What is Our Enemy?

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By: Sungmoon Lee

Sungmoon Lee is a former resident of Bonhoeffer House. This article first appeared in the Post-Signal.

Military service in Korea is a duty for all Korean men unless having a serious physical or mental difficulty. This means that you have to do military service if you are a citizen of South Korea. Ten years ago from now, I was serving as a weapon/ ammunition specialist in a military base located at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

The soldiers who are deployed in DMZ receive an education regularly. Its purpose is to have a clear understanding of the enemy. You may think that North Korean soldiers should be the answer to the question, “who is the enemy?”. But it’s not true. The answer is all the forces which threaten the people, the land, and the rights of the Korean people.

As I hear the news of two mass shootings that just happened last weekend in El Paso and Dayton, OH, and another gun violence in the West Texas, I think of my memories in the military and the danger of the firearms and gun that I experienced. Then my mind begins thinking about what our enemies are in our society. One thing is clear: people (even soldiers) are NOT enemies even in the military setting. I say that the enemy we should name is hatred toward other human beings such as racism, sexism, homophobia, genocide, and others.

The Bible tells this: Love God and our neighbors as ourselves. God wants us to restore the broken relationships so that God comes to us as Christ Jesus and invites everyone to be a part of God’s family. We should see others as God’s beloved children, not the possible threat that we should get rid of. With a heart of prayer for the victims and the people who lost their beloved ones, we should ask ourselves, “What can I do?”, and take action for changes.