Peace Through Strength

peace through strength thumb

Peace Through Strength

Peace Through Strength was displayed at the Lost Pines Art Center in October of 2017.
On October 1, 2017, a shooter opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival.
The following artwork explanation was being written as the news of the tragic mass shooting at that Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada was being reported.
My appreciation of peace is tearfully empty.
Why does such useless waste of life occur?
It is a mystery to me.
Peace. PLEASE. Peace!
Only through a more potent love will such violence be assuaged.
Love your family.
Love your neighbor.
Love a perfect stranger.
Love your enemy. 

Please. Love will win over violence every time.
It starts with me and it starts with you.

Explanation of the Illustration:

The main focus of this illustration are two hands flashing the “peace sign” A more subdued focus are the “fists of power.” The drawing was done (dated 1980 on the back) just prior to Ronald Reagan’s first victory to the office of President of the United States. Now in 2017, thirty-seven years later, the United States has another President using the phrase. Similarly, fifty years ago two Black Olympic athletes demonstrated for Civil Rights. Recently there have been demonstrations by NFL Athletes during the American national anthem.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan used the phrase [Peace Through Strength],during his election challenge against Jimmy Carter, accusing the incumbent of weak leadership that invited enemies to attack the USA and its allies. Reagan said of the world heavy-weight [boxing] champion of his day: “I’ve never seen anyone insult Jack Dempsey.”

The 1968 Olympics Black Power salute was a political demonstration conducted by African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos during their medal ceremony at the 1968 Summer Olympics in the Olympic Stadium in Mexico City. After having won gold and bronze medals, in the 200-meter running event, they turned on the podium to face the flag and to hear the American national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”. Each athlete raised a black-gloved fist, and kept them raised until the anthem had finished. In his autobiography, Silent Gesture, Smith stated that the gesture was not a “Black Power” salute, but a “human rights salute”. The event is regarded as one of the most overtly political statements in the history of the modern Olympic Games.

credit Wikipedia

The viewer will find imposed over the “peace sign” the shape of the cross. The artist would suggest it represents the condition a Christian posture would occupy. While a Christian would love his enemy, his enemy may overpower the Christian to the Christian’s demise. It is the principal of the Cross of Christ, to love unconditionally.
As a Nation, if our compassion exists simultaneous to our display of power, “Peace Through Strength” can function. 

However, if strength takes the position of abuse, that’s not going to bring peace, is it?


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