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A Christian looks at war


Fri, Aug 8th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

As a follower of Jesus Christ, I begin my examination of war by looking at Jesus' words from the Bible. A sampling from the gospels provides these quotes (from The New Revised Standard Version):

"Love your enemies; pray for (them)... ." Matt. 5: 44

"Blessed are the peacemakers.... " Matt. 5: 9

"Turn the other cheek...." Matt. 5: 39

Jesus disagreed with the Jewish idea "an eye for an eye."

Investigating another source, the Social Principles of my church includes the following statement:

"We deplore war and urge the peaceful settlement of disputes among nations....We believe war is incompatible with the teachings and example of Christ." To summarize the rest of the segment, war is not to be used as an instrument of foreign policy except as a last resort....The first moral duty of all nations is to resolve by peaceful means every dispute between them. Human values and needs must outweigh government claims and priorities. The manufacture and sale of armaments must be reduced and controlled.."

We also counsel about and pray for both the decisions of persons to serve in the military, or to register as conscientious objectors.

I realize that these positions are not agreeable to some members of our churches, who support a position of the rightness of "just war." I have heard people say, "Well, if we hadn't gone to war, you wouldn't be able to worship freely in your church." There is some truth to this, but it seems to me that too often we don't try hard at peaceable solutions. We operate with the justification that "might makes right." A recent quote in the Minneapolis Star Tribune speaks to the West's use of aggression:

"Between 1500 and 1750.... The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion (to which few members of other civilizations were converted) but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerns never do." (Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington in his 1996 book, "The Clash of Civilizations."

It seems to me that our chickens are coming home to roost. In spite of all the good we have done, colonial domination and violent acquisitions are returning to haunt us. The Bible says "those who live by the sword will perish by the sword.: Jesus said that to forbid his disciples' resistance even as he was being arrested for crucifixion.

We are not able to live like Christ, but I th .....
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Musings from the lawn chair

Fri, Aug 1st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

I don't like my federal government - the Administration, Congress, the whole shooting match - they just don't seem to share my values. The larger the resources available to them to play with, the less I trust them with how they'll use them. Three tr ..... 
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Word Play

Fri, Aug 1st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Words are fun. Words are powerful. I love them. I wish I could roll around in a field of them and chew the sweetest and stomp on the ugly ones. I'm no linguist, plain old Midwest English is the best I can handle and I have been accused of sounding l ..... 
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Let's make next year's Fillmore County Fair even better

Fri, Jul 25th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

The Fillmore County Fair has now concluded for 2008. Though some may feel that there are many aspects to criticize, I think we should take a few moments to think about all the positives of our local county celebration.

Most agree the Fillmor ..... 
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Time to take a break from the political reality show

Fri, Jul 25th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Now that the presidential primary contests have ended, enthusiasm for the real Presidential race seems to have dissipated. At least it has for me.

Initially, both Democratic and Republicans primary races were filled with a special drama tha ..... 
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FairTax Bill offers positive change

Fri, Jul 18th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Upon telling folks about the FairTax bill, they frequently say, "It'll never happen." This has been the common reaction to every big idea ever proposed in the history of man. If the FairTax plan is such a great idea, if it is much needed, then why w ..... 
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Let them eat cake

Fri, Jul 18th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

In the late 50's when I went on leave from an active duty post in Virginia I brought home a young man who had never been more than about 50 miles inside tidewater on the east coast He was born, I think, in Massachusetts and grew up in New York State ..... 
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Strawberry Fields Forever

Thu, Jul 3rd, 2008
Posted in Commentary

The classes of 1968 will be meeting for 40 year reunions this summer. It would be a good time to be a caterer or a DJ with a great collection of classic rock, because there were a lot of us and we still eat and dance. We may well be seeing football ..... 
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Blame is not the solution to the oil problem

Fri, Jun 27th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

It is human nature to assign blame when confronted with painful realities. That is the case with four dollar per gallon gasoline. President Bush blamed environmentalists and, of course, the Democrats. In a transparent pander to the oil companies he ..... 
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