In Counterpunch, October 22 / 24, 2004
Killing for Christ
The Destructive Power of Faith
By WILLIAM A. COOK
Worth a read. Here are a few snippets that lept out at me.
We Americans pay the bill; they act in our name. How can we, who speak with the conviction of our conscience, hope to remove the hatred a Hagee or a Robertson breeds against God’s creatures? The pictures I saw today of dead and dying children in Iraq, pictures too horrific to be put in main stream newspapers or shown on TV, pictures that cry to the human soul that the pain and suffering must stop also cry out to every true Christian that Jesus’ teachings never allowed for such wanton slaughter. Yet these are the innocent victims of our fanatical dependence on the preaching of these men who sit safely ensconced on their splendid chairs amidst tall vases of flowers, smiling beatifically for the cameras.
How can we witness Bush’s acceptance, indeed his encouragement, of Ariel Sharon’s savagery and not condemn his acts as anathema to the teachings of the Christ he proclaims as his God? How can we suffer in silence the ferociousness of Sharon as he spreads his hatred and nihilism over the bloodied landscape of the unholy lands of ancient Palestine? Our indifference, our silence blessed the rape of Rafah in May, God’s month of renewal; our indifference and our silence blessed a summer of slaughter in the season of God’s increase; and today, our indifference and our silence acquiesce to a season of harvest that gathers in the dead and maimed in Gaza.
Where is the voice of America that should cry against these killing fields, these American supported killing fields, these murderous rampages that defile the love Jesus begged we have for our neighbor, a love equal to that we have for ourselves?
There is certainly enough blame to go around… but why exactly are we providing Israel with their weapons? Israel itself is as divided as this country.
It is a horrible horrible situation all around. Where is the public debate? Where is the UN? Why does the US not lead in helping to bring peace in Palestine and Israel?
Why can’t the Christians, the Jews, and the Moslems start treating one another as the brothers and sisters of the Book, as equals? There is not enough talk about the religious dimensions of world events – it seems to me that fanaticism is rife on all sides. If there is to be talk of values, I would like to hear about the inter-religious values, the values and ethics that all three religions have in common. We have scholars and theologians and people concerned about violence, social justice – we have more than enough people to pull it off if the nation-states would agree to participate in a dialogue – and if it really is about faith. But of course, it’s not.