Sunday, July 26, 2009

redemptive violence?

Finally, might we all be starting to listen to the people who would know best that violence begets violence: the soldiers? Remember Timothy McVeigh? Of course, we were outraged when he killed 168 people in the infamous Oklahoma City bombing. It was horrific. Just thinking about it makes me nauseated. But, we forget what he, in a twisted way, was trying to say. During the Gulf War, he became totally disillusioned with war and the idea that hurting people is a way of bringing healing to other people. It didn't make sense to him to kill Iraqis to right wrongs, so he killed Americans to show how senseless it is.
"We all thought we were doing this for your country and these
people are terrible, every single one of them. You get over there and you realize
two things, they're not so terrible and how is this helping my country?"
If Timothy McVeigh wasn't a big enough indication that killing people who kill people to show people that killing people is wrong doesn't work, take a listen to Kenneth Eastridge. He is frighteningly honest about what today's war actually looks like. It's not the noble and dignified heroism we are told it is.

"The Army pounds it into your head until it is instinct: Kill
everybody, kill everybody. And you do. Then they just think you can just come
home and turn it off."
Read Eastridge's tragic story and heart-rending testimony and see if you still feel the violence in Iraq is bringing peace to our Iraqi bothers and sisters... or to our brothers and sisters who are on their "tour of duty", as we neatly dub it. I pray for my friend who has been deployed to Iraq, and for the people he will kill.

God, this insanity has to stop. Why do You make yourself vulnerable enough to let us make our own choices, to follow the god of our choosing? Sometimes I wish You'd love us a little less and just stop us. We hurt the people You love, which shreds Your heart as well as their bodies. We hurt Your Name by claiming Your blessing on this mess. Move our hearts to Love and a rejection of hatred. Bring Your Kingdom to our hearts and, through us, to the world You created.

Sorry to sound like a broken record, folks. I know I talk about this a lot. I just stumbled across Eastridge's news article tonight and was disturbed afresh, especially when I've been reminded a lot recently that the church (in some cases) is a huge supporter of "ousting evil" in Iraq. I had to vent.


conner fishrad said...

"and we pray to our god
who we know is american
he rules from on high
and speaks to us through middle men
and he shepherds his flock
we shout out and we praise his name
he supports us in war
he presides over football games..."

"cuz its a frail grasp on the big picture..."

-Frail Grasp on the Big Picture (by the Eagles)

Carla said...