In Uncategorized on July 31, 2014 at 3:04 am

To be clear this post is about war, and my opinion on war. Chances are pretty large that my views run counter to a lot of other views, so there’s that.

In particular, the violence in Israel and Palestine weighs heavily on my conscience. I believe, in a completely sincere neo-hippie Christian way, that I am–that we all are–somehow linked together on this earth. I do not mean linked in an X-Men sort of way. Rather, I mean that responsibility (in varying degrees) goes out to each of us humans.

Perhaps my conscience is pricked because, in my opinion, the most horrible atrocities in human history happen because individual humans choose to ignore violence visited upon groups of other humans: the Middle Passage and the African diaspora; Stalin’s violence against the Jewish people of Russia; Hitler’s violence against the Jewish people of Germany and surrounding areas; the civil war in Rwanda. And, those just name a few of the most awful moments in human history. We turned our backs. We said that others would find a way to end the violence. There had to be a better way.

So, I say: even one human casualty is one too many. In looking back at those horrible moments, I so often wonder where are the compassionate people? Perhaps compassionate people don’t make history.

Perhaps my conscience is pricked because I am a Christian. Some might even call me an evangelical Christian who had a fairly conservative upbringing. So, I know that many Christians believe that what is happening now in Israel and Palestine is a predestined part of eschatological prophecy. Translation: the world is ending; Jesus is coming back; and, this violence is how one can tell.

So, I say: If God is God, then I am not. I do not rejoice in the deaths of men, women, and children. No one knows the hour or manner of Christ’s return, but until that hour: I believe that I am commanded to love, to show compassion, and to be truthful. Jesus is not an excuse for inaction.

One human casualty is one too many.

Perhaps my conscience is pricked because I am American. Born and raised. Working class. Never really wanted for any essential need of life. I’m not rushing over to Jerusalem or to Gaza right now to lend a hand. I’m sitting here, behind my iPad typing away and hoping not to offend the many people I respect, like, and admire who are ardently for one side or the other.

So, I say: I have the unearned luxury of being able to believe that peace is a possibility. I was born into a world that allows me to cloak myself in the hope–no, knowledge–that peace is an end-goal. I have never experienced war first hand, and so I have the room to suppose that there is a way to avoid war. Still, though, that’s what I believe.

One human casualty is one too many.

Perhaps my conscience is pricked because I used to be a teacher. Israeli children AND Palestinian children (did I mention that, in the vein of everything else, I believe that children are LITERALLY our future?) deserve to have schools. They deserve to have soccer games. They deserve to be able to laugh and play outside. They deserve access to healthcare. They deserve access to fresh food. They deserve to grow up in a world where they aren’t constantly fearful of enemies. There is something supremely, darkly, insidiously wrong with the fact so many Israeli and Palestinian children–Palestinian children in particular, because of the number of casualties–know so much more about death and dying than I would ever want to know.

So, I say: I will continue to hold on to Peace as a possibility and as a solution. The odd (sad) thing is that I am just now realizing that I am for peace and all of the processes and expenditures and hard work that it takes to get there. I am opposed to anything and anyone that weighs one human life against another and finds one lacking in value. I am opposed to the idea that violence is the way to peace. I am opposed to the idea that I should set my mind against an entire nation of individuals. I am opposed to the idea that I should only expect violence from human beings–that violence is, then, a default setting for humanity.

I am for Peace. I stand with those who work for Peace. One human casualty is one too many.


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