Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day redux

To those on all sides of this war and war in general I offer this quote from Wendell Berry today;
"I think we must be careful about too easily accepting, or being too easily grateful for, sacrifices made by others, especially if we have made none ourselves. "
As I remember the losses of American soldiers today (and yes, today I focus on those lives apart from the losses of all others, which I see as equally tragic), I am reminded of a blog posting of mine from 3 years ago. I will reprint it below. I am also reminded of some of the Pacifist Mafia (I like this better than Tony Jones' term) and their disrespect for those fighting in a war they (we) disagree with and practicing a faith they (we) disagree with while serving an Empire they (we) disagree with.

There is a fine line which I am seeing people step over lately on the pacifist side. It is an arrogant disrespect for history and a new fundamentalism and orthodoxy that is being used as litmus test by some within the emerging church conversation. As one who lives in paradox I am bored by their arguments and frightened by their new systematic theology that bears more in common with the Ultra-reformed folks than I would like. To fail their litmus test is to be lumped in with the worst aspects of Empire, Consumerism and Modernity.

I will blog more on this later... anyway, here is the reprint:

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

What are we celebrating on Monday?

Memorial Day.

I am sure it is your favorite holiday of the year. The day we head out to National Cemeteries, American Legion Halls and retirement homes to listen to tales of innocence lost and lives cut down in their primes. The day we become grateful we can fight an extended war with no mandatory draft. The day we realize we can spend inordinate amounts of money on that war and still cut taxes.

Ahhhh, it's beginning to look a lot like Memorial Day.

Actually for most of us, it means nothing more than a Monday off from work, the beginning of summer and an excuse to fire up the old grill with friends and cheap beer. Memorial Day means nothing more to most of us (who did not lose a loved one) than a moment of guilt in the morning when we read the front page of the paper (like MLK Day) or watch the news and see the President laying flowers on the tomb of a man who died too soon.

As we prepare for this Memorial Day, please remember those who have died in war. They leave families grieving and expectations unfulfilled. As a believer in the Christian duty to practice the spiritual discipline of nonviolence, I still take time to remember those who have died and those returning to a home that has changed. As the child of a veteran of 3 wars, I have a daily reminder of the men and women who fought and returned. Some of those returning find themselves with no job, no spouse, no parents, no limbs, no support system and no home. It is tragic that these men and women must pay such a price for American security while we pay nothing (besides $.50 more at the pump).*

Link to Sojo's Action Alert to Support Returning War vets. You can find out how the present administration and Pentagon are lagging in their actual support and how we can help.

Link to Mark Shield's excellent Memorial Day commentary on how this is the first time in US history that Americans are not asked to sacrifice during a war, except for the soldiers who must make extra sacrifices during this time. It is a needed read for all War and Military supporters along with those against the war, as well as anyone with plans on Memorial Day.

*it is funny to think about gas rising $.50 cents by memorial day 2005. oh, for the good ole days.


kristi said...

last night when you mentioned there not being any fireworks because it is *memorial day* it made me think of this post. i'm glad you reposted it.

also, i think you are being too vague about the current emerging church conversations, so hurry up and post another blog where you explain what is being said? any links you can share? and what is the term being thrown around besides "pacifist mafia"?

Rick said...

Here is the link to Tony Jones article on the Hauerwasian Mafia, meaning those that take his stances on pacifism, empire, etc. and turn them into gospel holding anyone in contempt that dares differ with his ideas.

I use the term pacifist mafia because I think it is a funnier term since the mafia is by its very nature not pacifist.

But is pretty much the same thing.