It's Easter. But I can hardly bring myself to say "Happy Easter." That's because the world is once again rushing towards war -- the antithesis of the holiday's celebration of life. And it's being led in that direction by a nation where 70-75% claim to somehow follow the risen Christ.
[BTW did you notice that just last Thursday Christian fundamentalists dropped (on Afghanistan tribal lands) the largest Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) since Hiroshima and Nagasaki?]
But why the bombing in Syria? Get ready . . . It's because of our "enemy's" deployment of weapons of mass destruction! In Syria, it's about chemical weapons! It's about a leader who absolutely must be removed from office because he so resembles Adolph Hitler.
What's his name again?
But what about the victims of their WMDs, you ask -- the children poisoned?
What about the poisoned children in Flint Michigan, I might respond? We stand by silent as they're allowed to drink water contaminated by lead. Oh, but I forgot; those are American children -- and they're mostly black. And as we all know, black lives don't matter. They're on their own. We obviously have greater responsibility for poisoned Syrian kids. (Imagine the unborn fetuses that were killed!) We simply must protect them all from death at the hands of the dictator du jour.
Apparently we've forgotten about the 500,000 children our sanctions killed in Iraq during the 1990s. That was o.k. It must have been. Madeleine Albright said so.
Apparently we've forgotten about the millions (!) of children in Yemen currently threatened by famine directly induced by the U.S.-Saudi coalition which has been bombing that country non-stop for more than two years. We do nothing for them except continue the mayhem.
But that's o.k. too. After all, our leaders tell us bombing is the solution to any problem you might care to name. It's all justified. And besides Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East. Poor people (especially so far away) don't really matter either. It's the arms manufacturers Raytheon, Motorola, Boeing, and their billionaire owners who really count. They're our neighbors -- on Wall Street.
Have you noticed; the stock market is soaring?
And, of course, the record shows that our leaders have been right -- in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia. Aren't we proud of the freedom, democracy, and peace our own WMDs have brought those benighted lands?
And (once again!) the press is cheerleading it all. Check the newspapers. Look at CNN. Hardly a single editorial has criticized the rush to war. Brian Williams finds our Cruise Missiles "beautiful."
On Easter Sunday, doesn't all of this seem ironic -- and infuriating?
That's because everything I've just described is terribly out-of-sync with the Christian faith so many Americans claim as their own. Jesus was non-violent. He refused to take up arms to defend himself or his friends. He had no fear of death. Or rather, he overcame his fear and endured torture and death on behalf of others. Protecting himself by sacrificing others was not Jesus' Way. Quite the opposite.
Imagine if 70-75% of U.S. citizens refused to succumb to today's war fever because of our faith in Jesus' Way. Imagine if we called upon that faith to demand that President Trump sober up, stop the bombing, and abjure permanent war that is the cause (not the solution) of the Mid-East's problems.
A faith like that would be worth embracing; it would make a difference. It might allow Jesus' followers to say (and truly mean) "Happy Easter!"