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Response to Violence

The recent attacks in Paris has evoked diverse responses to the violence.

At a two-day meeting in Turkey on Sunday ABC News report that President Barack Obama called the violence an “attack on the civilized world” and Russian President Vladimir Putin urging “global efforts” to confront the threat.

Anonymous has “declared total war on Islamic State” and vowed to launch a hacking operation to hunt them down. TNW News notes: “According to Foreign Policy magazine, the group has dismantled some 149 Islamic State-linked websites and flagged roughly 101,000 Twitter accounts and 5,900 propaganda videos.”

Tikkun laments that the world has lost it’s ethical direction and we have a media that cheerleads for fear and militarism.

But last evening, Maestro Scott Seaton observed a moment of silence prior to a stunning performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances by the North State Symphony at Redding’s Cascade Theatre. He quoted Bernstein’s response to the violence of President Kennedy’s killing:

“We musicians, like everyone else, are numb with sorrow at this murder, and with rage at the senselessness of the crime. But this sorrow and rage will not inflame us to seek retribution; rather they will inflame our art. Our music will never again be quite the same. This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before. And with each note we will honor the spirit of John Kennedy, commemorate his courage, and reaffirm his faith in the Triumph of the Mind.”

For Bernstein, as for Kennedy, “Learning and Reason” were the appropriate responses, the appropriate antidote to ignorance and hatred, and are the true instruments of peace.