Empathy, Netanyahu, Despots and Chimps

chimpsThis morning (Friday, September 25, 2009) after reading the Wall Street Journal I couldn’t help but go back and link three articles about “empathy.” One article (“Israel’s Premier Fires Back in Speech” by Christopher Rhoads and Joe Lauria, A7) had to do with the speech given yesterday by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. He gave a “blistering attack” on Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Prime Minister mounted a massive collection of evidences concerning the Holocaust, which the Iranian president has denied ever happened.

But he did more. His rhetorical device was to name a horror and then ask, “Was this a lie?” But his greatest question came as he turned to those who had displayed what I would call a twisted sort of “empathy” for such dictators and despots like Ahmadinejad and asked them, “Have you no shame? Have you no decency?”

I had heard part of the speech yesterday on Fox News radio and I was shaken to my core by it. The nations of the earth, gathered at the United Nations, were on trial by the Prime Minister. Those who put up with and cheer on such criminals, such as the Iranian President and Moammar Gadhafi (said now to “comprehend the anger” of those relatives of the victims of the 1988 Lockerbie massacre that his government oversaw or at least allowed), are guilty of empathy for the inhuman and monstrous dictators. These men and their ungodly regimes are infecting the world with a virus deadlier than any Swine Flu (see “Ghadafi Says He ‘Comprehends’ Lockerbie Anger” by Jay Solomon, A7).

Indeed, the dark and twisted representatives of the UN who applaud such neo-Hitlers and their diabolical generals, were tried and found guilty of showing empathy in the most sinister, unimaginable way. Empathy in the sense of feeling another’s pain and desiring to help and bring healing to them was denied to the people of the earth that it should have been given to. And the UN is left, once again, tried and found wanting, not only of empathy, but also of sanity and of purpose.

The mission of the United Nations is, as Coach Lou Holtz reminded us on Shawn Hannity’s program on September 23, 2009, to prevent wars. Period. It takes an old ball coach to get to the bottom of things. And Coach Holtz’ locker room talk to us is exactly right. But the Wilsonian vision of a league of nations, a place of peace, a “united nations” as FDR named it, has evolved into a bizarre collection, almost a side show, of despots, dictators, and madmen, held together by the money of America and Britain who, in doing so, seem to also be showing empathy in the wrong way. Despite the good that has been done in humanity efforts around the world, the UN can be counted on not to be counted on when it comes to doing what it was designed to do: prevent wars like the one that engulfed the earth in World War II. Indeed, today, there is an array of despotic clowns, lethal clowns who are developing 21st Century weaponry with 9th Century ideologies as Netanyahu reminded us. Because of the opportunist nations such as Russia, who chide the despots publicly but endure them if not encouraging them privately, to advance their own nefarious and mostly unknown designs, the world is suffering a massive war tumor.

This tumor, with blood vessel like tentacles now stretching over the earth, from Eastern Europe, which lies unprotected and once again abandoned by the nation they look to for help (our own nation), to South America, and our own Hemisphere’s loons, like Chavez, is metastasizing. If it is not removed, it will lead to global conflict like we have not seen before. In other words it is leading to this century’s world war. And in the midst of it all, this administration wants to talk. Talk about what?

One thing I have learned as a pastor is that one cannot reason with madness, but only treat it with Truth. If that were the proposed aim of our desire to show empathy to dictators and those who deny the rights of Israel, who call the president of the United States, “Satan” (though now they call our new president, “our son”), then I could understand. But I see nothing that demonstrates such Reagan-like resolve in dealing with these thugs and killers. The question is: why are we not showing empathy to Israel or to Poland or the Czech Republic? We read about empathy everywhere, but the empathy is misplaced, it is empathy distorted.

This brings me to the third article that I read which allowed me to see, at length, what this is all about. I turned the page to read, “Tracing the Origins of Human Empathy” (by Robert Lee Hotz, A11) and there was pictured a chimpanzee mother and her baby. The article described the scientific inquiries of Dr. Frans de Waal and his conclusions about the evolution of human empathy based on the display of empathy by apes. Empathy, he says, is “the ability to imagine how others are feeling, especially people who are not the same as you.” After reading that article, I was able to tie it all together. I believe that this empathy, shown in chimps, is simply a beautiful instinct placed there by the Creator. Not related by DNA, or by a supposed Darwinian delusion, but by a divine design, human beings can also show such deeply embedded feelings towards each other. This is our humanity.

But sin, the horrible consequences of an unredeemed spirit, and the dark disease of a malevolent spirit, can overtake such instincts and cause chimps to attack and brutally murder their masters. You don’t make friends with such apes. You keep them on chains, or you remove them. You don’t cuddle or coddle them. Instead you empathize with the innocent who are under attack by the mad chimps.

This is where we are today. And it is time to show empathy to the right people and do the only humane thing: isolate and remove the insane creatures whose unredeemed, demonic spirits have created mad monkeys out of men roaming the earth and threatening innocent men, women and children. Unless we do so, these unchained monsters will unleash their deathly darkness on others without the slightest evidence of any human empathy whatsoever.

Copyright ©2009 Michael A. Milton

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About Michael Milton, Ph.D.

Michael A. Milton, Ph.D. (University of Wales, Trinity Saint David's College), is an American Presbyterian pastor, theologian, and author. He is, also, an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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