Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Of Obvious and Evil Wrong

I wanted to write here today about some small aspect of everyday life that illuminates a larger idea about our lives, our significance to others, God's significance....maybe about Andrea's 8th softball season, her coach's obsession with The Game and yet his quiet curiosity about why church is a priority for us, about why she seems different to him from the other girls.....perhaps another springtime rose-growing flight of fantasy or a musing about the fragrant cinnamon muffins I baked yesterday.....maybe recount Ron's constant battle with diabetes and how it affects every bite he takes, every plan he makes. I could easily ramble on about all the fascinating and revolutionary aspects of "The eBay Life." (A pastor friend recently grasped its enormity, and remarked "I had no idea....") I could elicit ideas about how to liven up my writing contest essay-in-progress about librarians.

But this morning's news reports that US Marines fired rockets at a Iraqi mosque filled with worshippers. Our rockets killed 40 people praying to their god. Not toting guns or throwing rocks, not threatening our soldiers, not even jeering insults at what they regard as occupiers of their country. They were worshipping and praying. Witnesses report that a helicopter fired missles into the mosque compound as the faithful had gathered for traditional afternoon prayers. Just imagine the hypocrisy of claiming to be a just-minded American or a loving Christian while lining up your aim to kill people in their place of worship. Other reports say that 25 Iraqi women and children died last night from American fire in another assault.

What are we fighting for in Iraq? To destroy dangerous weapons of mass destruction? They don't exist. To dethrone the twisted dictator, Saddam Hussein? We already have him in custody. To disable this once powerful country? We already have. To install our ideal of a government into a markedly different foreign country and culture? They don't seem to want or respect it. To control their rich oil fields? That's greed. To make tons of money rebuilding what we've destroyed? That's evil greed. To save political face for George Bush? Probably too late.

Of course, I mourn for the dead and their families. But more than that, I feel profound sadness and disappointment, even disillusionment, that our country...the great democratic experiment founded on liberty, justice and religious freedom for all, the country we were taught to love and respect, the Great Land of Freedom.....would do such obvious and evil wrong.

It makes everything else seem so small today.

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