I tried to find a good definition for peace, and the interwebs failed me. The Google machine did give me what it’s not. It defined peace as “freedom from disturbance,” or “freedom from or cessation of war or violence.” Can we really simply define peace by what it’s not? How will we know what it actually is when we see it?
If peace is merely a lack of violence or disturbance then tell me, do you feel that these images depict peaceful gatherings:
Look, they’re smiling, no one is actively getting hurt. They don’t appear to be disturbing anyone.
Just a nice boys’ club meeting out in the woods. I’m sure no one’s quiet evening was disrupted. I don’t see anyone lynched in the background. I mean they’re wearing white after all.
How about this guy? He looks like a cuddly teddy bear type. He’s not yelling or anything. Just minding his own business holding up some light reading.
Some “very fine people.”
There is a curse that comes with the blessing to “peacefully assemble.” I hate to use the term peace there, because what it really means is that we can assemble as long as we are not actively physically hurting people, among a few other limitations. In other words, this is not necessarily synonymous with “peace.” It was lawful for a group of white supremacists to gather in a park in Charlottesville. But please, don’t for a second call what they were doing before things got violently out of hand a “peaceful” gathering.
Everything depicted in each of these photographs, when looked at in the context of the actual situation, are inherently dangerous, vile, immoral, and completely lacking any semblance of peace.
If you want some ideas on how to promote peace please see my recent posts on charity, particularly how to break down barriers.