Wednesday, August 26, 2009

To Really See

If we could, for once, see clearly how much God loves each of us – more than we could possibly imagine – more than we love our own selves – more than we want him to – more, even, than we are able to want him to – the God who holds the universe balanced in existence by an act of his will, loves each of us with infinite love – then we could not possibly find a justification for war, or torture, or abortion, or letting our brothers and sisters who are infinitely loved by our creator, die needlessly of preventable illnesses, or perish in wars whose purpose is to protect the interests of powerful men who lust for power in a vain attempt to fill the emptiness which can only be filled by God Who is all-powerful.

It would be impossible to judge anyone as lazy for their poverty or wealth or condemn anyone for being as much of a sinner…as we are.

We must realize our brother- and sisterhood, and see that we must live together not as trenchant foes nor as enemies under truce but as reconciled family on this one God-given world.

We must see that the biker mama and the racist and the besuited WASP manager and the assembly line worker and the unemployed carpenter are all the same “us” – and not only them, but the drug addict and the abortionist and the corrupt banker and the imprisoned murderer and Osama bin Laden are also all the same “us” who need our prayers as much as we need theirs. There is no “us” and “them” in the world as God sees it: only “us.”

May I come more and more to see others as God sees them, myself as God sees me, and to see God as He sees Himself.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Whose Side are we on?

I am on the side of the people who are being burned, cut to pieces, tortured, held as hostages, gassed, ruined, destroyed. They are the victims of both sides. To take sides with massive power is to take sides against the innocent. The side I take is then the side of the people who are sick of war and want peace in order to rebuild their country.

Thomas Merton, Faith and Violence

Friday, August 14, 2009

War Crimes

When I was in the Army, some of the guys in my unit would make a game of tossing rations to kids when we rode in our tracks through villages: as time went on they’d throw the rations closer and closer to the front of the track, and the risk of crushing the children increased. The guy that got a kid to grab a ration the closest to the front of the track “won”.

I have no idea if the particular incident described by Sam Rocha happened; I do know, from sad personal experience, that it is plausible.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Umberto Eco's Ur-Fascism

Definitely worth a read.

The Fox-News-and-Talk-Radio end of conservatism has been showing some worrisome tendencies toward authoritarianism of late.


Why is it that "the government" is construed by conservatives as this sort of "other" Entity That Screws Up Everything And Thus Will Ruin Healthcare, but they are comfortable with saying that "We" won world war II and "We" won the cold war and "We" have the best highway system in the world and "we" landed a man on the moon?

Yeesh. The cognitive dissonance must keep aspirin sales healthy among conservatives.