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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Does Killing Your Enemy Work?

            What if society allowed you to kill your enemy in an honorable way? 
            Aaron Burr had a legitimate beef with Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton had spread vicious lies about him. Hamilton was his political enemy.            
            According to the custom of the day, Burr exchanged a series of notes with Hamilton that led to a duel. In the duel, Aaron Burr shot and killed Alexander Hamilton. This was completely legal.
            Formerly, the majority of the country had sided with Burr in his dispute with Hamilton. After the duel, the country turned against him. This led to a series of unfortunate events, which ultimately provoked him to flee into exile; Burr’s story would go on to provide inspiration for the novel The Man Without a Country.
            Many people suffer under the delusion that removal of an enemy would make their lives better. They may not wish their enemy to be dead, but they expend a lot of mental energy fantasizing about their enemy moving to another locale, losing his or her position of influence, and no longer being around to bother them.
`            Aaron Burr removed his enemy in accordance to the law of the land. It did not solve his problem. It made his problem worse. Removing your enemy will not help you or your cause.
            God understands a better way to treat enemies, because he made us. This is why Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you… (Mt. 5:43-44 NIV.)
            Contrast Aaron Burr’s response with that of Abraham Lincoln: Abraham Lincoln placed personal enemies in his cabinet for the sake of the Union. That action helped save the Union.

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