The Evil Of Violence

 

Introduction


Brutality, bullies, war, guns, terrorism, shootings and so on (but not necessarily in any order).

The following articles can be found under poem number 33:

1)  Regarding Someone Else's Life.
2)  God, War And Violence.
3)  Why Boxing Is Wrong.
4)  The Death Penalty.
5)  Torture.





“If a man loses reverence for any part of life, he will lose reverence for all life.”
Albert Schweitzer

"Allowing that carnage and slaughter in Gaza, has given us more reason to fear tomorrow,
because who'll be next where same sanctioning might take place, and thereby, even more people
destined to suffer same horrors and sorrow."

"No one's mind or body is for harming or violating, but rather, for protecting and respecting."
The poet, author

"TV is the single most significant factor contributing to violence in America."
Ted Turner, founder of the Cable News Network

"It's the height of hypocrisy to condemn violence whilst enjoying watching violence."
The poet, author

"No society that feeds its children on tales of successful violence can expect them not to
believe that violence in the end is rewarded."

Margaret Mead.



THE FACT THAT WE HATE, WOUND AND KILL IS EVIDENCE ENOUGH THAT WE'RE
A SICK AND FALLEN SOCIETY, AND ALL WHY CHANGED HEARTS AND MINDS ARE
THE ONLY ANSWER, AND AN URGENT PRIORITY.


IF WE KILL EACH OTHER TOO, JUST LIKE WILD ANIMALS DO, WHERE'S OUR HIGHER
INTELLIGENCE
AND YES, HUMANITY TOO?


VIOLENCE HAS NEVER BEEN THE WAY OF THE LOVING AND ENLIGHTENED, BUT RATHER,
THE WAY OF THOSE WHOSE HATRED AND IGNORANCE SUCH ILL HAS HEIGHTENED; THEY WAY
BEHIND THE BALL GAME, BULLIES AND COWARDS BY NAME, AND THUS THEIR REPUTATION
BLACKENED AND NOT WHITENED
.


ARMED RESISTANCE AGAINST A MORE POWERFUL OPPRESSOR, SIMPLY HARDENS THE
ATTITUDE AND BEHAVIOUR OF THAT OPPRESSOR, WHO THEN BECOMES A CRUELER
OPPRESSOR, A NASTIER OPPRESSOR, AND BECAUSE ONCE AN OPPRESSOR ALWAYS
AN OPPRESSOR.


WHEN VETOES MEAN THE CONTINUATION OF WAR CRIMES, AND HENCE THOSE "NO CEASEFIRE"
CHIMES, WE KNOW THAT WE'RE LIVING IN VERY CORRUPT TIMES, AND THAT THE LIVES OF MEN,
WOMEN AND CHILDREN, ARE FAR LESS IMPORTANT THAN POLITICAL SPIN, AND FAR LESS IMPORTANT
THAN "ALMIGHTY VENGENCE," POORLY DISGUISED AS SELF-DEFENCE, HENCE THAT BOMBED HOME,
SCHOOL, HOSPITAL AND AMBULANCE, MULTIPLIED OF COURSE, WHICH EACH CONTINUED VETO IS
SEEN TO ENDORSE.


THE ISRAEL, PALESTINE SENARIO HAS PUT ALL THE WORLD'S LEADERS ON SHOW, WHO,
THE WAY OF LOVE, RESTRAINT, IMPARTIALITY, PEACE AND FREE SPEECH, OR THE WAY OF
SELF-INTEREST, ESCALATION, PARTIALITY, WAR AND GAGGING, HAVE CHOSEN TO GO.


LOVE WASN'T SEEN IN VIETNAM, NOR IN THE LIKES OF AFGHANISTAN, OR IRAQI, AND GAZA IS
JUST ANOTHER FORAY IN THE DARK, AND ALL WHY IT'S TIME TO DISMANTLE THE KILLING
MACHINE, AND TO SACK ALL THE MEMBERS OF THAT WARMONGERING REGIME.






Brutality


1.  Of You

Of you I tell and teach my children, "Don’t hurt that soul! Never, never, never,
But treat them like something very precious that’s been left in your care forever.
Yes, now and always, for they're a human being too, not a thing, nor wood or steel,
But a living, breathing part of all we are, another who can think and feel."

And hence why no noble person would act otherwise via some word or deed,
Injuring being a weakness, not a strength, and cursed are they who cause to bleed;
Such but evil, love knowing nothing of it, and why of you I tell and teach,
"Don’t hurt that soul! Never, never, never, but always higher and better reach."

By Lance Landall





Brutality


2.  Bullies Don't Pick On A Nobody


Bullies don’t pick on a nobody, but a somebody, this reason to take heart,
You hardly insignificant if they’re honing in on you, but possibly smart,
Or there’s something about you they’re jealous of, and bullies are oft cowards inside,
Who can’t tackle big fish, so they go for smaller fish, who’re stranded by some low tide.

Therefore, when they pick on you, you’re given some importance, a fact one can’t ignore,
’Cause they wouldn’t waste their time if you weren’t a person of interest, just a bore.
And so you must have something going for you, it just bullies who hardly appeal,
All why I’d puff my chest out and stand up to them, and don’t be surprised if they squeal.

By Lance Landall





Brutality


3.  Real Men


Okay, so you’re handy with your fists, are adept with a knife and a gun,
And thus really know how to injure people, mistreat animals for fun.
Well, you’re simply just a big bully, who actually, weakness displays,
A bully who has personal issues, and who on other people preys.

Therefore, you’re not acting like a man at all, 'cause real men don't act that way,
But rather — one's higher instincts, not one's lower instincts — choose to obey.
Any fool can pump iron, puff out his hairy chest, and pridefully strut around,
But a man who's a real man, isn’t so egotistically muscle-bound.

Yes, he may well have big sized muscles, but a real man does not misuse them;
In fact, a real man is one who any form of violence will condemn.
You see, a real man is a protector — yes, the guardian of the weak,
They being, all those who are vulnerable, and who help may well need to seek.

And, let me add, kicking someone when they’re down is an unmanly thing too,
A bullish, cowardly act — yes, such is just spineless, an evil thing to do.
Such is simply the gang mentality, and such gangs are for weak men too,
'Cause real men can stand alone, they stand for what’s right, and only right will do.

A real man will use his head (his brains), not his fists, nor any weaponry,
'Cause real men embrace wisdom, display love and care, compassion and mercy.
Yes, real men have a sound mind, a good heart, noble, gentle and kindly ways,
And they only use brawn where it's right to, knowing that violence never pays.

A real man treats women and children well, family, friends and strangers too,
'Cause he is good to all, and only the ways of peace, chooses to pursue.
A real man's a also a brick, a pillar, and very law-abiding too,
And also faithful, trustworthy — yes, one who the best for all will pursue.

No, a real man isn't some bully, 'cause he is far too manly for that,
Thus not some macho clod, stereotype, talebearer, wimp or copycat.
A real man's prepared to make sacrifices, lend a hand, put others first,
Because a real man chooses to die to self, do his best, and not his worst.

By Lance Landall





Bad, rough and poor behaviour in general.


4.  No You Don't!


Yes, men come and go, three score years and ten — well, roughly so,
And many simply make fools of themselves
it’s pride, you know.
Power goes to the head of some who aren’t humble enough,
And some have that macho hang-up — you know, have to act tough.

Sooner or later, one way or another, some oppress,
Others simply create problems — in other words, a mess.
Many are bad role models whose behaviour sometimes shocks,
And others are vain, puffed-up, and strut about like peacocks.

Some are arrogant — and when wrong, still say they’re right, justified,
Though many are plain deluded, and much that’s good deride.
And within their unsound minds, issues and conflicts reside,
That behind their bravado and so on, they cannot hide.

Many are hard and thoughtless, thus compassion barely know,
And thereby, insensitive clods, coldhearted, weak, shallow.
And there’re those womanizers who fancy they’re some Romeo,
When they’re not, but rather, a fool with an inflated ego.

Some men are little dictators, cowards who’ve weaponry,
Others like to curse and brawl, acting very childishly.
Yes, seems most haven’t grown-up, and chances are they won’t,
Until society hollers loud and clear, “No you don’t!”

Harsh? Well, you might think so, but at the end of the day, it’s true,
So lets call a spade a spade, and face up to these things too.
Such men aren’t worthy of positions that they often hold,
Which are better given to men who’ve broken this sad mould.

It’s time we started discouraging such behavior, and,
Sought a higher standard, applauded those who’ve made a stand.
It’s time we taught our young men to think and act like real men,
Otherwise, all that has gone before, we’ll simply see again.

By Lance Landall






War


5.  Soldier Boy


Soldier boy, I see you’ve met with reality, the hell of war, what you saw,
And God wasn’t there, was He, but just a devil who supplied the props, wrote the score.
Hence why some of you snap — well, somewhere along the line, and lost limbs depress too,
Life hardly the same anymore, and yet you’ve years ahead, so much to think through.

You heard the patriotic roar, but it wasn’t them going to war, just you,
And your mates, sons, brothers, and fathers, some who mortar fire blew a hole right through.
Such now the ingredients of those regular nightmares, and questions haunting too,
You knowing that your heart’s been hardened, and as with all wars, society’s too.

I heard about that mass shooting the other day, another marine, I see,
The cost not just occurring on the battle field, but within society.
It starting early with computer games, kids blasting others to smithereens,
And then graduating to the real McCoy, hence those home-grown mass shooting scenes.

But one has reason to ask, who and what is really behind these wars we see?
Vietnam and Iraqi two that should never have been, a shameful legacy.
Therefore, when’s a hero a hero, rather than a legalised assassin?
While, God forbid, even proudly professing to be a born-again Christian.

