If you missed it, enjoy!
If you missed it, enjoy!
“Whenever America uses violence in a way that makes its citizens cheer, beam with nationalistic pride, and rally around their leader, more violence is typically guaranteed. Futile decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may temporarily dampen the nationalistic enthusiasm for war, but two shots to the head of Osama bin Laden—and the We are Great and Good proclamations it engenders—can easily rejuvenate that war love. One can already detect the stench of that in how Pakistan is being talked about: did they harbor bin Laden as it seems and, if so, what price should they pay? We’re feeling good and strong about ourselves again—and righteous—and that’s often the fertile ground for more, not less, aggression.”
Consider this the beginning of a series of blog posts dedicated to pointing out what Christianity is not about, not for, and not in in support of.
Let’s start with guns. Everyone has their opinion on gun regulations, the right to bear, and the impact they have on America. Mike Huckabee, a 2012 presidential hopeful and un-ordained “minister” issued some criticisms of Barack Obama as he was speaking at an NRA convention in Pittsburg, PA. The first line drew me in:
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called himself a “gun-clinger and a God-clinger”.
Putting both of them in the same sentence and in that same framing nearly aligns the two as a duo.
Where Huck nearly ties in guns with his God is in this segment:
He spoke mostly about how he had come to Pittsburgh to “celebrate America and celebrate its values”—including God, family, and a Second Amendment meant to safeguard freedom, not just hunting and target-shooting.
But he suggested that the next election would determine the future of the country, by telling a story about a comment his daughter wrote in a guest book after his family visited a Holocaust memorial in Israel years ago.
“Why didn’t somebody do something?” Huckabee said she wrote.
“Today, you will not find a spunkier activist than my daughter, and I don’t worry about her but I sometimes worry about us,” Huckabee said, referring to conservatives who don’t mobilize fully in national elections and for other political causes. “We cannot afford to be a generation that leaves our children with a huge debt and a very erosion of our values.”
Not only is he elluding to what has been going on in America (most likely under Obama) as comporable to what the Nazi’s did, but he is using his daughters words to ask us why we aren’t arming ourselves and fighting back.
Huck is one of a few conservative Christian hopefuls in the presidential field for 2012. He, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum intertwine their take of conservative with their view of America as a Christian nation (On a side note, I find it ironic that these three Christians are always so mad and vengence-filled).
This all reminds me of the Gospel of Matthew:
While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”
In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. (Matthew 26:47-56, emphasis added).
Jesus did not advocate for pacifism to corrupt powers. On the contrary, his life symbolizes giving ones life so to address the corrupt powers of the day.
Again, it is ironic that these conservative theocons slyly advocate for toting guns and violently fighting against their government just as, gasp, Osama bin Laden did with the Pakistani government.
I put off my lesson plans today in school and dedicated all 5 of my classes to discussing this momentous world event, listening to Obama’s speech, and reflecting on our own thoughts and reactions. It produced some interesting thoughts and teachable moments.
I centered much of the discussion surrounding Osama Bin Laden’s (OSB from here on out) death around these questions:
- When did you first hear the news? How did you hear it? What was your first reaction?
- Do you feel any safer now that OSB is dead?
- Should be celebrate the death of OSB or anyone? Should it matter that many Americans have celebrated OSB’s death just as many people from around the globe celebrated on September 11th, 2001? (One caveat: the American military is not bent on killing innocent people – terrorists are. However, drone attacks by the American military kill many innocent people).
- Should we of buried OSB in another way instead of at sea? Does it matter to respect his corpse? What message does it send to the Muslim world when we respect (or do not) their customs?
- Will OSB’s death impact the war on terror? Will it be the demise of al Qaeda? Will it eventually bring out troops home?
Many of these questions, to me, do not have easy, simple answers, let alone answers at all.
In retrospect, this was one momentous weekend. The royal wedding was Friday, the anniversary of Hitler killing himself (1945) and Saigon falling to the Communists (1975) was Saturday, and OSB’s death was Sunday.
Welcome to hell, bin Laden.