TERRE HAUTE —
And then the Angel said, “Peace on Earth, good will to men.”
Boy, have we messed that up!
Most of the world’s religions propagate doing good, not killing your neighbors, and try to find a way to live peacefully. If that is the case, why are we in such a damn big hurry to do just the opposite?
World War I ended in a rather dramatic way. The guns fell silent on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Then came the Russian Revolution, and it rambled on and killed a million or more people.
Then we had civil war in China and small wars in Central and South America. Many of these, the United States of America managed to stay out of.
Then came along Japanese imperial aggression and the war in China took a different turn. Germany was starving and, out of desperation, elected Adolph Hitler. He could talk about the future as if he was going to invent it. And he tried. He dressed up his politicos in brown shirts and black shirts and they marched up and down the streets and Germany applauded.
War was not too far behind. Only this time America would be in the forefront in what would become known as World War II. World War II ended in 1945 but the conflicts did not.
The French had all kinds of problems. The French Indo-Chinese, who wanted to be called natives of Vietnam, would put the knockout punch to the French in 1954. Meanwhile, the North Koreans and their Russian and Chinese power brokers thought it was time to invade South Korea, and they did. (The 38th Parallel had been the dividing line between the communist Koreans and the not-so communist Koreans in the South.)
Harry Truman put a stop to the North Korean advance by wheeling out Douglas MacArthur and some other very good leaders and we drove the North Koreans back to the Yalu River before 400,000 Chinese put a stop to our advance. The 38th Parallel is still the dividing line between the two countries. South Korea sells us automobiles.
The North Koreans have a starving population and a leadership of morons. Burma has a military dictatorship that may be ending somewhat. There is conflict in Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, and a bloody civil war in Syria.
Peace on Earth, and good will to men just ain’t doing very well.
I would wish for you and yours to find a small amount of happiness in a world that has totally ignored the ideologies they worship. In spite of all of that, I would hope for peace on Earth and good will toward men.
Maybe, just maybe, someday it will come true.
Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.