Saturday, April 07, 2007

What is It About Thugs?

Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, is a thug. He has been for a long time. His allies, with his overt public approval, have recently undertaken a campaign of beatings and intimidations of those who oppose his dictatorship.

It's an old story, this use of force to quell dissent and maintain tyranny. Eventually, history shows, all tyrannies fall and tyrants almost always come to bad ends. If the original tyrants don't, their heirs do.

All of which raises some questions: Don't guys like Mugabe, Hitler, Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, and others read history? Don't they realize that eventually, the unjust use of force, intimidation, and thuggery eventually ticks people off and leaves tyrants in bunkers with cyanide tablets or on the ends of ropes? What is it about thugs that thinks that they can keep on getting away with murder?

I suppose that all tyrants, like all other sinners who refuse to subordinate themselves to God, figure that they're history's exceptions. They'll be the ones, they think, to get away with treating the rest of the human race like superfluous extras in the epic story of their own lives.

Some do get away with this during their lifetimes. There are dictators who die peacefully in their beds. But after death, the unrepentant face another Judge, one about whom the apostle Paul wrote in the New Testament:
Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. (Galatians 6:7)
Pray for the oppressed people of Zimbabwe tonight, asking God to protect the innocent and to embolden the people to end their tyranny.

[For more on Zimbabwe, go here.]

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