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and that shit's called love

There’s no feeling greater than a free pass to destroy another person. That’s why the experience of combat is so exhilarating. Parts of it are every bit as fun as parts of it are horrific. And parts of it are tremendously horrific. It is the supreme empowerment of human experience. And each effective combatant, regardless of ideology, origin, or which side they are fighting for, shares the most powerful motivational force known to the soul: the conviction that they are right. In fact, the most effective usually somehow believe it most. It strengthens aggression and lightens burden. Because its greatest power is total exoneration from self-reproach. Any action performed within duty, it always, immediately, and fully acquits. Here’s the catch: It is as exhilarating and empowering as it is addictive and destructive.

Now, enter righteous indignation. This kind of anger is exactly the same in every way. It’s fun as hell. It’s exhilarating. And if one has an excuse for it, then the righteousness of their indignation pardons them from anything performed in its duty. It becomes an addiction. But the only way to get the free pass is to take offense… then the free pass is administered. The more the junkie returns to it, the more they need it. The more they need it, the more they find a way. The willing victim is the perfect junkie… because they are not only justified for attacking the offender, but applauded. Especially for the praiseworthy crusader who takes up the banner of offense for the sake of others. Not only are they given a free pass to attack others for offenses to themselves, but they can rightly take up the banner for anyone else who may be offended. But the most insidious of these all is that person who assumes something of you then hates you for it. This is where the evils come from.

Don't get me wrong. Maybe one of the greatest things a human being can do is to take up the cross of another. But dutifully throwing oneself under the treads of assumed offense for the sake of the justification to destroy the assumed offender, is another thing entirely. A thin line separates the two. For the outcome is mostly the same, but how you arrive there can be more fueled by anger than it is by actual offense. It is the perfect excuse to hate another. Many take it. And what you build with that yields your next generations.

The power behind the anger is the assurance that you have a right to hate. And you may be right that you do. For your sake or for the sake of somebody else. Whether contrived or not. Hating someone else for the sake of your own anger is not called righteousness, that's called rightness. The most heinous crimes in history have been committed in its name. Rightness is the closest thing to righteousness. The rightest always have an excuse for anger and take it. The righteous have the same excuse but they do not. One can in fact be right and righteous. But only with grace. Grace is the oil between the two. It is the only thing that brings together what it is right and just and what is right and true... and that shit's called love.

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