"It is also destroying us spiritually. It is a sad and simple truth that we become like what we fight against. It is simply true that if we look at an enemy long enough we begin to replicate its patterns within ourselves.

"When we spent decades fighting the materialism and lack of freedom in communism, we became more materialistic and less democratic. So too, in fighting terrorism we become more accustomed to disregarding the innocent, in justifying torture.

"This dynamic, in which we become like what we fight against, is also (let us confess) present in groups working for justice and peace. In our struggles against racism there is a good chance we will become racist. We may struggle against patriarchy and become more dogmatic than the pope. If we are simply against violence, we are likely to replicate patterns of violence within our groups. What a difference to be not only against violence but also for peace.

"So Jesus commanded us then as now to love our enemies. He understood that otherwise we will become like the enemies we struggle against. His great hope and great promise was that we would become like what we love. That if we love God we will become more like God. If we love Jesus we will become more like him. That if we desire the reign of God we will begin to change our relationships, not because we have to but because we want to.

"However, enemies are essential within the imperial consciousness that pervades our culture. In the world of politics, other groups are divided into allies and enemies, evil empires and good empires. Within the world of the personal, relationships are divided into friends and enemies.

"These great divides afflict our political and personal relationships. Is it really possible to hope for peace among the peoples, for love between enemies?"