Oh, soldier boy, Jesus never said anything about Christians bearing arms,
And as for patrioticness — well, much of what we have seen truly alarms.
Perhaps you’re not a Christian, nor using the cross as your banner, just a flag,
Like those flags in other countries flying at half mast too, where heavy hearts sag.

Yes, I can see why you’re tortured so, despite that “Welcome Home” hero parade,
Any violence toward others being what your Mum and Dad once forbade.
The smells, sounds and consequences of violence now forever in your mind,
That right to kill sitting uneasy with the wrong of killing, all wars but blind.

Yes, how many sons, brothers and fathers did you slay with deadly precision?
Justifying such hellishness by saying that it wasn’t your decision.
Their daughter, sister or mother torn apart emotionally, bloodied too,
Such nothing to be proud of, those medals best kept in a drawer, it all askew.

Maybe you did what you felt you had to, some enemy approaching your shores,
Their intentions murderous, which any sensible country hardly ignores.
But killing is still killing, and no soldier’s left untouched, nor any country,
And why in our victory over an enemy, we should never glory.

So, soldier boy, tell those computer bound kids who’re blasting others to smithereens
That you’ve witnessed the shocking reality of those sickening, bloody scenes.
That revel in such they shouldn’t, but practice and preach the sanctity of life,
Lest next it be them grieving the loss of a daughter, sister, mother or wife,

Or, Heaven forbid, they themselves randomly up and taking another’s life.

And Heaven forbid that they be found amongst those moralless soldiers who rape,
Or who torture — yes, civilians attacked too, hence those horrified kids who gape.
Oh, the stories many soldiers could tell, but don’t, they well knowing what goes on,
And why on returning home they can struggle with that civilian hat they don.

By Lance Landall


Because soldiers have permission to kill their enemy, I guess that's why there are those who seem unconcerned about cruelty before they execute.

"We Christians may not do as Americans something that we must not do as Christians. As we listen to and debate arguments about going to war, note how often our Christian identity is subordinated to our American identity. We have been so formed by the collusion of the church with America that we find it difficult to even distinguish between Christian and national identity, and harder to subordinate our national identity to our identity in Christ."

Jonathan R. Wilson





War


6.  What's With Today's Soldiers?


What’s with today's soldiers? Could it be the moral collapse of society,
Those dirty wars that they’re forced to wage? And hence the raping and brutality.
Yes, Israeli soldiers a prime example, their war crimes all over Facebook,
They boasting over them, relishing them, thus their hearts and minds terribly crook.

It all happened in Iraqi too, American soldiers — racism, you know,
And both racism and bigotry come those Israeli soldiers, dead top to toe.
But be it Israeli, American or whoever’s soldiers, one thing’s clear,
They’re simply devils in human form — and in the name of God? Oh, how they dare!

And then there’s that errant leader sending bombs, then that pretence of thought and care,
Those airdrops that shout mockery and hypocrisy, the cheek blatant and sheer.
It all moralless, Godless, inhumane, sadistic, wicked, insanity,
And to think it’s sanctioned! But back to those soldiers who shame humanity,

Their sins laid bare.

They all part of the machinery, seemingly robotic in thought and act,
Just following orders plus, their hands blood red, their heart rock hard, their conscience hacked.
And yes, the cover-ups, the lies, the propaganda, it all part of the scene,
That official line that soon has one shaking one’s head, if informed and eyes keen.

Yes, let’s have a temporary ceasefire so that we can get some more aid in,
And after they’ve filled their bellies, you can bomb them again, adding sin to sin.
If it weren’t such a horror story, it would be a joke, a very sick one,
Those official lines with their excuses an abomination — tough luck, son.


By Lance Landall


This poem was penned 10 March 2024.





War


7.  Russia's Dictator


It’s very clear that Vladimir Putin has joined the ranks of dictators, who
Society despises, remembers with contempt, and such men not a few.
They but corrupt and evil, bullies and cowards, prideful and power hungry,
And Putin-wise, such force, terror, torture, warring and propaganda we see.

Oh yes, Putin having taken leave of his senses, he acting foolishly,
Digging his own hole, and his madness costing him any popularity.
He harming his own people, his own country, and all of it so pointlessly,
As if Russia’s not large enough, but hey, that’s how it goes with insanity.

Oh yes, he could’ve taken what he had and made it greater, and thus been hailed,
But no, ’cause after more he went, and history about to show that he failed,
’Cause as far as any success goes, it depends on what it has cost, and here
Way too much, and some would say everything, ’cause he appears doomed, judgment near.

Oh yes, he having had a chance to be a hero, a much loved ruler, but
He blew it, chose to be a tyrant instead, hence those bridges burnt and doors shut.
He now a war criminal, the cause of hellish misery, a wicked man,
Levelling a country and annihilating its people clearly his plan.

Oh yes, things not having gone how he’d wished, thus revenge carrying out war crimes,
Though that’s what such men do anyway, he just upping the anti, hence more times.
Those missiles raining down on civilians and infrastructure, his hatred clear,
His threats of nuclear weapons the roaring of a madman, his own end near.

Yes, it’s oh yes alright, each dictator’s actions predictable, same old same old,
They unenlightened, stuck in a time warp, and their soul to the devil have sold.
It no good Putin making the sign of a cross, ’cause God hates hypocrisy,
Those confessions that supposedly let one of the hook that are heresy.

Thus Putin missing the boat in both directions, and hey, no surprises there,
Tyrants always deluded, full of ideas of grandeur, unable to hear,
Nor see, and why they can’t be reasoned with, Putin just another example,
Though evil oft comes cloaked in white, and not by day but by night, and might yet still.

Putin’s spoken of an American empire, Western ganging up, but hey,
That doesn’t justify war crimes, commands to murder that week soldiers obey.
He’s spoken of broken promises, double standards, which still can’t justify
Levelling homes, hospitals and towns, nor hiding evidence
all noted on high.

By Lance Landall


This poem was penned on the 25 September 2022.





War


8.  Sheer Hatred And Evil


One could say that what we’ve seen in Ukraine isn’t war, but sheer hatred and evil,
The desired obliteration of an innocent people, and as well,
The adding of wicked insult to wicked injury via that raging hell;
Torture, rape-cum-the cruellest of embarrassments, which book after book could fill.

Yes, what’s been inflicted on the Ukrainian people is Hitler-like, and
The behaviour of human devils who’ve also been sent to destroy that land.
And thus both targeted, and annexation laughing in their face, a sick joke,
And why every finger, both angry and demanding, at Putin should poke.

War but an excuse, it would seem, a front for Auschwitz-like behaviour, evil,
Torture always the way of crook hearts, horrid killings too, and such rapes as well.
Oh, if we only knew everything that has gone on, but the dead can’t say,
The world getting worse, and soldiers too, who behind that uniform, us betray.


By Lance Landall






War


9.  Soldiers Of A Higher Order


How good it is to see soldiers refusing to carry out evil orders,
Like we’ve seen with Russia’s illegal crossing of Ukraine's sovereign borders.
They soldiers of a higher order, unlike those just thinking of their own skin,
The latter driven by fear, the former driven by something godly within.

Sure soldiers should obey orders, but when the orders are of a wicked kind,
Their heart and conscience should say “No!” and I having those Russian war crimes in mind.
However, no soldier should take part in an attack like we’ve seen in Ukraine,
Where there’s no right nor justification, and where so many have died in vain.

Hence that time and place when soldiers should refuse to fight, despite the personal cost,
Lest that dignity of sorts that should follow every soldier become lost.
And the reason for that phrase “dignity of sorts” being because come some war
Each soldier is still a killer, and therefore, as far as medals go, what for?

Yes, there’s no pride in killing anyone, but even less come illegal wars,
And where the soul of every murdered innocent citizen rightly roars.
There's too many Putins in this world, or in various shades, and why I salute
Those soldiers of a higher order, each one being a man and not a brute.

By Lance Landall






War


10.  As Bad As Our Enemy


Mark looked up from reading the newspaper, disgust written all over his youthful face.
He glanced at his dad who was enjoying the heat that was coming from the old fireplace.
“What do you make of those things those soldiers did in Iraq, Dad, of which the world now knows?”
“Are you referring to the mistreatment of prisoners, son?”  “Yes, Dad, and those photos.”

“Well, son, one could say that such is the dark side of patriotism, tragically,
Given that patriotism’s often just another word for hate and bigotry.
Some people are so blinded by such, son, that they can’t seem to see beyond their own shores,
Which is why anything goes when it comes to war, and more so those wrongly driven wars.

At the end of the day, such shows the true character of those who carried out such things,
For there is no getting away from the fact, that from one’s heart and mind, such evil springs.
Yes, people can point to this and that, blame those above them, even say they were forced to,
But you won’t see anyone doing such things where their heart and mind is loving and true.

Yes, once we cross a certain boundary, we’re no better than devils, effectively,
And those who've distorted religious convictions, even worse devils, undoubtedly.
Hence why many commit atrocities in God’s name, and in patriotism’s too,
For often the two are linked, along with personal hang-ups — a very nasty brew!

And hence the likes of those inflammatory photo shots, that even sense would not take,
Which violated every code of human decency, and which only fools would break.
But oh, how some love to flaunt their evil, thus showing folk back home how revenge is sweet;
Images of hatred and a perverted sense of justice, that just contempt should meet.

Yes, I wonder how many secretly applauded — accomplices, effectively,
Shackled by their patriotic fever, and a militant religiosity.
Yes, deluded, short-sighted, and bitter souls, who bring just as much shame upon their country,
And who fail to see beyond their own shores, are lacking in love for all humanity.”

