The Resistance: Fighting What We Hate, Saving What We Love

Image: Starwars.com

WARNING: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Spoiler Alert:

In StarWars: The Last Jedi, Rose Tico, a young fighter in the Resistance, has just saved fellow resister Finn from certain death as he’s attempted to attack a massive First Order weapon alone.

As Finn pulls an injured Rose from the cockpit of her crashed ship, she offers him this sudden revelation—as much for herself as for him:

“We’re going to win this war, not by fighting what we hate, but saving what we love.”

It is a poignant moment in the film, and a beautiful sounding sentiment—but I’m not sure I totally agree with it.

The words remind me of the scoldings I’ve received from people about my forcefulness and anger in recent days, about my volume and my ferocity in opposing things happening here in America. It reminds me of the reprimands of people uncomfortable with other’s methodology, who always seem to imagine a quieter, more passive, more benign activism than what they are seeing.

Rose’s words seem to quietly echo the popular admonishment: “I know what you’re against, not what you’re for.”

I disagree that such a one-sided declaration is ever possible.
I think it’s really clear who and what we love, by what we oppose and what we hate.
I contest the assertion that you can either be loving—or you can be angry.
I don’t believe that there is some clear, undisputed line dividing the acceptable ground for loving people to tread from that which is off-limits for them.
I resist the idea that matters of the heart are confined to the palatable and the pleasant.

I am loving—fiercely, passionately, unwaveringly loving:

Because I love the LGBTQ community, I openly call out politicians and clergy who deny their inherent worth, who try to determine for them where they can go to the bathroom and who they can marry and where they can worship and whether or not they can adopt children.

Because I love people of color, I speak into broken systems that deny them full participation, that silence their voices and minimize their contributions. I push back against a privilege that believes its whiteness superior to the lives of people of color. I will say with pointed clarity that they matter.

Because I love my Muslim brothers and sisters, I openly condemn the politics of fear that conflates their earnest faith with terrorism; that makes living and worshiping in America for them a daily hardship, that causes them to feel unwelcome in their homes and communities.

Because I love the vulnerable, I rail against those who would prey upon them; people who leverage their power and position to further marginalize them, by hoarding opportunity and education and care and votes. 

Because I love this country, I realize that I did nothing to be born here, that I sacrificed nothing to live here, that this luxury has not been earned. I realize that many people run here in desperation, seeking rescue from a kind of poverty, violence, and oppression that I’ll never know—and I will have compassion for them and oppose those with contempt for them. 

Because I love women, I speak into a culture that objectifies them, that shames them for boldness, that would pay them less while requiring more. I will stand up when women politicians are vilified for the kind of strength that men are rewarded for. 

Because I love America, I use whatever is at my disposal to demand that those representing us in the world and appointing our Supreme Court Justices and upholding our laws, do so with the Constitution as their guide, not their fears or their whims or their prejudices. 

Because I love America I speak out when it seems as though the basic liberty, equality, and freedoms it stands for are being denied to great segments of their population, when its Constitution is being trampled upon.

Publicly standing against these injustices and those who perpetuate them is not a backhanded way to be hateful.
It is a way to be openly and brazenly loving to those who are denied love, those who are marginalized, those whose voices are not heard.

This is the very nature of love; that it is a direct, unflinching response to that which is unloving—and this will feel like violence against hateful people. It will be attack and confrontation to those stockpiling power and privilege.

Love is terribly offensive to those who would wish it silenced.
Love doesn’t tolerate discrimination.
It doesn’t abide bigotry.
It doesn’t play nice with fear.
It doesn’t wait in the corner for Hatred to consent to it speaking.

Love doesn’t sit quietly while people are dying, for fear of being deemed impolite.
Love is audacious and inappropriate and undignified—at least Jesus’ love was. In fact, his love was so offensive that it got him killed.
Love isn’t a mousey wall flower.
It isn’t a pushover.
It won’t be managed or tone policed or shamed into holding its tongue.

Love is the furious eruption of the heart in the face of all that feels wrong and broken and deadly.

The same loves that embraces the hurting, fights back the hurters. It will be at once comfort to one and irritation to the other.

