perfect. For they too are subject to interpretation by our Su­preme Court and lower court justices.

If we Homo sapiens continue to advocate, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,” then according to the dialogue by Joseph Stein’s musical, “Fiddler on the Roof,” “The whole world will be blind and toothless.”

Whether we hide behind a face mask or an ideology, responding to injustices with violence converts victims to villains then eventually to terrorists.

Sr. Annamarie Marcalus, OSF,
Iowa City

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