“How do folk end up this way, Dad?”  “Well, son, many things contribute to such a sickness,
But at the end of the day, everyone has a choice, and should mind those things they profess,
For when we take the moral high ground, and then behave just as bad as our enemy,
We're even worse, and are under a much greater curse, for we know far better, don’t we?”

By Lance Landall





War


11.  Dear Sir


My dear son was killed in the war, thus his young life was snatched away,
And his pup still waits at the gate thinking that he’ll come home some day.
We’re taking this loss very badly, 'cause we've lost the son I bore,
And I just cannot believe, Sir, that he’ll not come back through the door.

My hubby has gone very quiet, and I am shedding tears all day,
Our life is just not the same now, 'cause its sparkle has gone away.
Now each day seems rather empty, and the dreams we had lie shattered,
'Cause the blood of our much loved son, Sir, on foreign soil is scattered.

Was this war avoidable? If it was, who has blood on their hands,
Who is therefore guilty of murder, who devised such monstrous plans?
Yes, who is guilty, Sir? Perhaps many, I really do not know,
And I’m just hoping that my son did not die pointlessly so.

His younger sister has his photo in a frame beside her bed;
“Oh, mummy”, she keeps on crying, “I just can’t believe that he’s dead".
Her other brother is angry, 'cause his best mate has gone for good,
And he won’t talk about his grief, even though I think that he should.

Daughters too, sir, have been killed — oh, how such news shocks when it arrives,
Oh, how I hate all this warring, 'cause such shows no respect for lives.
Some have lost a husband or wife…excuse me…"What did you say, dear?"
Oh no, another soldier has just died, thus more folk grief will share.

Ever since our dear son’s death, every new death has just fed our pain,
'Cause it seems that there’s no let up, and it’s so hard to bear such strain.
And we can’t help but wonder, could these deaths have all been in vain?
Though war's always a dreadful waste of lives, all this killing insane.

My heart has been badly broken, Sir, and the hearts of others too,
'Cause my son won’t be coming back — no, someone’s son my son slew.
Thus our lives are in tatters. Tell me, was this war necessary,
I mean, really necessary? I need to know. Yours sincerely.

By Lance Landall





War


12.  Criminals At War


“Why do some soldiers rape, Dad? “You mean, rape their enemy?”
“Yes, Dad, horribly assault some women sexually.”
“Well, son, it’s not simply because they hate their enemy,
But rather, more because of lust and opportunity.

You see, it takes a man, a real man, to refrain from such, son,
One who doesn’t hide behind a uniform or a gun.
One who shows principle, one who exercises control,
One whose conscience is as true as the needle to the pole.

Some soldiers have a distorted sense of justice, sadly,
Or are merely reflecting today’s ill society.
Hence those war crimes we hear of, those acts of depravity,
That are carried out by soldiers in the military.”

“Like torture, Dad?” “Yes, son, or those rapes that you referred to,
But war crimes are many and varied, and they’re far from new.
They’re as old as history, wickedly inventive too,
The product of evil in the hearts of those who such pursue.

Those soldiers who commit such, are as bad as their enemy,
Or worse, if they, not their foe, profess Christianity.
You see, no one truly Christian (and in the military),
Would commit such crimes, nor act so hypocritically.

There have always been soldiers who have acted shamefully,
And in war, often anything goes — that being, wickedly.
Yes, despite commands from above, and established boundaries,
Some will act unlawfully, immorally, do as they please.

A soldier is only as good as his character, son,
It has little to do with his uniform, skill or gun.
He may be a fighting machine, earn a medal or two,
But if he’s not sound within, he’s a threat to all, in my view.

One way or another, son, we reap what we sow, soldiers too,
Along with those who evil for evil wrongly pursue.
The latter just perpetuate evil, aid and abet,
And those who act that way, just set themselves up for regret.”

“What about justice, Dad?” “Well, son, life isn’t always fair,
And when it comes to justice, it’s not for us to interfere.
We can go as far as we can — that is, legitimately,
But beyond that, son, we’re crossing a dangerous boundary.

Yes, we become like those soldiers, those criminals at war,
Who brush aside human rights, and someone’s pleading ignore.
Unless we take the high road (despite injustice or pain),
We might become criminals too, and our character stain.”

By Lance Landall






War


13.  All The Blood That We Spill


It might be noble to fight for your country, but whose war is it? So let’s mind,
Lest some nasty wound and horrible experience later, bad news you find.
Because no wars should ever be, folk slow to take up arms and kill another,
For given we’re humanity, we’re each others long lost sister or brother.

All need to have an appreciation of the heinousness of killing, and
Should uphold the sanctity of life, war being a curse to both man and land.
And this why people become pacifists, they anti harming their fellowman,
Against which, given the preciousness of each of us, no one should plot or plan.

It's seemingly only leaders who go warring, not common men in the street,
Who are forced to whether they want to or not, encountering success or defeat.
Hence those loved ones who return in a body bag, or who still lie where they fell,
War but the product of evil and mindlessness — oh, all the blood that we spill.

By Lance Landall


A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on
programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

Martin Luther King Jr (1929-1968)


Also see my poem Precious And Sacred which can be found on my page Love's For All, Home page.





War
And with Iraq in mind.

14.  When Will It Stop!


Oh, what a terrible tragedy, and what a truly monstrous crime,
Given that another illegal foray has happened in our time.
Therefore, such goes down in history as another dreadful blunder,
And all the cries of the dead and wounded reverberate and thunder.

But think of all the billions that were spent so unnecessarily
And that were needed back at home to ease all the growing poverty.
Such money could have paid for more operations and education,
And it could have brought relief to those affected by devastation.

It seems that now there is always something that has us shaking our head,
Like these illegal wars that we see, and that leave many hurt and dead.
Such wars oft do not need to happen — yet, sooner or later they do,
And hence all that pain and conflict that so many innocents go through.

Yes, down throughout this old Earth’s history, wars have raged from land to land,
That within the halls of power, some men have recklessly sought and planned.
And once again, we are seeing that very same recklessness played out,
Despite all those cries around the world that “Stop this warring!” loudly shout.

Tell me, how many times have soldiers just become puppets in the hands
Of those who hold the reins of power, and who draw up those foolish plans?
How many soldiers have been slaughtered in a battle that's not their own,
A battle that wisdom, truth and justice would never seek to condone?

And say, what about Joe Citizen who simply wants to spend his life
At home with his precious family and that woman who is his wife?
Why must he suffer also, at the hands of those who are in power
Who are making plans that disrupt lives, from within their gilded tower?

Thus, all those leaders who've blood on their hands (blood that should never be there),
Have an awful lot to answer for, for they've just filled this world with fear.
Yes, it’s high that time those in power cast aside all their battle plans,
For violence begets violence, and simply deeper hatred fans.

By Lance Landall





War


15.  Let's Stop This Evil Cycle


How dare we wrongfully kill, displaying such gross inhumanity,
And how dare we say that it was God who gave us that authority.
There have been enough crusades, there have been enough so-called righteous wars,
So let us put a stop to this wrong activity on others’ shores.

Where it's not such killing elsewhere, it's some civil war that's taking lives,
Which even more mindless violence, hatred and ignorance just drives.
But turning on our fellow citizens is the ultimate disgrace,
Though anywhere and anytime, wrongful killing should never take place.

So please don’t give me any excuses, for I’ve heard them all before;
No, never let excuses and agendas ever be the cause of war.
Therefore, defending one’s own country, or an ally under attack
Is clearly the only time to lend a helping hand, or to fight back.

Tell me, has a war thus been declared on that country that you live in?
Has some nation conveyed that they're on their way to attack, and to win?
Or has an ally called for help that is currently under attack?
And if your answer's clearly "No," then please don’t go down that warring track.

Yes, woe betide that selfish villain who wickedly fires the first shot,
That despot or dictator with war in mind, who cunningly seeks to plot.
Woe betide any villain who foolishly initiates a war,
Where innocent men and women suffer and die on a stranger’s shore.

Yes, there is so much mindless killing, all because of wars that shouldn't be,
Be they religious or political, that are waged so pointlessly.
It seems that humanity never learns, and it seems that we never will,
Until everyone gets the message that we should never ever kill.

So let’s stop this evil cycle where another's blood is spilt so wrongly,
Be it via unnecessary wars, or folk just acting murderously.
If there’s no blood on your hands, and only love beating within your heart,
You have chosen the best pathway, one from which all should never depart.

By Lance Landall





Shootings
This poem (and the one below it) relates to the shooting and killing of at least
58 people at a music festival in Las Vegas, October 2017.



16.  About That Sniper


You hate what that sniper did in Las Vegas, and hey, I’m with you on that one,
So why aren’t we as critical of Hollywood’s love affair with fist and gun?
And I’m meaning, standing up, speaking out, we just as hot under the collar,
’Cause those movies are full of same evil acts which we aid via every dollar.

Such cruel gunmen act alone or on behalf, but whatever the case may be,
We’re supporting such violence and sickness via those movies or DVD.
Yes, by all means call for tighter restrictions on guns, and other measures too,
But mind those same movies and computer games because they’re equally askew.

It’s said that what we watch we become, and of course there are copycats, you know,
All why once, such unhealthy carnage, movie producers weren’t allowed to show.
So what went wrong? — aided by our desires for more, and here we are today,
Those same scenes played out on the six o’clock News; and what’s Hollywood got to say?

Here, have some more, and we’ll throw in sex with that violence, ’cause who’s complaining?
Door sales up and DVDs hardly slowing down given no one's abstaining.
And such not making sense to me, because can’t people see, or don’t they want to?
And if the latter’s correct, who might the finger also be pointing at? You?

