Peace On Earth, and NO Yes Buts

Peace On Earth, and NO Yes Buts

by Doyle Ranstrom on Dec 12, 2021

A long long time ago, I pulled the Christmas tree on top of me.  I would have been 7 or 8.  It was a year the poor farm on which we lived before my mom became a teacher made enough money to have presents.  When my mom confronted me, I was lying on the floor underneath the tree, I said "yes but".  

Yes but is what we all say when we are caught doing something wrong.  

A six year old who is supposed to pick up his/her toys says yes but.  A 12 year old who is supposed to do the dishes says yes but.  A 17 year old who comes home an hour after curfew with a new dent in the car says yes but.  A 30-year old who is not vaccinated says yes but. A 60 year old when confronted by the increasing federal deficit when his/her political party was in control of both Congress and the Presidency during the majority of the years says yes but.  

A 90 when confronted, ok, 90-year olds do not say yes but.  They are more like a 3-year old who says I did it, but don't care.  

Yes but is also what many say when politicians and their supporters say something that is clearly wrong.  I have been thinking about this a lot during this Holiday Season.  Since I can remember, every Christmas service I have attended has proclaimed "Peace on Earth".

But what does that mean?  Is it an easy expression or an actual objective.  

  • Recently a white male member of Congress posted an animated video showing him killing a latino female colleague member of Congress.  He said, yes but.
  • A white female member of Congress said a female Congressional colleague also who is an immigrant and of a different religion is "an evil black-hearted woman and a terrorist".    This has lead to multiple death threats.  The female white member of Congress, the attacker in this instance, said yes but.  
  • Lately I have had difficulty sleeping, something that is rare for me.  I keep thinking of another school shooting, this time in Michigan.  I think about their families who woke on in the morning planning for the Holidays and went to sleep that night planning for a funeral.  The supporters of gun violence in the US say yes but.  

I believe the two white members of Congress who threatened their colleagues did evil. The shooter in Michigan did evil.  But so did all the individuals, gun lobbyists, and elected leaders who made it possible for this troubled individual to shoot innocent students.

If Peace on Earth is just expression then it has no meaning.  Its the same as saying it is cloudy outside.  But if Peace on Earth is an objective, then it starts with acknowledging evil and no yes buts.  The two white members of Congress committed evil acts.  If you look the other way and say yes but, you are accepting and condoning evil.  If you acknowledge the shooting in Michigan and every other school shooting, but then say yes but, then you are accepting and condoning these tragic acts of violence.  

By the way, if you think you understand my political and economic beliefs based on the above, instead of having the Holiday spirit, you have been drinking way to many spirits for the Holidays.  But I do know the difference between evil and Peace on Earth.  If you are part of the yes but crowd, then I would suggest you spend part of the Holidays in self-reflection and meditation.  

We are a long ways from Peace on Earth.  But as a person of faith, I believe Peace of Earth is not just a saying, but an objective.  And though we may never get there, we are always moving closer or farther away.  The above events all moved us farther away. So for the Holidays, let's all try and move us closer, and no yes buts.  

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