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From the April 15, 2013, edition of “Viewpoint.”

John Fugelsang:

We can now report that The Boston Globe confirms that the Boston police commissioner has said there has been a third confirmed death from today’s bombing. Now, Ralph Waldo Emerson said “all violence, all that is dreary and repels, is not power, but the absence of power.” Emerson was born in Boston, a city that’s seen its share of violence since the very beginning of the American experiment.

The Boston Massacre in 1770 was a foreshadowing of the American Revolution, and the Siege of Boston was one of the significant victories of the early war for independence. The city’s crime rate has been famously documented, so much so that an area was for years known as “the combat zone.” But in the 1990s, the Boston police department worked with neighborhood and religious groups to bring about the “Boston Miracle,” where people working together reduced violence and murders in the city dropped from 152 a year at the top of the decade to just 31 in 1999.

People working together can do that because for every example of humans resorting to violence there are untold, unreported thousands of humans who reject it and find another way.

So here’s what we know:

Police do not believe the JFK Library fire was related to the bomb. We know The New York Post was wrong when they said a Muslim suspect was in custody. We know that today was not Hitler’s birthday, it was not the anniversary of Waco or Oklahoma City.

A lot of people really want to assign blame; many are politicizing the attack. As of this broadcast, we don’t know if it’s cowardly right-wing homegrown extremists, cowardly foreign terror organizations, or a deeply cowardly individual.

What we do know is that whoever did this was influenced by violence, and allowed themselves to be guided by the propensity for violence that exists in all of us.

Whoever did this was influenced by the seemingly quick, easy and powerful temptation of violence to achieve a desired result. Whoever did this was influenced to believe that violence would give them satisfaction, change — they’re wrong and you know it.

We know that terrorism is a tool, and it has a purpose. It’s deliberate violence designed to use fear to stimulate change. We know it doesn’t work.

We know the U.S. Constitution was written to ensure domestic tranquility.

We know that in the Gospels, Jesus says, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” He also says, “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”

We know the holy Quran says: “If anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or to spreak mischief in the land, it would be as if he killed all humankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all humankind.”

We know that the world’s great religions all preach against this kind of violence — yet the fundamentalists devotees of religion continually think their piety gives them a pass. But again we don’t know if this terrorist attack was that kind of terrorism.

We know that Ralph Waldo Emerson influenced Henry David Thoreau; Thoreau’s writings on nonviolent resistance influenced Gandhi; and Gandhi influenced a young man who attended Boston University; a man who later said, “it is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence.” That young man was Martin Luther King Jr. — who went on to become the greatest American voice for nonviolence in the 20th century.

And we know for everyone who’s influence has driven them to destruction and violence there are thousands more who reject it. Look at the people who ran into the bomb site to help the wounded. That’s the reality.

So if you’re on the side of every Christian, Muslim or Jew; every progressive or conservative who seeks to end our conflicts nonviolently, then congratulations — you’re already part of the solution.


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