By Lance Landall





Shootings
Christian content or degree.
This poem relates to the shooting and killing of at least 58 people at a music
festival in Las Vegas, October 2017.



17.  Where Was Christ In Las Vegas?


Well,

I’ll tell you where. At Heaven’s gates ready to return, and pleading, “Can I go?”
And His Father replying, “Soon, Son, soon. When the time is right I’ll let you know.
I know that it’s breaking Your heart, Son, Mine too, and I every bit as angry,
And longing to end the reign of Our adversary, all the insanity.

Remember the thirty odd years You spent on Earth, Son, and how long that seemed too,
But the wait necessary, and so much riding on it, which of course You knew.
And it’s the same here, Son, and that wait just as painful too, and in fact more so,
Evil and suffering greater, and Satan’s plans for Earth having a way to go.”

Yes, that’s where Christ was in Las Vegas, He knowing wounds, death and wicked men too,
His empathy and sympathy etched on His face, wrath soon making its debut.
But meantime the view excruciating, Las Vegas but one of many scenes,
Satan knowing his time’s short, wickedly using any and every means.

And Christ and His Father not alone in Their sadness, ’cause all Heaven weeps too,
Fallen man blighting the universe, Earth still spinning but terribly askew.
“Oh, when will it end?” angels sigh, and they waiting for the Father to say, “Go!”
And “Go!” He will soon say, and that day of reckoning every sniper will know.

Yes, there’ll come a day when evil men will have to face their Judge, and penalty,
Their end sure and terrible, they having thereby forfeited eternity.
And Satan and his cohorts will suffer with them, a fate that they all deserve,
But Paradise, peace and no more suffering for those who Christ have sought to serve.

So,

Satan’s ultimate goal must play out — total control of Earth — that all may see
(Including the universe), that God was right, and He deserving the glory.
Man having chosen badly, something that won’t happen again; it plain to see
That Christ is the way, truth and life, and soon will end Satan’s confederacy.

Where was Christ in Las Vegas? Yes, I’ll tell you. At Heaven’s gates ready to go,
And His Father replying, “Soon, Son, soon. When the time is right I’ll let You know.”
And though now seems right to us, God knows better, and that’s where faith and trust come in,
And meantime too, as far as we go, hope, love and goodwill to all men within.


By Lance Landall


"You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry" (Psa 10:17, NIV).

“ ‘Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written,
"Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’ ” (Rom 12:19, RSV).

“ ‘And the King [Christ] will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of
these my brethren, you did it to me.’ ‘Then He will say to those on the left hand ,‘Depart from me, you cursed, into
the everlasting fire [meaning total annihilation] prepared for the devil and his angels’ ” (Matt 25:40,41, NKJV).





Shootings.


18.  Forget The Why Of It All


There’s a lot of hopelessness, frustration, anger and pain out there, and hence why
In America where everyone’s got a gun, those mass shootings are high.
They taking it out on society, going out in a blaze of glory,
Figuring that they’ve nothing to lose, suicide being part of the story.

And thus access to guns, explosives and whatever else aiding the nightmare,
It all so easy; and why would anyone who doesn’t believe in God care?
Nor those devoid of a sound upbringing, though it must be said that some can snap,
A lack of love, thought and care oft aiding, no one noticing that dripping tap.

Society’s different now, this tossed, that tossed, thus it hardly surprising
That this happens or that happens, and why problems, troubles and crime are rising.
So forget the why of it all, because we should clearly know why, shouldn’t we,
Or doesn’t it suit to know, we simply being a hell-bent society?


By Lance Landall





Guns


19.  "It's Not The Gun's Fault," They Say


No, it’s not the gun’s fault, but hey, it’s still a gun, a cruel life taking machine,
So who would want one, love one, because even killing creatures is cruel and mean.
Creatures hardly objects, but lives, they having ears and eyes, feelings and mates too,
Thus one needing to be less sensitive in order to kill, artfully pursue.

Yes, there’s something horrible about that lying in wait (as murderers do),
That having a life in your sights, and finger on the trigger — it all askew.
But hunters aside, guns are a threat anywhere, a clear symbol of evil,
Their sole purpose being to kill — and the dark side effects, soldiers know so well,

Or at least those plagued with post traumatic stress disorder, having eyeballed hell.

Yes, every bullet fired having an intention, a very deadly one,
Which surely reflects on one’s character, for who would get pleasure from a gun?
An innocent, handsome creature grazing, the next minute shot through the heart, oh,
It’s little ones left distraught and fearful, and it’s the same with humans, you know.

And listen, Christian, Eden knew no weapons, nor death, so what is it with you,
Gun owner or hunter, hardly in line with that new life that Christ said pursue.
The Gospel all about love, returning to Eden, where creatures weren’t food nor prey,
And so it’ll be on the Earth made new, yet what do your actions shout today,

Man’s fall being your excuse, and Eden not your example, it’s sad to say.

No, it’s not the gun’s fault that people and creatures get shot, but a gun’s a gun,
Held, levelled and fired, that gaping hole and gushing blood not my idea of fun.
Such deaths hardening each shooter’s heart, taking a little more light from the world,
And so it’ll be ’till that love affair’s over, and guns no longer coldly held.

Yes, love’s not in the heart when a trigger’s pulled, but a toxic adrenalin,
A hateful or divided heart having won the toss, atheist or Christian.
Every factory and gun shop having blood on their hands, profiteering,
Each customer pridefully clutching their purchase, and over each kill, cheering.

But no wonder, the young learning early via those violent computer games,
That trash on TV that glories in such too, and wantonly kills and maims.
Bad enough that we’ve the angry and disturbed skulking within society,
Who all too often (midst plotting or a fit of rage) turn to such weaponry.

Guns can be a power thing, many folk having a cowboy mentality,
And far reaching bullets allowing people to be picked off so easily.
All why guns are more desired, and a windfall for snipers who wish to spray,
And so it’ll remain until sense sees guns pulled from circulation one day.


By Lance Landall






Guns


20.  Guns, Knee Jerks And Legislation


Everyone born on this planet should be brought up with a hatred of guns,
Killing machines that take the lives of humans, mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons.
Oh, to think that anyone would have a love affair with guns, ever want one,
When what they’re all about is death, the taking of someone’s life, which all should shun.

Even soldiers and those who’re in the armed offenders squad should respect this too,
Only seeing weaponry in light of what might be necessary to do.
And thus they too taking no pride in them, having no personal collection,
But quickly disparaging them, pointing all in the opposite direction.

Oh, those voices of protest come calls for restricting the sale of certain guns,
Guns that are even more murderous, the stuff of those mass shooting hit and runs.
But is it any wonder there’s a lust for guns, computer games rife with them,
Yet few voices that condemn, many nightly watching violence and mayhem.

Oh, when will belief in the sanctity of life (for all) truly be upheld;
Some people angrily shouting that mass murderers don’t belong in this world.
Such implying that they too would like to do some culling, get rid of a few,
Those that they deem unworthy, acting somewhat like Hitler, those mass shooters too.

Hence why some clamour for the death penalty, the thirst for blood alive and well,
When we should try to salvage such humans, freeing their hearts and minds of such ill.
Even should they remain in prison, best help them see the error of their ways,
Showing our contempt of killing, our higher standing, desire to redeem strays.

But the chances slim given that love affair with guns, that thirst for blood, like theirs
(Mass shooters, that is),
It only being the truly loving, caring, noble person that every life reveres
(Be it hers or his).
They not only shunning revenge, but those games and movies where killings are rife,
And where little regard is shown for younger minds and the sanctity of life.

By Lance Landall





Guns


21.  Come On, America


It appears that within America there’re still those who have that wild west mentality,
They toting or hoarding guns, and deludedly thinking that such are a necessity,
Unlike the rest of us who’ve managed fine without such, even with a police force gun free,
And we just as protective of the rights of all when it comes to freedom and liberty.

The truth is, that owning a gun doesn’t guarantee a thing, for one thing’s clear, believe me,
There’s more than one way to skin a cat, as they say, one’s rights being eroded very subtly.
Sure tougher gun laws, or the removal of guns, may well precede some evil agenda,
But such not really necessary, Trojan horses oft being the ploy of the offender.

Meantime, where there’re guns, and in times like these, there’ll be those single and multiple casualties,
Many folk harbouring grievances, and then there’s that violence on TV that one sees,
Let alone those computer games that kind of set kids up — well, certainly the disturbed ones —
Who engrossed in such, and so irresponsibly fed such, soon pull those triggers on real guns.

Yes, it’s really quite simple, and why guns should never be made available publicly,
And why there should be just as bigger hue and cry over what’s daily dished up on TV,
Not forgetting those violent games — but hey, who’s to blame, those who make such, or those who buy such?
And just look at those parents who such weaponry and harmful celluloid eagerly clutch.

So come on, America, your love affair-cum-obsession with guns is costing lives, and,
Rather than being a blessing, is more like a plague that’s once again stalking your troubled land.
And hey, what mixed signals are you sending your children, and more so those of you who’re Christians,
For isn’t it the devil who loves weaponry and violence, and thereby surely wins?

Oh dear, “In God we trust,” they sing, and yet hanging onto their guns just in case He may not,
Or lest somebody pose a threat, and then there is hunting, hence that hypocritical shot.
Yes, they calling violence and killing bad, except where they seem to deem it isn’t so,
And why their Saviour — Christ — must shake His head, for didn’t He tell them to stop such long ago?