These are days when we are called to love, and to risk all that love asks us to risk, to give all that love requires us to give.

Love is still the greatest weapon good people have.

Love doesn’t just love. It also pushes back hard against unloving things.

Yes Rose Tico, you’re right, we do save what we love. That is the primary mission—and that means we may have to fight what we hate and even die trying to do it.

Plan A is Love.

There is no Plan B.

 

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24 thoughts on “The Resistance: Fighting What We Hate, Saving What We Love

    • General Eisenhower (a real general who fought a real war against a real enemy) addressed the troops right before they stormed the beaches of Normandy. Can you imagine him giving the troops that line as their guidance going into battle?

    • Rose said that we have to fight to protect what we love instead of what we hate and here there is a big difference. When we fight what we hate, all we want is revenge and by doing that we will create an endless spiral of violence.
      One of the parties at least has to show benevolence and mercy because if that doesn’t happen, the conflict will be endless. Look the conflicts on earth. The more punishment applied the more resentment is created that will originate more wars. It is mercy and benevolence that will assure a lasting peace. The mentality of most people is to punish others as if themselves never did something wrong too but the violence that they applied in that punishment will return again to them in an eternal spiral of violence and revenge.

  1. waging war on sin
    While the real issue is within us all
    as jesus said so clearly in the gospels
    to love each other and always seek out truth
    but the one issue people are always trying is to bypass the true , living god to accomplish thier own will. Vein , no purpose except to serve mankind and satisfy his own ego, pride, selfish ambition.
    Why , you ask
    because the heart of mankind, womankind is sinful to the bone, selfish to the last breath of life, and self serving to its own pleasure.
    God has to intervene or their is not hope
    Each one Seeks his or her own end , will , way , perspective as is of the Flesh, mankind in general
    That is why
    We all need the checks and balances which give us stability , hope , True Love that does not TAKE
    Truth that does not change with each person
    Standards that last for eternity
    Jesus Christ Born this season 2000 years ago in a stable made for animals , the outcast of life, the lowly of humanity to take away the sin offering for mankind
    Purpose : life in his blood on a cross for our sin
    reason for season : to be the sacraficial lamb for sin
    Love given to all who would follow , trust , come back from sin to his ways , no matter who , what other s say and do.

  2. The Truth : plan a , sin offering for mans sin , Jesus
    Plan b : mans way , doing it his own selfish way
    making plans with out god , with out jesus christ , with out the bible , with out the truth
    this is plan b , rebellion
    Man will and is paying for Sin of Rebellion
    we all like to mask up , make ourselves look good , be a gggggggoooooooddddddd person , but that is for us, the Meeeeee, the selfish willfull person
    satisfy that empty hole with something.
    Jesus Christ is the only true way to satisfy the deep neeed , only peace thru Him will fill the gap .

  3. This is the Disneyfying of the hero’s journey. Luke had to fight his own father, Vader fought his own masters. There is time to fight the evil we hate.

