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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Saturday, February 08, 2003


Here's something to think about
I am generally suspicious of those Christians who make a big deal of referring to themselves as "post-Modern," such as Bryan McLaren, and I generally don't post things that seem to argue against the impending war, but this sermon, I think should be taken to heart. McLaren recognizes that he is not in the position of the President, and can't make the call for or against war. He recognizes that war is a horrific thing, but also seems to understand that it may well be necessary--he doesn't seem to understand that the war with Iraq is an arm of the war on terror, but that's another matter entirely. Here are his three main points.
1. For the follower of Jesus, war must always be seen as a defeat, before the first shot is fired or the last body is buried...
2. Whenever we talk of war, and if we must go to war, we must do so with sadness for all concerned. Jesus said we are to love our enemies, and if we love people, to see beloved enemies as the targets of bullets and bombs is a tragic thing...
3. Third, Mr. President, it’s important to remember that one doesn’t get a military exemption from the teachings of Christ. So, in light of Jesus’ words, “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” (Matthew 7:12) it should never be easy to drop a bomb on them. In light of Jesus’ words, “Love your enemies…” (Matthew 5:44) it should never be easy to load a machine gun with a belt of bullets. But if
these things must be done (again, with a heavy heart, with a sense of defeat even before we begin), we must ask, “What do we wish others would do for us if they attacked us and made war against us?”

He then provides three possible answers to that question.
First, I would wish that they would never forget that we are human beings...You reminded us of this again and again at the outset of our attack on the Taliban in Afghanistan. You constantly referred to the people of Afghanistan as neighbors, even friends; you asked the children of America to send a dollar each to the children of Afghanistan. If war breaks out, Mr. President, please do this again, with no less passion and compassion. Be our moral leader even more powerfully than our military leader, and tell the world that we see even our enemies as human beings...
Second, if I ask how I wish our enemies would treat us if they went to war against us, I would wish that they would take every pain to avoid the loss of innocent life...
And third, Mr. President, if I were the one being attacked, I would wish that my enemies would spend at least two dollars to repair whatever damage each dollar of weaponry caused..."

I heartily agree with pretty much everything he has to say, except for that last bit, which betrays a Marxist tilt. Money, as I think McLaren understands, is not everything, and to that end, the amount of money spent on a thing is not directly related to it's ultimate worth. And in the specific case of Iraq, the liberation of their oil wells, and the return of them to the people living there, will pay dividends far beyond what McLaren asks the American taxpayer to pay, making, I think, his final point moot.
But that's not his main point. His main point is that war is terrible, and, if it is to be approached at all, must be approached with a heavy heart. That's something every hawk, warblogger, or reluctant supporter of war should think about.
But the oppression that occurs today is also terrible, as is the war that will occur later, if this war does not occur soon, which is something anyone who opposes this war should think about.
Agree, disagree, have more information on the topic? Please, feel free to leave a comment. No profanity!

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