Yes, guns aren’t the answer, even laws, but changed hearts and minds, a seeking after truth and right;
All why a form of religion won’t suffice, and more so one linked to military might.
But rather, all turning from wrong, repudiating any kind of force having seen sense,
Otherwise we’ll just be looking at a sham, smoke and mirrors-cum-nothing more than pretence;
And the ill that we’re seeing now (and clearly much more to come), will be the sad consequence.

By Lance Landall


The poem was penned 1 January 2013.

Also see my poem: That Sad American Obssession which can be found
in the orange box titled World Concerns, Home page.





Guns


22.  The Toy Gun


It's hardly any wonder that a boy likes to tinker with a gun,
Starting with a toy gun, 'cause after all, such are made to look like fun.
Yes, all those shoot ’em up movies they see, and those computer games too,
That eventually (for many, that is), real life drama lead to.

Yes, first it's a toy, and then along comes the likes of a BB gun,
'Cause many graduate, you see, taking pot-shots at creatures for fun.
And after that, other things can follow, and often disastrously,
Hence many of those tragedies that are witnessed, or seen on TV.

And who’s to blame? Is it mums and dads? Grandparents? Uncles and aunts? Friends?
'Cause after all, giving a young boy a gun, some sort of signal sends.
“Here, son, I have a gun for you, and it's just like the real thing — enjoy,”
And once again, the eyes light up in another innocent young boy.

Tell me, who lets them watch those movies that they see via the TV screen,
Where violence is very common, and where weapons are often seen?
And who sits there right beside them, just lapping up all the action too,
Whilst puzzling over the high crime rate, and why things are going askew?

You often hear people say, “It’s just a toy,” which really baffles me,
Because anyone can see that it is imitation weaponry.
“Here, son, I have a gun for you, and it's just like the real thing — enjoy,”
And enjoy that gun they sure do, pretending to murder with that “toy.”

And oh, how that fire is often fuelled by a father’s own love of guns,
Yes, a sorry love affair, that far too often in families runs.
“Wow! I just killed my first deer” (or other), somebody’s son shouts proudly,
And there you have it, a sick desire for killing blighting a family.

And it only takes a plastic toy, one that should never have been given,
Which many a loved son, into the arms of the law has soon driven.
Yes, first it’s a toy, next a deer, then a human, and then off to jail,
And all because a taste for killing was wrongly fuelled in some young male.

By Lance Landall






Brutality


23.  No Reason Justifies ill


Once we pick up a weapon, clench our fists, and use such to hurt another soul,
We join the ranks of fools and tyrants, those ones who’re devoid of a noble goal.
Some being indoctrinated zealots, others being pawns of prejudice and hate,
Or wounds that they’ve not surmounted, but all in a kind of devil possessed state.

Yes, violence belonging to the realm of darkness which no one should enter,
Where ills are concocted according to the cleverness of their inventor.
Mass shootings, bombings, bashings and torture all part and parcel of its evil,
And so opposite to love which would never think to deceive, force, wound or kill.

Be it a weapon, our fists, even a hurtful tongue, we’re off on the wrong track,
That of a foe, our heart having changed from a healthy red to a ghastly black.
And oh, how such can return to bite us, and bite us it should, good and hard too,
Because there are certain things in life that we should never ever think to do.

So many are wrongly fed, deluded, self obsessed or otherwise obsessed,
And indulging in a territory where one is soon cursed rather than blessed.
Love not having a bar of it, but quickly picking up the trumpet or pen,
And denouncing any such wrongfulness coming from such women or men,

Because no reason justifies ill.

By Lance Landall


Penned in memory of those who died and those who suffered as a result of the
Christchurch mass shooting — March 15, 2019.






Terrorism


24.  Foul Play


You can let off your bombs, whoever you are, and whatever your agenda,
But regardless of your cause or gripe, you’re simply but a callous offender.
For no human should ever seek to hurt another, and thus why I believe
That there will be a day of reckoning for all who maim, destroy and deceive.

So don’t waste your time with some explanation, as there won’t be one good enough,
Because such terrible evil shows one who’s ill, even a pawn, far from tough.
Yes, those who’ve strength of character, a good heart and noble mind, don’t act that way,
Knowing that such bloodshed is exactly that, the work of those who’ve gone astray.

So be it your bombings, mass shootings, assassinations or brutality,
Or even some engineered catastrophe, they’re a form of insanity,
And hence why you often hide behind a mask, whatever that disguise may be,
Even shoving the blame on others, who as a result, suffer terribly.

Yes, you have your scapegoats, those things that suit and fit very conveniently,
Those excuses by the dozen that can never justify such injury;
And note this too, that those who fight fire with fire get burnt themselves, eventually,
And so too rioters, I might add, who foul their own nest, harm their economy.

Yes, you can carry out your villainy, even in the name of God above,
But nothing will convince me that He’s behind such, nor that it’s done out of love.
For those who know love, and the same God that I know, wouldn’t think to act that way,
As harming and loving are opposites, and thus harm all to do with foul play.

By Lance Landall





Terrorism
This poem was penned on the 8 Oct 2014.


25.  ISIS


If ever there was evil, a horrid sickness that defies explanation,
It’s you, ISIS, your maniacal hatred, your satanic perpetration.
You’ve no heart, no soul, a disengaged mind, a bloody record that’s stench sickens,
And thus why justice demands your exit, and the foresight of good men beckons.

Hey, I’ve no problem with religion, but this is plain madness that we’re seeing,
For any human whose thinking is sound doesn’t mistreat another being.
Nor for one moment contemplate murdering them, and so barbarically,
Which proves that darkness has engulfed you, ISIS, hence your violent bigotry.

Yes, the ways of the likes of you (atheistic or religious, by the way),
Have never improved the lot of humanity, have never been seen to pay.
And there’s been many of you, Hitler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, to name a few,
And let’s not forget those burnings at the stake — oh, what deluded people do!

Yes, some take the Christian Bible, for example, and pointing ignorantly,
Justify their acts which are actually wrongful, and their teachings heresy.
And why it’s them that are errant, and those beliefs that sanction atrocities,
And via this or that, oft under the guise of some good, the rights of others seize.


By Lance Landall


ISIS is a Sunni extremist group that follows al-Qaeda’s hard-line
ideology and adheres to global jihadist principles.





Religious persecution.
This poem was penned on 26 November 2014.


26.  Religion's Baddies


It’s the likes of ISIS (bigoted murderers), and ISIS-like religious folk

(Who’d love to legislate their will and ways — and in time, no doubt more fires stoke),
Who give both God and religion a bad name, and who make it hard for others,
Those who’d never force, maim or kill anyone-cum-fellow sisters or brothers.

Religion’s one thing, sharing your beliefs and pointing out errant beliefs too,
But wanting to rule the world and kill so-called infidels — man, that’s sick and askew.
Yes, I could say sorry for coming on strong, but I don’t think a sorry’s due,
For who in their right mind would condone such, and something so satanic pursue?

And they pointing to God! Well, such would make me laugh if it wasn’t so evil,
So darn Hitler-like, so unenlightened, so medieval and primeval.
Yes, it the product of darkened minds, indoctrinated clones-cum-the misled,
Who plague this Earth with their terror and venomously spout the ill they’ve been fed.

And hey, they disowned by many of their own, fellow Muslims who disagree,
They knowing such isn’t the way of either God or good men, but that all be free;
And I’m sure you know what I mean by that — yes, civil, religious liberty,
All following their own path, but not forcing, maiming, killing mercilessly.

No, not turning to weapons, not seeking control stealthily or legally,
But turning to the ways of love, letting folk be-cum-living harmoniously.
And that’s the Christmas message, isn’t it, “Peace on Earth and goodwill to all men,”
Who lessons from the past should’ve learnt, and thus not over and over again.

Yes, religion’s baddies, for though one could say there’re some strange religions out there,
It’s these violent, bigoted baddies who’re more the concern and cause for fear,
'Cause tolerance is foreign to them, it their way or not at all, I’m afraid,
Hence their resorting to trickery, dark and inhumane ways, bullets and blade.

Yes, it’s hardly the voice of God they’re hearing, and hardly His words they’re reading,
'Cause Christ who came to save folk (one going by His words), and for whom He's pleading,
Would hardly order such killings, condone such use of force, sanction bigotry;
Yes, He who bore no weapon, raised no hand, nor forced His ways legislatively.

By Lance Landall


"Persecution, whenever it occurs, establishes only the power and cunning of the persecutor,
not the truth and worth of his belief."
H.M.Kallen

"Persecution is disobeying the most solemn injunction of Christianity under the sham plea of upholding it."
Paul Chatfield





Terrorism.
This poem was penned on 24 January 2010.



27.  An Appeal


To Muslim terrorists and your supporters, it’s not the West that’s your enemy,
But rather, those sad convictions you hold, 'cause such killing’s wicked and cowardly.
And more so, those acts of suicide bombers, who hide behind pretense and surprise,
Much to the delight of their sympathizers, who, such dubious martyrs idolize.

Those sins you charge the West with aren’t grounds for killing innocent men, women, and children,
'Cause there’re never grounds for doing such; it’s murder, and such shows an illness within,
Or the results of having embraced a terribly distorted ideology,
It’s origin having nothing whatsoever to do with God, nor the heavenly.

Such killers think they’ll be rewarded with Heaven, but they’re mistaken, badly so,
'Cause what kind of god would reward such murderers who others’ rights overthrow.
Anyone with a lick of sense knows that killing solves nothing, but rather inflames,
And that such killing, that nation, race, or religion responsible simply shames.

Such killing is the domain of monsters, those who’re enemies of humanity,
Be such folk Muslims or otherwise (acting openly or acting secretly).
Such aren’t worthy of freedom, for via their acts they threaten or destroy liberty,
And all because they’re blinded by hatred, ignorance, askew ideology.

