It is difficult to respond to the horrors that unfolded in Paris yesterday, apart from expressing great sorrow and deepest condolences to all affected.
Religion, nation, and politics are bound tightly to the motivation behind the attacks. As long has humans have had notions of nation, state, and divine purpose, they have attacked and killed one another, justifying it with their gods, their nations, the defense of their political self-interest.
It’s as false today as it was when Xerxes, Hannibal, or Hitler made such justifications.
Our response will undoubtedly appeal to our gods, our nations, our states, and our national interests. It will be easy to round up support in the names of these idols.
The violence will continue so long as humans see land, wealth and power to seize. And the violence will be justified in the name of nation, state and divine purpose.
It is difficult to be optimistic today.
What should a teacher say to the class on Monday? You might want to check out what I had to say about the Charlie Hebdo Massacre last January.