War with Iraq              





     Our prayers at the Eclectic Church go out for our brave soldiers who have been ordered by their Commander and Chief into what we perceive to be an unnecessary cause.  They also go out for the Iraqi people and all who will suffer due to the single mindedness of leaders absolutely determined to settle a dispute in an unjustifiable and immoral war.  The blood and deaths of innocent people are on the hands of those who launched the attack as well as those in Iraq who played games and gambled with the lives of their people.  In this 21st century, it is more childish than leadership to settle disputes with bombs and guns.  It is not the ability to settle disputes peacefully that is lacking; it is the will to do so.  We waste our resources on pitifully sick behavior like war, while unnecessary human suffering continues here at home and around the globe.  The display of power for destruction should be our shame when people have no health care, children starve around the globe and people go homeless both here and abroad.  The priorities as well as the wisdom of our leadership have to be in question.

     In addition, whatever the result of this tragedy, we feel that our leadership has set a dangerous precedent for solving conflicts and has demonstrated a considerable change in the American value system they campaigned so hardly to defend.  And, to use the name of God, and site the cause of peace in conjunction with any war becomes not only hypocrisy, but boarder’s blasphemy.  These men who claim to base their decisions after prayerful and religious deliberation serve neither the Creative Force nor do they represent the teachings of those they claim to follow.  Our American values of justice, tolerance, innocence until PROVEN guilty, and restraint have been replaced with injustice, intolerance, guilt without proof, and aggression. 

    The sad thing is so many of the American people have bought into the rhetoric of our leaders.  They cry out weapons of mass destruction, but have offered not one iota of proof to support that claim.  They site Sadam as a threat to the United States, but logic would dictate that a third rate military power of a small country could never be any real threat to our people. Even if this man had weapons of mass destruction, he would be annihilated if he attempted to use them, not only by the US, but by the rest of the world.  They asserted a 9-11 connection but even their own intelligence agencies disputed it.  They talk about freedom from tyranny for the Iraqi people, but have ignored and even supported the leadership there for years when it was beneficial to them.  Their humanitarian assertions are nothing but poor excuses to get support for their immoral actions as they ignore the tyranny in other places, they tolerate genocide in African countries, the ignore the suffering of millions of people from horrendous diseases, and support dictators all over the globe when it serves their purpose.  During the Clinton administration Republicans were the first to cry out that America cannot play policeman for the world, nor are we in the business of nation building; yet, that is exactly what they are doing!

     In any theological argument one looks at, there is no moral justification for this aggression.  Inspections were not going great but they were progressing and nothing was found to justify any great threat from Iraq.  Aside from that, the whole world was focused on this tyrant with people inside that nation who could keep careful observations of what was going on.  This situation could never qualify under the last resort qualification of a moral conflict.  If we as a people begin to pronounce judgments based upon a past history; then we as a people must pronounce judgment on ourselves for our history has demonstrated that we are capable genocide (Native Americans), slavery and persecution.  We have reached a sorry state of affairs indeed when we strike out at what we suspect someone might do. 


     Absolutist’s are dangerous people even in a democracy.  To suggest that we made an effort to get world support for our cause is a joke.  We were inflexible in our position from the beginning, suggesting that those who disagreed with our assessment were irresponsible, unpatriotic, had only their self interest in mind, and mocked countries that stood their ground on principle.  Our president focused on this single obsession while the world became a much more dangerous place, our economy suffered and many here at home are losing their jobs.  The administration pursued their course of action even if it risked the stability and cooperation of world powers.  The national debt grows, educational and social programs suffer, while we show our so-called superiority to a third world nation!  The bombs get bigger, the military becomes mightier, while the genuine needs of the American people are ignored.  Our aged have to choose between food and drugs, millions are added to the roles of having no health care, many are losing jobs, retirement programs are in jeopardy, we risk the future of our young by building a trillion dollar deficit,  freedoms are being undermined,  and people in our armed forces are put at risk based upon the words alone of our president; and we the people seem to support this leadership. 

    The terror of 9-11 has become even more tragic as politicians have exploited the fears of our people for their own selfish agenda.  Our fears have turned to paranoia allowing our leaders to pursue a dark agenda of aggression, violation of basic constitutional rights, religious intolerance, and self serving legislation --- this, from an administration that did not receive the popular vote of the people.  One has to question where “evil” really lies?


   Our only hope now is that this conflict ends quickly with a minimum loss of life and suffering even though that will make this poor excuse for a leader look like a hero.  We pray that people will learn from this tragedy and seek the “change of heart” that Jesus meant when talking about repentance.  Leadership is in peace; not in war.  Victory is in the enrichment of life; not the destruction of it.  Hope is in love and the ability to reach out to one another; not in hatred, revenge, or self righteous judgments.  We pray our people will demand leadership that truly represents the values of equality, justice, peace, and tolerance.  The cause of freedom cannot be served by war, but rather by the example of what freedom can offer if exercised responsibly, openly and with respect for all those under its umbrella.  In the end, all we can pray for is that God in His/Her wisdom balances this human folly of war and allows some good to come forth.




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