I don’t have a problem with Muslims expressing their beliefs, their feelings or views
In the sense that we’re all entitled to express such, and to take the path we choose.
But murder, violence, and any form of persecution, no one should condone,
For such is satanic territory, more the actions of those who’ve hearts of stone.

Whether the West (and tell me, who’s the West?) has acted incorrectly or not,
Is no excuse for suicide bombings, and as far as the West goes, don’t blame the lot.
The West is made up of individuals, and most (just like me), Muslims don’t hate,
Nor seek to harm, or to do that which a rift, war, or problem would cause, escalate.

And we’re aware that not all Muslims condone what fellow Muslims are doing, and,
Realize that striking back isn’t the answer, but dialogue, and are making a stand.
But meantime, the hands of the West are often forced, so please will you halt your attacks,
'Cause you will never improve your lot (nor ours), by such atrocious inhuman acts.

By Lance Landall






Terrorism
In memory of all on board Flight MH17 that was shot
down on the 17th July, 2014
.


28.  Flight MH17


No, they won’t be coming home anymore, and all because of a crazy war,
Yes, another one, as if weapons are ever the answer, but at the core,
And hence those innocent casualties — and in this case, ’round three hundred of them;
It another outrageous act that every man, woman and child should condemn.

And it only took one missile, the product of madness; and a common scene,
For look at Israel and Hamas and that same illness that Northern Ireland’s seen.
And yes, let’s add Syria to the many, Russia and Chechnya not alone,
But also those who throw acid or condemn women to death via rock and stone.

So when will it stop and no more bodies fall from the sky onto foreign land,
Nor any innocent person suffer via some solder’s or terrorist’s hand?
For every such assault, wound or death is an outrage, lives being no one’s to take,
And callous injury the hallmark of evil in which devils have a stake.

And so back to flight MH17 and the horror and ill or it all,
And which saw the world sit up and take notice, though all wounds and deaths should appal.
And why mankind should’ve learnt by now that weaponry at best is for defence,
And thus never for committing some atrocious and unthinkable offence.

So no, they won’t be coming home anymore, their loved ones left with shock and pain,
And all because of a deadly missile that locked onto a passenger plane.
And there they all were, full of hopes and dreams — yes, everyday folk like you and I,
Whom wickedness even sought out at thirty three thousand feet up in the sky.

By Lance Landall





Brutality
Christian content or degree.


29.  Killer Drivers


When someone deliberately drives a car into a crowd — an evil thing —
I just know there’s a devil like I know there’s a God of whose goodness I’ll sing.
Because I see Him in loving acts of kindness and clear-cut answers to prayer,
And why I’m not an evolutionist, for such gives one no reason to care.

Oh yes, I’m glad I believe in a day of reckoning, a Law to go by,
'Cause such engenders a healthy respect for consequences; such wisdom’s eye.
And what does one gain by hurting people, but a harder heart, a sadder mind,
It surely copying a devil, not a God who’s loving, thoughtful and kind.

Okay, you might laugh, scoff at the idea of a God, but there are two forces,
One motivated by love, and one by evil — yes, two different courses.
And both having a certain intelligence that no big bang could create,
An intelligence one uses for good or ill, truth or falsehood, love or hate.

Yes, for acts of kindness, or for wickedly mowing people down with a car,
The second like a destructive meteorite, the first like a bright, shiny star.
A devil in one, God in the other, 'cause what else could it possibly be?
All why one needs to believe; the alternative pointless, hopeless and empty.


By Lance Landall





30.  Weakness


Weakness often turns to force because it doesn’t have the strength to act nobly,
And so, it takes the easy way out, and why it’s prone to acting cowardly.
All why it also hangs out with the mob, or those who’ll take care of it for you —
One way or another, brother — ’cause they’re just as weak and unenlightened too.

Those who harm are driven by inner issues or a sick ideology;
Such not the measure of a man but more a foe, the wrong way always easy.
Hence why weakness spurns the right way, succumbs to pressure and oft carries out ill,
And this why wherever weakness is found, it’s a certainty that all’s not well.


By Lance Landall






Uprisings
This poem was penned November 2014


31.  With Syria In Mind


Yes, I’m all for freedom and liberty, am strongly opposed to tyranny,
But what is gained by those violent uprisings that destroy one’s own country?
And that in the process sees thousands of lives lost — oh, what a terrible cost!
And why those new days that dawn seldom bring sunshine, but rather, another frost.

And then there’s those refugees,

They numbering in the millions, staring at disease and daily misery,
And oft not returning home despite the fact they’ve been relieved of tyranny,
Though what for? A crippled country-cum-wrecked infrastructure, towns full of ruins,
Gun battles still raging thanks to various factions, bombings? So tell me, who wins?

And now Iraq comes to mind.

Yes, I’m all for freedom and liberty, am strongly opposed to tyranny,
But jumping out of the pot into the frying pan seems so crazy to me,
And a double tragedy given the cost to citizens and their country,
And why I wonder who and what’s really behind some of those uprisings we see.

Guess it’s easy for me to say, but better the devil we know than don’t know —
Well, in some cases — or so it seems to me given how I’ve seen some things go.
And why such reminds me that those who take up the sword tend to die by the sword,
For they mimic the way of tyrants and thus display a thinking that’s just as flawed.

Yes, let’s use our voice, our pen, our feet and even any clout we have, but hey,
Setting things alight, smashing things and throwing objects should never be our way.
And nor should we attack those who’re simply doing their job, for laws must prevail,
But not those mobs that oft switch their allegiance and leave behind a bloody trail.

Seems peace and war are akin to a game of ping pong, this world still in turmoil,
And hasn’t there always been those who have plotted on another country’s soil?
Oh, when will the madness stop, when will we come to our senses and clearly see
That wars, riots and uprisings aren’t the answer, but a changed humanity.

Yes, I’m all for freedom and liberty, am strongly opposed to tyranny,
But fighting fire with fire-cum-turning to violence aids the insanity.
And what does such say of us, for two wrongs don’t make a right, and who’re we to speak
If in order to free ourselves from tyrants we act as inhumane and weak?

And now the Ukraine riots come to mind...oh dear...what else will soon come to mind?


By Lance Landall


See my poems But With Hong Kong In Mind and Capitol Hill which can be found
on my page This World And Us, Home page, orange box.





Christian content or degree.


32.  Heed The Cries, Lord


Heed the cries of men, oh Lord, who were murdered in Your name,
Heed the cries of women too, who likewise suffered the same.
Heed the cries of children, whose younger lives were taken too,
And the cries of babies — some still in wombs — that evil slew.

Heed the cries of martyrs, Lord, that were shackled in Your name,
Stretched on racks, skinned alive, burnt at the stake, though without blame.
Yes, heed the cries of martyrs, beheaded or slain by sword,
Those whose blood was sacrificed, and over Your altar poured.

Heed the cries of all those Jews, not to mention others too,
That Hitler and his henchmen sent to death camps queue by queue.
All those paraded naked, mocked, tortured, raped, burnt alive,
Or experimented on — oh, how did any survive?

Heed the cries that echo from Auschwitz, Ravensbrook, Belsen,
Not to mention other camps where evil occurred within.
Yes, heed the cries of these victims, now just ashes and bones,
Who suffered atrocities that only madness condones.

Heed the cries of latter days — e.g. Guantanamo Bay,
Those of the innocent — that there — were wrongly sent to stay.
Those cries from other prisons, torture chambers, or death camps,
Where on the rights of others, a modern cruel jackboot stamps.

Heed the cries of the oppressed, Lord, all who’ve been trampled on,
All who’ve been falsely accused, and all who’ve been set upon.
Heed the cries of any race, any faith, so afflicted,
The cries of all persecuted and wrongly convicted.

Yes, heed the cries, Lord, heed the cries from the past and today,
And the actions of tyrants — past and present — duly weigh.
Avenge the cries of the innocent, Christian or atheist,
Stop those jackboots, those religious tyrants, that iron fist.

By Lance Landall


“ ‘Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written,
"Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’ ” (Rom 12:19, RSV).

“ ‘And the King [Christ] will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of
these my brethren, you did it to me.’ ‘Then He will say to those on the left hand ,‘Depart from me, you cursed, into
the everlasting fire [meaning total annihilation] prepared for the devil and his angels’ ” (Matt 25:40,41, NKJV).

“For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every secret thing,
whether good or evil”
(Eccl 12:14).





Forgiveness.
Christian content or degree.

This poem was penned on the 4 September 2021, and is in regard to those American soldiers
who were killed just days before leaving Kabul, and hence President Biden's statement:


33.  "We Will Not Forgive"

May I ask who’s “we?” President Biden, and aren’t you a follower of Jesus?
’Cause, “If you don’t forgive others, I won’t forgive you,” our Lord and Saviour’s told us.
I understand your anger, such fair enough, but once again, who do you follow?
’Cause if it’s He who said, “Love your enemies,” that profession of yours rings hollow.

In other words, your anger’s having the say, not He who said that we’re not to hate,
And so, you’re risking your salvation, and those who come under that “we,” I must state.
Yes, their anger is understandable too, but if they’re followers of Jesus,
They, just like you too, must still forgive, and, “Revenge is Mine,” Christ has also told us.

All why, and with the greatest of respect, I question those words, “We will not forgive,”
’Cause going by God’s Word, and come Christ’s return, forever you’ll then cease to live.
God always meaning what He says, and therefore, His followers to be forgiving,
And not revengeful too, ’cause that’s not Christ-like — and nor might I say, is it living.

