Dead Serious

A vigil in Vienna, Austria, for the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris, France, on January 7, 2015.

Photo: EPA, via BBC.

What I believe is this: Neither the keyboard nor the Kalashnikov is as mighty as actual love expressed to the one you'd prefer to mock or kill.

Historically speaking, of course, both the pen and the sword have been known to take themselves way too seriously. Notwithstanding, I'll take the pen for the sake of humanity.

But I'd take love over the pen.

Love. That is, the virtue. The act of loving. Not the stuff of political or religious fairy-tales. The real, tangible, earthy action. Beyond the self, and especially beyond one's tribal community however defined. I'll take one act of genuine love over the war of ideas any day.

Because love is no joke.

And, if your freedom or especially your faith can't inspire love, then both are implicated as deficient and not entirely useful.

I believe love's seriousness, on the other hand, and its hidden strength, is far mightier than clever words (or drawings) extolling freedom. Far mightier than automatic weapons proclaiming God and his 7th-century will.

Violence in the Time of Love

Violence in the Time of Love

Backstage Jesus

Backstage Jesus