Quote of the day
Standing on Fishes, the film

People of conscience - It's time to object


James Hillman, a psychologist, wrote a book entitled, "A Terrible Love Of War". His thesis seems to be that human beings have always loved war as terrible as it is because it has been with us since Cain killed Able.

On the other hand, I think someone should write a book about our love for peace, for harmony, for appreciation that we humans can have for one another.

Every time I see one of those yellow ribbons on the side of a car that says "Support The Troops" I start to wonder about the psyche of people who buy these things and take this kind of public stand. It reminds me of people who buy and wear sports regalia, "Go Bills", "Go Cowboys". What is it about human nature that wants to maim, injure, kill, and subjugate an opponent into submission? Is this a healthy drive of human nature?

There are some people who love peace more than war to the point that they are willing to suffer and die for it. Jesus is our best and perhaps noblest example. You would never know this talking to most Christians, but Christians who get Jesus' message, and His gospel of good news know this, that Jesus was anti-military, anti-violence, even when it came to protecting His own life.

Non-violence will have a chance when people who believe in non-violence are willing to die for it. Gandhi was such a person as was Martin Luther King, Jr.

There are pockets of war resisters in the world and in the United States. One such group is the people at the Center for Conscience and War. The primary mission of the Center for Conscience and War is to extend and defend the rights of conscientious objectors to war and violence.

I believe that people who are committed to making our world a better place like Jesus, Gandhi, and King should adopt nonviolent strategies to bring about this social change. It is the mentally healthy way to proceed, and is in the interest of  our public health.

Over 1,500 American soldiers have been killed so far in Iraq, over 38,000 American soldiers have been injured or disabled physically or mentally, and over 100,000 Iraqis have died during the current conflict. In addition, the cost of the war is bankrupting the United States which will take generations to pay off.

The governmental rationale for this war has shifted many times from fighting terrorism, to eliminating non-existent weapons of mass destruction, to regime change, to bringing democracy to the middle east. Rarely, has death, destruction, and mayhem been perpetrated for such flimsy and ephemeral reasons, and a whole nation, the most powerful on earth, has been led along like sheep to the slaughter by powers and reasons which no one seems to quite understand.

It is time for those of us who have been silent, or who have not been very active before to stand up as people of conscience and object. If you would like more information, click on the link below.

Link: Center on Conscience & War.


Robert Gable

Regarding your question about violence and human nature, I'm not saying I endorse the idea but there's a 1970s novel Ecotopia by Callenbach which talks about how the Pacific Northwest re-organizes for a better, more organic life. But one surprising aspect was the need to create brutal but managed competitions between groups in order to drain some inherent "blood lust" pent up because the new society is generally cooperative and collaborative (and peaceful).

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