The truth is, that for those who’re followers of Christ, the way is different, and thus
They not acting typically, but inline with the sound example of Jesus.
And where they don’t, they shame and misrepresent Him, hence that wrong oft done in His name,
Which has more to do with a devil, who, wants Christ’s followers still acting the same,

'Cause where Satan will soon end up, they may well end up too, and that’s another shame.

By Lance Landall







1.  Regarding Someone Else's Life:


It’s theirs, not yours.
You’ve no right to take it, and if you do:

You’ll lessen respect for its sanctity thereby threatening the sanctity of your own.
You’ll be accountable for the blood on your hands.
You’ll bring shame on your name and family.
You’ll place yourself amongst the evil, disturbed, deluded and conned.
You’ll make a personal statement that’s self-condemning.
You’ll cause others untold grief.
You’ll become a burden to the tax payer via any court proceedings and imprisonment.
You’ll add to humanity's soiled reputation and treachery.
You’ll poison your own heart.
You’ll prove yourself a coward.
You'll leave others fearful of you.



2.  God, War And Violence:


Am unaware of who the author or authors are.

Some refrain from becoming Christians because they cannot accept the idea of an Old Testament God who orders killing and extermination. However, the Old Testament is often misread and misunderstood. In assessing the Old Testament God, we should look again at the picture the Old Testament provides. The first violent act recorded in the Bible is Cain’s murder of his brother (Gen 4:1-8). However, before his destructive act, God spoke with Cain, trying to bring him to his senses (Gen 4:6,7). Without success. The Creator disapproved of Cain’s action and made clear to him that he would have to bear its consequences (Gen 4:10-12). God took a risk in modelling us in His image and giving us freedom to act and decide (Gen 1:26,27). But, of course, we must face the consequences of our actions (Gen 3:17-24). The Bible records only a few occasions where God decided to interfere with humanity’s violent behaviour. One occasion was during the time of Noah, when violence was so great on the earth that it threatened the existence of life.
God intervened and wiped out an entire generation with the flood. The situation was bad. Whereas God had created everything “good,” (Gen 1:31) people were doing exactly the opposite of what they had been designed to do (Gen 6:5,6). The Bible writer records that instead of continuing the process of creation in a positive way, people were thinking and doing evil constantly. The earth was full of violence (Gen 6:13). And this threatened the existence of the human race, the animals, and all of nature. Life is precious to the Creator. There was only one option for Him—to act as a surgeon in cutting away. Thus, God saved humanity and the animal world.
On another occasion God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19). Once again, human evil had reached its peak (Gen 18:28; 19:6,7,9,13). And the evil of these cities threatened the people surrounding them. But God did not act in a blind, choleric way. The recorded dialogue between God and Abraham, who lived near the cities, reveals that God had thoroughly and responsibly investigated the case (Gen 18:16-33). And He saved all He could from destruction. As with the people in Noah’s time, the residents of these cities would have destroyed themselves in time. But at least God was able to intervene first and save the destruction of others.
To a great degree, people’s fate lies in their own hands. This is demonstrated in the case of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. If any people deserved to be wiped out in the ancient Near East, it was the Assyrians (Jonah 1:2). It was the most violent nation of the time. It had strongly established its reputation by committing atrocities on its numerous defeated enemies. However, God cancelled His verdict of extermination on the city because it genuinely reversed its conduct.
Nineveh stopped its violence. And the Ruler of the universe responded. Nineveh was not annihilated (Jonah 3:7-10). This incident demonstrates God’s character. The Old Testament God only carried out a definite sentence when there was no sign of reversal, and when the existence of others and their environment was at stake.
But what about God ordering the Israelite wars? How can all that killing be justified? In trying to answer these questions, each situation needs to be looked at to avoid generalization and exaggeration. From the time God liberated Israel from slavery in Egypt, He wanted it to become a model nation (Ex 19:5,6). Obviously, if He was going to give the Hebrews independence, He would also have to give them a home and country. In the setting of the ancient Near East, where warfare was the order of the day, it was impossible for God to require Israel to be pacifist. The struggle for survival was conducted with a spade in one hand and a weapon in the other. God assigned to Israel an area populated by the Amorites. The Bible records that these people had a contempt for human life—as reflected in their human sacrifices (Deut 9:4; 12:29-31; Gen 15:16). It would have been impossible for Israel to co-exist with them. Israel learned that the inevitable result of wickedness is death. And Israel had to learn to perform like a student surgeon, by cutting out evil where it had proved irreversible.
Because King Saul didn't fully follow through on the instructions God had given regarding completely crushing a particular enemy once and for all, the remainder of them contined to be a constant thorn in Israel's side, which led to more loss of life.
It was not easy to educate Israel as a model people. It was composted of slaves, adventurers, Egyptians and other nationalities (Ex 12:38; Num 11:4). This complex group of people operated at low levels of ethics, hygiene and human relationships. God’s plan to make them a model nation, a “holy” people,” a “royal priesthood,” was ambitious. God gave Israel commandments and prescriptions—not to enslave them again, but to lift them to a higher level of human existence. They included laws to regulate warfare. And against the background of the ancient Near East, they stand out as humane and idealistic. For example, when going to war, those who had marriage plans, or who had just bought a house or a field and had not yet enjoyed the benefits of it, were allowed to remain home. Further, all who feared to face the enemy were also allowed to remain home (Deut 20:1-9). Who today would dare to run an army on those terms? Yet the God of Israel did. And it shows how deeply He appreciates human life. Only those who were committed and had already benefited from the joy and value of life were invited to risk their lives.
But even more startling, these Mosaic warfare laws required a liberal and humane attitude toward the enemy (Deut 20:10-15). For example, when marching to war, the Israelites had to offer peace to the enemy, with the guarantee of no bloodshed. If the offer was refused, only males were to be killed in battle. Women and children, who represented the future of their people, had to be kept alive. At all cost, life had to be safeguarded. Soldiers were even forbidden to cut the enemy’s fruit trees (Deut 20:19,20). Later generations had to be able to eat and live.
Israelite men also had to show respect to female captives. Raping or any violent treatment was forbidden. If an Israelite was attracted by a conquered woman, he had to allow her a month to mourn before marrying her. She then had to be treated as his wife with full Israelite rights (Deut 21:10-14).
A God who orders such war ethics in a period when hardly any existed cannot be called a God of violence. Of course, not all Israelites applied the rules strictly. Even King David was at times cruel (2 Sam 8:2,4). But the Old Testament pronounces its verdict on him. God refused to let him build the temple—the thing he most desired to do—because he had shed too much blood (1 Chron 22:7,8).
Finally, there is an extra dimension in the Old Testament history that should not be overlooked. On several occasions, military conflicts were solved by a conscious choice of non-violence. For example, the Israelite prophet Elijah confronted the Arameans who were attacking Israel. The Bible records that he was given power to temporarily blind them. He then brought them to Samaria, the capital, and handed them over to the Israelite king. The king asked Elijah if he should annihilate them. But Elijah prohibited him from doing them any harm, and instead ordered the king to offer them a meal. This action would have done Gandhi or Martin Luther King proud. And it must have impressed the Arameans. They did not raid Israel again (2 Kings 6:15-23). In such instances, when conflict was solved non-violently, God was showing to His people that He does not like bloodshed.
The prophet Isaiah expresses God’s ideal well. He pictures the world to come where nations will express their desire to be with God and to be taught by Him (Isa 2:4-6). In his vision, Isaiah sees these people beating their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Thus, God considers life to be sacred and valuable. In Old Testament times He allowed violence only when there was no other solution, and when the life of others was at risk. God hoped to lift Israel to a higher, more humane level of morality, and to thereby influence the other nations.


From the book "Gunning For God" by John C. Lennox.

"Christendom is not the same as Christianity, as the Danish theologian and philosopher Kierkegaard pointed out.
Christendom's violence was not Christian, for the simple reason that it was diametrically opposed to what Christ himself taught.
People who engage in violent and cruel activities at any time, in Northern Ireland or the Balkans or anywhere else, while invoking the name of God, are certainly not obeying Christ when they do so, whatever they may say to the contrary.
After all, the name "Christian" means a disciple or follower of Jesus Christ. Following Christ means obeying his commandments. And one of those commands was the explicit prohibition of the use of force to defend Christ or his message. That command has been very well known since it was issued at a point of high tension in the Gospel narrative, the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Jesus taught his followers not to hate their enemies but to love them; and he acted accordingly when the armed crowd came with Judas to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest him. In that historic encounter he specifically forbade his disciples to use violence.
Jesus rebuked one of his disciples, Peter, who, untrained in swordsmanship, swung wildly with his sword and cut off the ear of the High Priest's servant, Malchus. "Put your sword back into its place," Jesus said, "for all who take the sword will perish by the sword" (Matt 26:52, ESV).
He could not have made it more plain. To take the sword, gun, or bomb in Christ's name is to repudiate both Christ and his message. He will have none of it. Gunning for God, in the sense of taking a weapon into one's hands on God's behalf, is a contradiction of and an affront to the Christian message."




3.  Why Boxing Is Wrong:


Boxing is the act-cum-art of repeatedly striking someone for personal gain, though with a gloved hand; the gloved hand simply minimizing any injury, which speaks for itself given that one should never raise a hand to anyone even in fun. Such an act-cum-art is surely something that one would hardly want to become good at.

Boxing is the act-cum-art of knocking someone out as quickly as possible, or hammering them with punches until they’re weakened-cum-more vulnerable, and this, in order to win. The drawing of blood and leaving of bruises being par for the course.

Boxing creates an inner hardness, those with the “killer instinct” faring better due to their heightened brutality and “at all cost” mentality.

