United Brethren has retired.

Gettysburg, Pa.

The family and I spent Columbus Day at Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania. One marvels at the blood and horror that reigned over these green fields in July 1863. I kept thinking about an image from the movie Kingdom of Heaven when Christians and Muslims fight desperately at the walls of Jerusalem. The camera pans up to give a gods' eye view of the carnage. From on high, the human combatants don't look like brave knights, or heroic mujahaddin. They look like swarming ants, no better than animals (except animals don't go to war).

Consider how God views our penchant for killing:
And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood. (Moses 7:33)

Links to this post:

Create a Link

Comments

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (October 10, 2005 9:30 PM) 

Well put and a great lesson for your son.

War is hell for everyone, some just get to stay there. 

Posted by don

 

Blogger Ronan said ... (October 15, 2005 7:51 AM) 

Thanks Don.

Ronan mourns, Oman wooes . Well, each to his own. 

Posted by Ronan

 

Anonymous EricG said ... (October 17, 2005 1:20 PM) 

Why is it that those of us who believe as we do always feel we have to say, "I'm not a pacifist, but ...."

The fact is, one doesn't have to be a pacifist to believe that the killing of civilians (whether by the U.S. in Hiroshima or by Saddam Hussein against the Kurds) is wrong. One doesn't have to be a pacifist to believe that manufacturing evidence to justify going into a war is wrong. One doesn't have to be a pacifist to believe that a nation's money can be better spent on education (or, as you say, building earthquake-proof buildings) than on building more weapons for killing people. One doesn't have to be a pacifist to believe that the "right" to drive gas-guzzling vehicles is worth killing for. One doesn't have to be a pacifist to believe that it is wrong to arrest people and keep them in prison indefinitely without a trial or access to a lawyer. One doesn't have to be a pacifist to believe that it is wrong for a country such as North Korea to starve its own people and use the money that should be spent on food for developing nuclear weapons. One doesn't have to be a pacifist to believe that it is wrong to sell arms to terrorists and then use the profits to support other terrorists. One does not have to be a pacifist to believe that our enemies are God's children and our own brothers and sisters.

The Scriptures and modern revelation make clear that there are times where it is just, perhaps even obligatory, to defend our lives and the lives of our families. But those times are rare, and even when they occur we must hold ourselves to the highest standards by seeking only to defend ourselves and to leave the vengeance to God. 

Posted by EricG

 

post a comment