  4. You’re right, of course!
    Love is the natural response to the sacred being of each and every living thing. Or it should be.
    There are obvious exceptions: you can love your dog, but if it gets rabies and cannot be cured, you do not let it live. Putting it down is the loving thing in the long run, even if it seems to be uncaring. You do not let it continue to be ill and to infect others with its illness.
    Hate falls very neatly into the concept of a rabid dog, because those who hate refuse treatment and want to infect others. When your neighbor’s dog has rabies, you don’t let it live, either. If they will not do the right thing, the humane thing…you report them to the proper authorities and as it is a public threat, the dog will be killed to protect the larger good. (Or in some states, you can shoot it yourself and face no criminal charges. Of course we don’t do that with people. We’re talking about rabid dogs.)
    It’s fascinating how any group that claims Jesus as their leader can be so terribly comfortable with hate–something he never did. But he also did not suffer fools (and haters)–see: clearing out the temple and ANY comment about the Pharisees. And now we have a logic chain: Jesus was loving and exemplifies love; if he fought against those who did not show this same kind of love, it does not make him hateful–it makes him a warrior against hate, bigotry, and every other unnecessary and divisive label or system of hate.
    Hate does not belong to Jesus; if anyone owns it, it would have to be the Big Bad Guy in the Bible: Satan. You know, the one that God cast out of Heaven. If you believe in that.
    And most of the people who are hateful, they believe in that. But they are claiming the wrong source for their behavior.
    Love and hate are two sides of the same coin. They are both very energetic emotions. The opposite of both? Is apathy–no energy, just no love (or no hate). Being an energized emotion means that it takes a great deal of equal or greater energy to change from one to the other.
    As long as those who hate continue to fight against love–in the various forms, such as equal rights, freedom from oppressive or repressive laws (even social law), freedom to their own bodies and their own decisions about those bodies–those who love MUST FIGHT BACK because hate must not win.
    Their hate is based on their insistence that anyone Not Like Them must be held down, held back, sent back, refused the same opportunities–because they are terrified at losing any sense of self that came from being part of this group. (Evangelical/Fundamental Christian is one name for this kind of person. Neo-Nazi is another.)
    If the haters are not met with equal-but-opposite force of love, there will be no stopping what their hate insists they do–and the greater good will be lost to the greater hate.
    I realize that this becomes a sort of “splitting hairs”, but it is totally possible to “love the sinner, hate the sin” as long as we understand that the sin we are talking about in this case is the sin of hate. (Not homosexuality, let’s be really clear on that.) I can hold the concept of our President as a sacred being just by virtue of being alive–but I do not let that obfuscate his actions and words, which directly deny his own sacred being and make him a Bad Person in the Big Scheme of Life. I have no desire to see him dead, but I would really like it if he were not in charge of our country–where his ability to harm others is magnified well beyond just the people that surround him and that he can physically see at any one point of time.
    I don’t want his followers to be killed or locked up or sent back or put into second class status in what is supposed to be a classless society. In other words, I do not want for them what they want for everyone else. This is not about “getting even” or retribution or revenge. They stop hating, we stop fighting. That simple.
    Except that it’s not–because they are so sure that they are right. They are so terrified of this Earth and the life that they are living right now, they are so eager to earn their reward of being with God for all eternity…they will believe anything that will stroke this feeling of being above others. They believe that being a Christian (INO, far too often) is all it takes to escape the reality of life here and now.
    My own parents have this particular disease. And I have to be careful not to blurt out my own suggestion: If you’re not going to live the best life here and now because you’re “going to be with God” (someday?)…why isn’t suicide the greatest sacrament of the Christian church? You’re going straight to God, no waiting around.
    If they’re right, then it will all work out in the end. (Maybe not like they think, see Matthew 25:31-46 for why.)
    If they’re wrong, then they have committed great sin (so to speak): they have failed to live a good life while they had it.
    I think Marcus Aurelius got it right: “Live a good life. If there are Gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are Gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no Gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”
    (Even if he didn’t actually say this, I still think it’s a good idea.)
    Love always wins. But it needs to have warriors for those times when the hate seems to be winning. This is such a time.

  5. With respect, you say you did nothing to earn the luxury of living here in America and did not sacrifice for the nation. This may be a true statement, but, your descendants and forefathers did. They wanted their future kids to enjoy the nation they fought and died for. Have no guilt sir. One day our country will have another “just” war, and it will be up to our kids or grandkids to continue the legacy. Our job is to prepare them. Not only just love we should teach, but also strength and toughness.
    One last note, I sense an anger from you in regards to white culture, or to someone like myself. The white, southern, Baptist, conservative (or the most hated man in the world). The anger is fine with me, to each his own, but the sheer lack of respect for our opposite viewpoints has become problematic in this country. Our ancestors fought and died like everyone else’s for this nation, and our opinions are just as correct as yours. (I know, I know, its your blog).
    Not trying to stir up anything, as I have no idea how I came upon this site. I do like to read other view points from different sides. This country is fine, its strong. The main thing is that we are all stubborn. God Bless Sir

    • Hi Jay. Ah!! If you enjoy reading other people’s blogging stuff, please accept this cordial invitation to come on over to my corner of cyberspace and read my stuff. I have 200+ blog articles there. I was a white “po boy” born and raised in the heart of Old Dixie. Just click on the following safe link and read to your heart’s content—and be sure and read the “About” and “My Profile” sections:

      https://faith17983.wordpress.com/

      https://

  6. Thanks, John. God is love. Yet God gets angry when his people are oppressed or when somebody tries to lead them astray. Your words are an inspiration to me, to keep loving. To keep fighting.