Boxing is a contradictory and even hypocritical act
(especially where one is opposed to violent behaviour) given that it’s a form of violence. It therefore sending the young a garbled message.

Boxing simply equips those who’ve a brooding resentment.

Boxing is part of that “macho” mentality that’s more into brawn than intellect.

Boxing is effectively a gladiator sport which an enlightened society should have surely left behind.

Boxing, like competitive sports in general, not only can bring out the worst in the competitor, but also the worst in the observer-cum-fan, hence that howling for blood as was seen in the ancient Roman amphitheatres.

Boxing can eventually lead to serious brain injury.


The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) said boxing was "qualitatively different" from other sports because of the injuries it causes and should be banned.

"There is significant evidence that shows the damage that is done to the brain by multiple injuries."
NZMA chair Dr Kate Baddock. Stuff, November 15, 2018



4.  The Death Penalty:


Why the death penalty is wrong:

The death penalty gives the State far too much power and is incompatible with the notion of limited government.

No human or system can be trusted with such a decision given how flawed both humans and systems are and always will be.

The death penalty violates the religious and ethical convictions of many citizens.

The death penalty violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The death penalty is not the hallmark of an enlightened and sophisticated society, but rather, the hallmark of a backward and vengeful one. The death penalty is killing that is committed not as an act of defence (which is what armies are for), but only for the purpose of exacting revenge. We need to move away from such an "eye for an eye" mentality if civilization is to advance. The death penalty is a barbaric act that has more in keeping with the likes of tyrants and dictators, and such is effectively imitating the killer. It's not only hypocritical to down cry violence and yet use violent means, but it also sends a confused and distorted message to society, whilst corrupting and brutalising. Society and government should be more nobler and righteous than a murderer.

Two wrongs do not make a right. Any law that's based on revenge is a bad law.

It dehumanises the participants who are simply State sanctioned killers.

The death penalty is no more effective than life imprisonment in deterring murder. People don't think about the death penalty before they commit a crime. The death penalty hardly makes the accused suffer for their crime in the sense that their execution actually frees them from any suffering. Thus, life imprisonment is a far worse punishment. The fact that those who are closest to these crimes would favour such barbaric punishment, is the very reason why we have laws and courts to decide what is just. Emotions cloud our judgment.

The death penalty denies the sacredness of human life. The destruction of a human life can never be right. A nation can hardly affirm the sanctity of life while upholding the death penalty. The death penalty simply increases disrespect for life.

The death penalty can even create sympathy for the perpetrator, even turning them into heroes.

Innocent people have and may be executed. Such is a wicked crime, and all involved in such are guilty of it. Such a mistake cannot be remedied. Some people are executed despite strong mitigating circumstances. Some jury members are reluctant to convict in murder trials because of the possibility of executing an innocent person. Thus, a killer may go free and not be punished.

In a Church and State setting, should such arise, there is the possibility that the death penalty could become extended to encompass those that were seen as some sort of religious threat or other.

The narrow focus of capital punishment diverts our attention away from the systemic evils that permeate our society at all levels.

The death penalty prevents rehabilitation which should surely be our first and foremost goal. Punishment should never be about revenge but about ensuring that society is safe by punishing and rehabilitating.

And Christian wise:

Such is playing God.

The Old Testament cannot be used as validation for such given that the ancient Israelite nation was once a theocracy ­­— that is, God ruled it directly. They were a people that God took where He found them and over time sought to show a better way. Meantime, certain allowances were made and certain instructions given that were designed to improve the then state of things. The Old Testament shows that God's allowances weren't always His desires. Thus, certain instructions that God gave them, and then, don't apply to us, nor to today.

The New Testament declares a better way.

By killing someone before the time when they would have naturally died, we are eliminating any chance that they might have of salvation in the sense that later in life they might genuinely repent of their wrong.

Surely Christians whose founders (of the Christian religion) were nearly all convicted and executed for what were essentially deemed crimes against the state, should be more alert than others to the potential for corruption inherent in the capital punishment system. How can a Christian support that which took the life of their Saviour?

"Capital punishment feeds the cycle of violence in society by pandering to a lust for revenge. It brutalizes us, and deadens our sensitivities to the precious nature of every single human life."
David B. Thompson

"Death is not only an unusually severe punishment, unusual in its pain, in its finality and in its enormity, but it serves
no penal purpose more effectively than a less severe punishment; therefore the principle inherent in the clause that prohibits pointless infliction of excessive punishment when less severe punishment can adequately achieve
the same purposes invalidates the punishment."
William J. Brennan (1906-1997)

“Though every other man who wields a pen should turn himself into a commentator on the scriptures—not all their united efforts could persuade me that executions are a Christian law….If any text appeared to justify the claim, I would reject that limited appeal, and rest upon the character of the redeemer and the great scheme of His religion.”
Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

"I regard the death penalty as a savage and immoral institution that undermines the moral and legal foundations of society."
Andrei Sakharow (1921-1989)

"Till the infallibility of human judgment shall have been proved to me, I shall demand the abolition of the death penalty."
Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834)

"Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another out but similars that breed their kind."
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

"I was in favour of the death penalty, and disposed to regard abolitionists as people whose hearts were bigger than their heads. Four years of close study of the subject gradually dispelled that feeling. In the end I became convinced that the abolitionists were right in their conclusions...and that far from the sentimental approach leading into their camp and the rational one into that of the supporters, it was the other way about."
Sir Ernest Gowers (1880-1966)

Drawn from various sources. Added to on 29 March 2019.



5.  Torture:


Torture is the ultimate depravity. It’s the practice of the depraved, not the just. It's morally repugnant. It’s usage corrupts, degrades, and dehumanises the torturer; disgraces, undermines, and damages a country’s reputation —
Such grants a certain legitimacy to the use of torture by other countries.
Torture generates a deeper hatred in both the tortured one, his comrades, and his allies. It creates a desire for revenge. Troops from a country that tortures, and who’re taken prisoner, will face pay back.
When a country tortures, such can be used as a recruitment tool against that country that is doing the torturing (or those who are doing the torturing) — in other words, such provides the enemy with something they can exploit for propaganda.
A free informant might be afraid to talk about what they know lest they end up being tortured too
The use of torture removes integrity and the moral high ground — it damages the moral authority of an institution.
Torture is against human rights and the Geneva convention.
Civilised people do not torture.
No one can truly be trusted with such power — legalised or permitted torture leads to abuse. Evil done behind the scenes is evil kept behind the scenes. Legalised torture just creates legalised criminals.
The torturer can never be sure they’re getting the truth. Under torture, an innocent person may confess to avoid their misery, or may be made to confess to something that they are innocent of.
Torture actually invalidates confessions, because it creates "evidence" that cannot be used in a court of law.
Torture can generate false leads that can derail or hold up ongoing investigations.
Torture can lead to death or permanent emotional or physical injury — an even greater crime should the one who’s being tortured be innocent.
Some torturers may enjoy or begin to enjoy inflicting such pain. The work of torture attracts sadists who are more interested in torturing than they are in getting information —
On the other hand, torturers can suffer Reverse Stockholm Syndrome, (known in some circles as remorse).
Torture can create sympathy for people who would otherwise be scorned and shamed.
The 'Ticking Time Bomb' scenario that has been put forth by Alan Dershowitz, and that endorses the use of torture under certain circumstances, is one that's seriously flawed, and almost a subject on its own. Besides, it's naive to believe that laws against torture would have any significance in a true "ticking bomb" scenario, though it needs to be said that real life doesn't present "ticking bomb" situations. But where does one draw the line? When ten thousand people are at risk or ten? Morally you can't have a trade off. Yes, hard cases make bad law.
For the Christian it’s always a case of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” We're all God's children. But at the end of the day, torture is wrong because it is wrong, and two wrongs don't make a right. Torture mistreats the vulnerable and violates the demands of justice. Torture is wrong because it inflicts unspeakable pain upon the body of a fellow human being who is entirely at our mercy. It treats the victim as a thing, returns us to the dark ages. Torture turns us into hypocrites. And always remember that what is introduced to extract information or to punish can be used on the innocent -- the tougher the prison, the harder it is on the inmate who's unjustly incarcerated. Yes, that could become you. Oh, it's also worth remembering that the person who is tortured is someone's spouse or child.

The following worthy comments are by Cesare Beccaria, an Italian economist who published, Essay on Crimes and Punishment, in 1764. 

A cruelty consecrated among most nations by custom is the torture of the accused during his trial, on the pretext of compelling him to confess his crime, of clearing up contradictions in his statements, of discovering his accomplices, of purging him in some metaphysical and incomprehensible way from infamy, or finally of finding out other crimes of which he may possibly be guilty, but of which he is not accused.
A man cannot be called guilty before sentence has been passed on him by a judge, nor can society deprive him of its protection till it has been decided that he has broken the condition on which it was granted. What, then, is that right but one of mere might by which a judge is empowered to inflict a punishment on a citizen whilst his guilt or innocence are still undetermined?
The following dilemma is no new one; either the crime is certain or uncertain; if certain, no other punishment is suitable for it than that affixed to it by law; and torture is useless. If it is uncertain, it is wrong to torture an innocent person, such as the law adjudges him to be, whose crimes are not yet proved.

"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must
be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture,
produces nothing worthwhile."
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

"The use of torture is dishonourable. It corrupts and degrades the state which uses it and
the legal system which accepts it."

Leonard Hoffmann

"The deliberate torture of one human being by another is a sin against our Creator, in whose image we all have been created. This practice should not be condoned or allowed by any government. It must be condemned by all people of faith, wherever it exists, without exception."
Archbishop Demetrios, Primate, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America


Drawn from various sources.