Tuesday, January 6, 2015

War Readiness

"War readiness is a way of life in the United States, a phenomenon that permeates public life and social identity, yet is largely devoid of critical scrutiny." From “Just say No”: Organizing Against Militarism in Public Schools by Scott Harding and Research Associate Seth Kershner- available from the Fellowship of Reconciliation website here.

Besides critical scrutiny, I would contend that the phenomenon of perennial war readiness is largely devoid of any theological scrutiny as well - at least in many evangelical quarters. When was the last time the evangelical Christian community stood united in opposition to American involvement in foreign conflict? Has there ever been a time?

The voice of one crying in the wilderness. . . .

Be careful of being held captive.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Peace making poetry

Carl Sandburg. 1878–
78. Grass
PILE the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo. 
Shovel them under and let me work— 
            I am the grass; I cover all. 
And pile them high at Gettysburg 
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.         5
Shovel them under and let me work. 
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor: 
            What place is this? 
            Where are we now? 
            I am the grass.  10
            Let me work. 
Do you have a favorite?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy New Year

Someone will stumble upon this someday, and get some use from it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Culture of violence

Americans are wondering about the bloodletting -- in a theater, on school campuses, and elsewhere. Some arguments about guns being the problem, the lack of leadership in Washington, the role of the NRA. All of this seems to miss the point. We are selective in our valuation of human life. Ten years of warring in Afghanistan, along with economic injustice at home, has limited - at least in their minds - the options of our warriors upon the return. Now I think you can argue cause and effect - that perhaps violent people are drawn to military service. But surely the military plays a role in dehumanizing the victims. The result is the dehumanizing of us all, and the violence is unleashed.

You can check out an interesting article here: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/08/2012813114351987126.html

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Secure yet?

There are a total of about 47,000 U.S. troops in Japan.

Can anyone explain this to me?  It has been 67 years since the end of hostilities.  The Korean War ended, the Vietnam War is over. Yet we still feel compelled to keep 47,000 U.S. troops in Japan?

The Japanese people don't like them there.  Crime is up (hey, they are young and pretty much bored).

We are borrowing money from the Chinese to pay for troops to watch the Chinese.  It is total insanity.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Our treatment of veterans is a shame

"Of the 850,000 disability claims currently pending before the (VA) department, more than 35,000, or 4 percent, are from World War II veterans."

What?  Talk about a back log!  Read the full article here.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Poem

The End and the Beginning
by Wislawa Szmborska

After every war
someone has to clean up.
Things won't
straighten themselves up, after all.
Someone has to push the rubble
to the sides of the road,
so the corpse-laden wagons can pass.

Someone has to get mired
in scum and ashes,
splintered glass,
and bloody rags.

Someone must drag in a girder
to prop up a wall.
Someone must glaze a window,
rehang a door.

Photogenic it's not,
and takes years.
All the cameras have left
for another war.

Again we'll need bridges
and new railway stations.

Sleeves will go ragged
from rolling them up.
Someone, broom in hand,
still recalls how it was.
Someone listens
and nods with unsevered head.
Yet others milling about
already find it dull.

From behind the bush
sometimes someone still unearths
rust-eaten arguments
and carries them to the garbage pile.

Those who knew
what was going on here
must give way to
those who know little.
And less than little.
And finally as little as nothing.

In the grass which has overgrown
causes and effects,
someone must be stretched out,
blade of grass in his mouth,
gazing at the clouds.

Wislawa Szmborska was a Polish poet. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1996. She died in 2002, at the age of 101.