  7. Be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. — James 5:7–8

    • Not happening any time soon—and most likely will not happen until the time comes when few Christians are left anywhere on Earth. That will probably be many centuries into the future.

  8. John, please stop with the pretending and hypocrisy! You love yourself, not those you claim to love. If you really love Homosexuals, you’d love them enough to “speak the truth in love”.

    Unrepentant Homosexuals are hell bound, and we do them no favors when we fail to speak truth into their lives. Ask Christ to give you authentic love.

    Muslims are NOT our “brothers and sisters”, because there is connection between our Christ and the false God, Allah!

    • He does not speak that to them because every last one of them has already heard it at least 1,000 times. All speaking it to them 1,001 does is piss them off and make them run away from Jesus like you would run from Count Dracula. Maybe you could sit down and figure out something truly meaningful and useful that you could do for Jesus—like maybe locking yourself in a room for the next 60 years and never coming out again.

    • Amy, here is where the problem lies. You believe that what you are doing is speaking the truth into “Unrepentant Homosexuals” lives. Their lives already have and hold truth, but it is a truth that you do not or can not recognise. Additionally, you cannot tell if another person is unrepentant or not. That is between them and their God. Unless you yourself are God, then I take that last statement back.

      As for your last statement, Allah is not a false God. Allah is the God that Arabic speaking Christians pray to, just as French people pray to Dieu, German people pray to Gott, and Latvian people pray to Dievs. Just for fun, go to Google Translate and type God into the left box and select English. In the right box, click on the arrow for the drop-down menu and find dozens of different names for God.

  9. Thank God for your anger, your forcefulness, your opposition to the hatefulness that is all around us. Please keep doing what you do because we need those voices. Peace and Love,

  10. Hate and rage are every bit as much parts of what make us human as love and benevolence. Sometimes you need to hate and be angry. Other times, love and kindness can corrupt us utterly.

    As for war (and even a Star War), the only true maxims are that it is hell, the aim is not to die but to make the other lot die, and who’s left standing at the end is the winner. Banal bromides in a badly written film can’t quite compete.

  11. Keep on being angry, John. “A quieter, more passive, more benign activism” has been tried and has gone nowhere. The diplomats can often make the peace and sometimes keep the peace, but when the other side has declared war on all we hold dear, we now live in a time of action.

  12. John, I enjoyed reading what you wrote and I wholeheartedly believe you when you say, “I am loving—fiercely, passionately, unwaveringly loving”, although your interpretation of what Rose said did not quite fall in line with mine.

    “We’re going to win this war, not by fighting what we hate, but saving what we love.”

    You said, “I contest the assertion that you can either be loving—or you can be angry.” And I don’t think it’s an either/or situation, nor was it meant to be.

    I think we can fight what we hate BY saving what we love. But saving what we love looks much different than fighting what we hate. Your examples above exemplify that very thing. Because you love someone/something, you will stand up and fight the barriers. You don’t seem to be fighting for the sake of fighting…you have a loving reason for the fight.

    Let’s not forget the context of Rose’s statement which came after she saved Finn from a suicide run. “We’re going to win this war, not by fighting what we hate, but saving what we love.”

    Hate will only take you so far. Love is what keeps us going to be able to fight another day. Focusing on love allows us to have the vision to be strategic in our fight and not let our anger and rage get the best of us while we are fighting what we hate, and in turn, saving what we love.

  13. Hi John,
    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. People ask me why I continue to fight, to protest, to resist, to rant and rave and I could never put into words that they could understand, this, this explains it and me. I’ve always fought for the underdog, the disenfranchised because I am both and it hurts my heart when they are under attack. The ugly sends me into a fight mode. I will continue the good fight with good people on my side. Thank you

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