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#77055 - 03/15/04 12:07 AM Well, we gathered together.
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Hey guys,

Just had to share that we had a gathering of the faiths this afternoon. Our congregation's choir dedided to do a memorial service for all of the people, both civilian and military, who have died, or who are currently serving in the military, in the middle east.
We're protestant and folks came to pray with us from a Jewish Congregation, an Islamic Mosque, our Catholic neighbors, veterans and kids.
We had a guy from Mercy Corps who did a power point presentation while our choir sang Faure's Requiem.
Pictures of the guys and gals who have been killed during this conflict were shown as the choir sang.
Mercy Corps is made up of volunteer doctors and others who have served in some 30 countries to help after disasters of war and nature.
It has to be one of the most uplifing experiences for me, this year.
While I don't think that you'd get a consistant agreement on the pros and cons of the conflict from any two of us, we all were in agreement that these young people had paid the supreme sacrifice.
Thought it was good, too, that we were together.
Maybe the peace talks have to start with us.

David

_________________________
"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

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#77056 - 03/15/04 01:11 PM Re: Well, we gathered together.
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
David it is so good to hear good news. It makes me believe that there is a spirit of humanity. I too mourn the loss of people in conflict and I have to ask why is it necessary.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#77057 - 03/16/04 05:00 AM Re: Well, we gathered together.
parttimecop Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/04
Posts: 139
Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Church:
David it is so good to hear good news. It makes me believe that there is a spirit of humanity. I too mourn the loss of people in conflict and I have to ask why is it necessary.
It is necessary that we fight evil. We all know here there are evil people in the world. And we all know the terrible price of evil not being fought.

Hussein arranged the rape of wives and daughters of those he wished intimidated. For me that is enough to warrant his death. Rape is one thing that will trigger rage in me fairly easy. I don't get angry about many things, but that is one.

I think the deaths are a reminder of the price of freedom, death. Jesus died to free us of our sins. Various founding fathers gave their lives for the idea of liberty here in the United States. Freedom is a costly thing, and it would do well that we remember it.


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#77058 - 03/16/04 09:58 AM Re: Well, we gathered together.
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Partimecop: I am sorry if I did not express myself correctly. When I said "Why is it Necessary" what I really meant is why do we have to have assholes who cause the conflicts and why can there not be some way to rid society of them without blood being spilled.

But I do morn the loss of these people who die in conflict. I know it is for the greater good but to be cut down so early (for the most part) in life seems so unfair. All those dreams that go unrealized

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#77059 - 03/17/04 01:45 AM Re: Well, we gathered together.
parttimecop Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/04
Posts: 139
I worried myself that I came on too strong. I tend to do that sometimes. I can understand where you are coming from about the sadness of death and destruction of young lives.

I once read a good article about the first special forces team Sgt to enter afganistan after 9-11. in it there was a excerpt from a letter he had written to his wife and family in case he died. He said that if she was reading it then things had gone wrong, but that he would be waiting for her in heaven.

There are some very good people giving their lives, but a large number of them obviously think the price is worth it.

As for blood shed being that price in this world all I can think of is that this world is not perfect. But as I mentioned before even Jesus had to pay that price for us. If the Son of God must, then there is something about it intrinsic to this world. I am sure CS Lewis would have a more eloquent answer but that is what I think of at this moment. As a matter of fact I think a reading of CS Lewis would probably prove instructive in this matter. I once read the book "Where is God When It Hurts" it had many CS Lewis References. And while it was dealing more with pain and suffering, I am sure it would be no huge leap to make the same arguments about war.

As far as I can tell we had assholes from the very beginning of this world. If you take a fundamentalist approach like me, or if you view it another way the history is clear. In the bible, Cain killed his own brother because God was not impressed with his sacrafice. That was very early in the game.

As for modern assholes, bad people only understand force. They serve their own impulses and desires. One thing they will avoid is pain. Force is not necessarily bad, it is the intent of the person using the force. I have a variety of options, from just simply being there in uniform all the way up to my sidearm. I carry a 45 pistol. I practice with it, I use it on duty, I carry it off duty too. The pistol is the highest level of force, Deadly. No sane man wants to have to use deadly force. But there are times when good men must. And it don't always workout the way you might hope. But good men must stand up against evil, or evil will triumph. Good don't always win the battles, but we've a faith that the war will be won.

It is indeed sad when good people die, but it would be more sad if there weren't any who thought the price worth it. The famous quote "All men die, not all men truly live" comes to mind. I know it does not make it any easier, but it is the mental accomedation I have made with myself regarding the subject.


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#77060 - 03/18/04 04:54 PM Re: Well, we gathered together.
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
I think it is true that during our recent extended period of peace many young people entered the armed services to get training and education to improve there lives.

Many of these are using the opportunity to escape poverty. These are often the poorest and least educated of citizens in our country.

Training and education is certainly what the ads promoting enlistment promised.

As for the National Guard, how could have they anticipated this use of the Guard when they decided to join? Normally, the Guard is used by Governors for policing, crowd control and for emergency or disaster situations and not to spend extended periods of time in war zones.

I have to ask myself, at least, why we use people in this way. Why not ask for volunteers for this specific service? Certainly there are plenty of flag-waving patriots who would not hestitate to answer that call. Such a call would not be a misrepresentation of our intent. Or, is that being unrealistic?

And what about the example of turning the other cheek? What of Ghandi's spiritual example? What of Thoreau's?

I think that things like "evil" and "freedom" are relative concepts. I think that all human beings have the capacity to be "evil" and that we fear that capability in ourselves.

I think that our extreme reactions to "evil" in the world (ill-advised military actions, capital punishment) are made as a way to avoid the moral issues involved in self-examination and a careful exploration of our spirituality.

We live in a time when we are considering changing the very instrument that guarantees freedom for us all in such a way that it is intended to limit freedoms for a minority class of people.

The republic was founded on the principle that minorities should be protected from majorities. The changes we are considering will begin to cripple the very foundation of our Constitution and introduce ambiguities which will be exploited to serve cynical agendas.

What are the moral issues inherent in that? Do we substitute a rigid fundamentalism for the open optimism of our founding fathers? Do we eventually become a fundamentalist state which operates no differently than any other fundamentalist state?

What are the moral issues inherent in that? Haven't our spiritual leaders for thousands of years encouraged us to live our lives as expressions of love and compassion for our fellow human beings no matter how hurtful we may find their behavior?

Do we follow another path because what those spiritual leaders have described for us looks too difficult?

We have been urged for thousands of years to abandon behavior which harms others. Instead, we codify these behaviors into our existing systems of moral beliefs, rendering them ambiguous, and we then use these new ambiguous beliefs to justify the harm we do.

Our spirits suffer, I think, and the communal spiritual welfare of human beings on the planet is undermined.

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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