Saturday, September 18

Reply to a Soldier

Brian (of Letters to Home) wrote, in a comment to my September 17 post:
Although the Bible doesn't come right out and say something about abortion as we know it, some verses can apply to abortion. For instance Exodus 21:22-23 speaks of, if somebody strikes a pregnant woman causing miscarriage they should be punished. That would mean to me that God does value all life, including the unborn.
I know the passage, but referring to a single line from it, and drawing the conclusion you do, leaves me far short of understanding how abortion has become the ONE ISSUE on which so many Christians base their votes and world views. (This is another issue, but you have not understood this passage from Exodus, which is not about abortion in any sense of the word. Lacking space here, I'll have to explain why I say that in a separate post.) I could cite many more passages wherein GREED is condemned loudly and clearly in the New Testament (and not only in the old Jewish scriptures that constitute the Old Testament), but I don't see "conservatives" getting angry about corporate warfare and its destruction of human life and stable communities at home and abroad for the sake of corporate greed (I mean "conservatives" in the narrow, vicious, cynical and cruel sense of the word that I think does not apply to you; the one that often wears the camouflage qualification "compassionate").

As I said, I am not complaining about either Christianity or the pro-fetus groups simply because I disagree with them. I am trying to understand why ABORTION (and, for some Christians, homosexuality comes in at a close second) is the most important social or moral issue. Concerning homosexuality and other things deemed immoral, we read in Paul, 1 Corinthians 6:9:

"Don't you know that those doing such things have no share in the Kingdom of God. Don't fool yourselves. Those who live immoral lives, who are idol worshippers, adulterers or homosexuals -- will have no share in his kingdom. Neither will theives or greedy people, drunkards, slanderers, or robbers."
You see? Greedy people and robbers are just as immoral as homosexuals, according to Paul. And this is the most condemning passage of homosexuals in the Bible. I don't agree with him; I think we know far more today about homosexuality than Paul knew about it. I think greedy people and robbers are far worse than any act of love can be and that homosexuals can't possibly be blamed for being as their Creator made them. But none of this corresponds to the point I raise when I say that I can't understand the MASSIVE importance that corporate politicians on the right give to the issue of homosexuality or abortion. My hunch is that many well-meaning Christians are getting manipulated through a cynically reduced form of Christianity (which becomes the hate of gays and an obsession with fetuses); and it's always right-wing politicians that have nothing to offer American citizens (or at least not those who are not already vastly wealthy) that operate this kind of manipulation. I think it's effective because many well-meaning people can easily get distracted and angry by issues that fill them with disgust, but I think astute Christians should be deeply offended by it.

Concerning greed, this "war on terrorism" in Iraq is the biggest exercise of corporate greed we have seen in our nation's history. It is an outrage to Christian values not only because it is an instance of self-serving greed on the part of a few treacherous corporate big-wigs in Washington and Texas, vicious slandering, and grand-scale theft, but because it has been passed off as an effort to make Americans "secure" even as we know, today, that Saddam Hussein posed no threat; had no weapons of mass destruction; had run out of the chemicals and weapons (used to kill his citizens on a large scale) that Rumsfeld and Bush and many U.S. corporations had sold him; was surrounded by devastating military force (U.S., U.K., and Isreali, in particular); and was sitting atop a faltering, house-of-cards dictatorship. The "war" for the sake of national security in Iraq has thus been packaged in pure deception. Nonetheless, viewers of Fox News, CBS, and other state-friendly, corporate-run media outlets complacently take in the deception through their TV screens as if their conscience were getting a sedating rub-down (which is pretty much what is happening).

Keep in mind, I'm not criticizing the United States or the government in general. This is not an anti-patriotic post. I'm deeply thankful for all that I have enjoyed in this country and for the brave people like yourself who are willing to sacrifice their health and lives for what they believe are worthy national goals. I am criticizing the corporate crooks in the Bush administration who despise government and have run it into the ground for their own personal gain.

The motivating greed of the Iraqi take-over is something you have apparently lost sight of. You wrote:

The foreign investment isn't necessarily a bad thing either. If I invest in something I want it to succeed, so I am going to assume that these investors do to. If the investments do succeed, the Iraqi people will benefit by it.
These are fine principles, but consider the context. If I walked into your apartment and said, "Listen, uh, I put your asshole landlord in prison 'cause I suspected he might want to hurt me at some point in the future (although I had no evidence of that and plenty of reason to doubt that he could), and now, as a consequence, I'm asking you to step aside while I sell off your furniture and stereo system and all the other assets you might have to your neighbors, many of whom are my closest working partners, since the neighbors want to make a profit and since they believe that in the long run their profiting might possibly benefit you." I don't know if you have ever thought about how your eventual "enemy" thinks about this occupation, but this is pretty much what it amounts to and no amount of good will on the part of the foot soldiers is going to change their minds on the matter. Nor should it.

Calling the many homeland defenders "terrorists" and "extremists" along with the few real terrorists and extremists that the U.S. take-over has permitted to enter the country is the slandering aspect of the Bush regime's international banditry.

I am sure you know this already, but as a reminder to those who are not in the service or simply have not given thought to this matter, I cite the following:

"Armed assault against an occupying military force is not terrorism; the right of armed resistance is almost universally recognized, most particularly in a 1987 General Assembly resolution that singles out military occupations... as legitimate targets of armed resistance." (From "Notes on Bush's Speech to the Republican National Convention," Common Dreams)