“Imagine all the people living life in peace,” some guy who died in 1980 said. And this is supposed to be this period where we talk about “peace on earth.” Of course, I’m also reminded of Jeremiah 6, which reads: “For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is greedy for gain, And from the prophet even to the priest Everyone deals falsely. They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace. Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not even ashamed at all; They did not even know how to blush.”
I think we humans will always disagree, but must we, as the saying goes, be disagreeable? This post by Dustbury reminded me of this; a simple a fast food encounter where the patron’s job, it seems, was to be be a schmuck.
Continue reading I IMAGINE we've gotten it wrong, John, so far
I’m in my church book study a couple months back. We are reading Jesus for President, VERY slowly, for it has much to offer.
Much to my surprise, I get really ticked off, though not at anyone in the room. It was the re-realization that the war in Iraq, indeed many wars, are in stark contrast with Christian ideals. Yet Christianists seemed to have embraced war as some sort of Christo-American manifest destiny.
It surely didn’t help that this was around the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war, when I was also reading about: Continue reading Memorial Day, 2013: WWJD
(Dateline: Albany, NY) Roger Green, founder and president the organization Christmas Or Other Labels (COOL), has declared the war on Christmas in the United States to be officially over. People celebrating the holiday religiously, those celebrating it socially, and those not celebrating it at all were all declared victors in emotional celebrations across the country.
The Christian folks have decided that, while it IS approaching Christmas in December, there ARE people who practice other religions, or no religions at all, and they are determined to be COOL about it. Continue reading "War Against Christmas" Is OVER (If You Want It)
Some weeks ago, I was listening to the great 1999 album by Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris called Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions. The fifth track on the album was described by the respected website AllMusic.com in this way:
“The album’s best track, ‘1917,’ was written by folk singer David Olney. It’s impossible to imagine anyone else singing this haunting tale of soldiers and women in World War I. Fragile and breathtaking, Harris’ voice is buoyed by the angelic harmonies of Ronstadt and Kate and Anna McGarrigle.”
I always find it extraordinary haunting.
Continue reading 1917
After getting a letter from the Selective Service, a/k/a, the draft board, indicating that I was reclassified 1-A (eligible for military service) over the summer, I filed an appeal. Though I was living in my college town of New Paltz, NY, I had to return to my hometown of Binghamton, NY.
There were three men on the draft board. The chairman said that his daughter talked about me all the time when we were in high school; I was president of student government and involved in the theater club, among other things. Did I remember her? I said, “Oh, yeah!” I had no idea who she was, at least by name, though maybe I would have recognized her by sight.
One guy said, after introducing himself, said absolutely nothing.
The third man Continue reading 40 Years Ago: October 1972 – The Draft Board
There was a study of a book in Albany called Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw. Claiborne was even in town, leading some workshop. But I was busy. Then I read this excerpt of the book in my church newsletter:
“Christianity is at its best when it is peculiar, marginalized, suffering, and it is at its worst when it is popular, credible, triumphal and powerful.”
Sounds like my kind of book.
From the preface:
Continue reading A book I ought to read: Jesus for President
In April and May of 1972, the Nixon administration kindled a major controversy “when the president ordered the renewal of bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong (April 16) and the mining of Haiphong Harbor as well as other harbors and inland waterways in North Vietnam” [announced the evening of Monday, May 8]. This latter act kindled student protests all across the country, and certainly at my college, the State University College at New Paltz, NY, as we felt this had escalated the VietNam conflict.
The chronology on some of this is a bit fuzzy, but I know there was a demonstration in the village. Some folks drove Continue reading 40 Years Ago: The Mining of Haiphong Harbor
Amy, the lovely singer/poet from Sharp Little Pencil, asked a few questions, only one of which I will address presently:
Do you think we should pull out of Afghanistan immediately to avoid engaging Iran if/when Israel sends the bombs flying?
Here’s the conundrum: one can appreciate the sacrifice that US military personnel make every day, and still have no idea what we’re fighting for in Afghanistan.
Joe Conason explains:
What keeps the United States engaged is a plausible concern that our departure will permit the Taliban to claim victory, and that our troops are making progress, slow but measurable, in recapturing territory from the enemy. There is no longer any illusion among Pentagon leaders or in the White House Continue reading Peace, Peace, When There Is No Peace
Rosey at Dung Hoe Gardening asked:
Do you feel like we as a country have to fight every war for everybody? It’s [a] sticky question.
Well, yes, it is. But the answer to the question is clearly no. I mean, the United States hasn’t gotten involved in the civil war in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) yet, has it?
As a matter of policy, at least since Viet Nam, the position has generally been that the US engage in winnable wars, and only when they meet the nation’s strategic interests, whatever they may be at the moment. This has been boiled down to something called The Powell Doctrine, which “states that a list of questions all have to be answered affirmatively before military action is taken by the United States”:
Continue reading Roger Answers Your Questions, Rosey and Lisa
The end of the Great World War, later dubbed World War I, was supposedly the “War to end all wars.” How has that turned out?
They use different criteria, but here’s one list of current conflicts, a second roster of current conflicts and a third tally of hostilities.
Found some war quotes here:
“There are no atheists in foxholes” isn’t an argument against atheism, it’s an argument against foxholes.” – James Morrow
“War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.” – writer Thomas Mann
“The more you sweat in peacetime, the less you bleed during war.” – Chinese Proverb
“War is a poor chisel to carve out tomorrow.” – Martin Luther King, Jr
“You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.” – Albert Einstein
20th Century Warriors: Native American Participation in the United States Military.
The Doors: The Unknown Soldier.