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The sermon and readings in church today focussed on the "love thy neighbor" passage in the Sermon on the Mount (starting at Matthew 5:43). The point being made was the importance of seeing the humanity of even your most dreaded adversaries. It reminded me of my favorite Henry Lawson quote: "The more you listen to a bad character, the more you lose your dislike for him."

When I came home, I started reading Charlene Spretnak's The Politics Of Women's Spirituality. Spretnak is part of the school of thought that proposes that the earliest agricultural civilizations were idyllic Goddess-worshipping matriarchies, who were destroyed by patriarchal invaders. And I came across this revelation in a footnote to her introduction:

However, even with the current conditioning that men receive, many of them, although seemingly a minority, exhibit considerable empathy and gentleness, do love women, and report that they do not resent and/or hate their mothers; in fact, the mother-son bond expressed by such men appears to be genuinely deep and loving."

I think it's a clear sign that you've become too wrapped up in your caricature of the Enemy, too willing to dehumanize them and ascribe to them everything evil in the world, and too disconnected from how they actually think, when it comes as a surprise to you that some among your enemies might actually love their mothers.


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