No Need to Argue by Julie A. Ferraro

Since October 2023, when a concert was the target of an unexpected attack, the arguments have been prolonged and loud over who is right and who is wrong, who should be supported and who should be vilified.

I call, “Enough, already!”

Let’s start with this premise, as stated in the Gospel of Mark (12:30-31): “‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

What that means, in essence, is that anyone—anyone—who harms another human being (or, for that matter, any element of creation) is just plain wrong. Every person is a unique individual, worthy of love and respect, because God loves us all equally.

The news media has been filled with reports over the past few months of pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protests, accusations of antisemitism, and so forth. Employees have been fired, executives forced to resign, students banned from college campuses because of their stance on this issue.

For those who hold to their faith—whatever faith—there should be no need for argument. The violence must cease, regardless of which side is committing it. Furthermore, thousands of miles from where the bombs are exploding, individuals living quietly should not be harassed, their places of worship torched, based on acts others have willfully decided to perform.

There should be no call for “retaliation.” As Gandhi once said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” Who ends up suffering, after all? The children, the poor, all made homeless as buildings are reduced to rubble, food supplies are decimated, and medical care rendered inaccessible.

Another point that can be thrown into this mix: possession of a certain piece of ground by any specific group of people.

Conflicts dating even before the Crusades, before Julius Caesar, before the 12 tribes of Israel in the Old Testament, caused devastation thanks to the notion that a particular race or culture desired an expanse of land on which others lived at the time. Similar situations robbed the Native Americans of their lands, a fact frequently acknowledged in the modern era when religious communities or parishes proclaim they inhabit property previously held by tribes in the area.

Still, who really “owns” that land?


The Earth is not a commodity to be possessed by those who are, basically, temporary occupants. The mere concept of ownership is a fallacy, as it is. Pay money to hold a deed on a few acres, or even a small lot where it’s possible to build a house, and taxes must be paid to the local government for the “privilege” of owning it. If those taxes aren’t paid, the government can confiscate the property and sell it to someone who’s willing and able to cover the unpaid debt.

When any person, group, or government proclaims, “I want what you have, and I’m willing to take it by force,” the rest of the world should rise up and holler, “Stop!”—not finance the process. So long as people living in a place have sufficient access to food, shelter, clothing, and health care, they shouldn’t seek to displace others who may have more (or less) just because their ideologies are different, or the “grass is greener on the other side of the fence,” as the old saying goes.

Those of every faith should embrace and stand together in the knowledge that God loves each and every person—and creature—on the planet. If these regressive attitudes discounting human lives, justifying wars and carnage, are allowed to persist, this very planet will no longer be habitable for any of us, and we will have failed as faithful stewards of what God has given us—each other and our common home—as pure gift. ♦

Julie A. Ferraro has been a journalist for over 30 years, covering diverse beats for secular newspapers as well as writing for many Catholic publications. A mother and grandmother, she currently lives in Idaho. Her column, “God ‘n Life,” appears regularly in Today’s American Catholic.

Image: Levi Meir Clancy / Unsplash

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1 reply
  1. Sarita Melkon Maldjian
    Sarita Melkon Maldjian says:

    I loved your usage of Gandhi’s famous quote and am happy you drew attention to the robbed land of the American Indians. I enjoyed this article greatly and thank you for having the courage to write it.


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