Memorial Day, 2013: WWJD

There are no goodies for being right, no satisfaction in “I told you so.”

I’m in my church book study a couple months back. We are reading Jesus for President, VERY slowly, for it has much to offer.

Much to my surprise, I get really ticked off, though not at anyone in the room. It was the re-realization that the war in Iraq, indeed many wars, are in stark contrast with Christian ideals. Yet Christianists seemed to have embraced war as some sort of Christo-American manifest destiny.

It surely didn’t help that this was around the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war, when I was also reading about:
*The lies that predicated the war.
*22 veterans per day commit suicide, yet the vets are hamstrung by bureaucracy in getting the aid they need.
*Not only did over 4000 American soldiers die in the conflict, over 3,400 contractors did as well. This hardly ever got reported, but was a clever way to diminish how bad the war really was. And that’s just on the US side.
*A dying veteran writing on behalf of thousands in an open letter. Sample paragraph: “I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens,along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done.”

And for what? A decade of war that has devastated a nation.

My opposition to this war I have well-documented. I was one of literally millions who, for moral and substantive reason, rejected the application of U.S. imperial power abroad.

Here’s the problem for me. There are no goodies for being right, no satisfaction in “I told you so.” Former U.N. Ambassador and Congressman Andrew Young was quoted as saying that the United States has “got to have better intelligence and better diplomacy because wars don’t work.”

As we remember our fallen soldiers today, may we be ever vigilant in our efforts to try to keep as many of our warriors alive as possible.
***
Interesting job video on the kids.gov site: Prosthetist, who makes artificial arms and legs for individuals who’ve lost their limbs. Nice couple minute piece.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

8 thoughts on “Memorial Day, 2013: WWJD”

  1. Unfortunately even a brief review of history will show that most religions have been used go justify wars and oppression: for the glory of god, and god said so. Just look at god’s marching orders to the Israelites in the Old Testament or the rules of warfare in the Quaran. As others have noted, one needs to cherry-pick the warm and fuzzy bits from these books of ancient savagery, bigotry, and ignorance. I am deeply cynical about the positive vs. negative effects of religion on human civilization.

  2. I don’t disagree that religion has been used to justify war. I’m saying that, in the Jesus message , it’s wrong, as wrong as the sun revolving around the earth.

  3. Jesus’ message was love. He rejected “eye for an eye,” but the Prophet Mohammed brought it back as he synthesized certain teachings from “the Book” (Torah) and “The Way” (followers of Jesus).

    There is no way on earth Jesus would condone this or any other war. Unfortunately, the Christian Right (so-called) has co-opted my religion to justify this mess. Me? Call me the Christian Left! Amy

  4. I think I have slightly different take than most people.

    I’d say that Memorial Day is 100% a holiday in the real Christian spirit, just like Jesus would want.

    Other people make it about celebrating the wars. But it’s really about remembering the soldiers who died.

    Everyone who served lost people and had no time to stop and grieve. The war kept coming.

    Jesus taught us to give comfort to people with dying loved ones. He also gave comfort to the Centurion (Matthew 8).

    So… yeah. Jesus was pretty clear about the war issue. Still think he’d think Memorial Day was a great idea.

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