Sunday, of course, was Easter. But I could hardly bring myself to say “Happy Easter” to anyone. That’s because the world is once again rushing towards war — the antithesis of the holiday’s celebration of life. And it’s being led in that direction by a nation where 70 percent to 75 percent claim somehow to follow the risen Christ.
By the way, just a few days before Easter, Christian fundamentalists dropped on Afghanistan tribal lands the largest weapon of mass destruction since Hiroshima and Nagasaki? What hypocrisy!
But why the bombing in Syria? It’s because of our “enemy’s” deployment of weapons of mass destruction. In Syria, it’s about chemical weapons. It’s about a leader who absolutely must be removed from office because he so resembles Adolph Hitler.
Sound familiar? What’s his name again?
But what about the victims of their WMDs, you ask, the children poisoned?
Apparently we’ve forgotten about the children poisoned in Flint, Mich., or about the 500,000 children our sanctions killed in Iraq during the 1990s. Iraq’s slaughter was OK. It must have been. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said so.
Apparently we’ve forgotten about the millions of children in Yemen currently threatened by famine directly induced by the U.S.-Saudi coalition which has been bombing that country non-stop for more than two years. We do nothing for them except continue the mayhem.
But that’s OK, too. After all, our leaders tell us bombing is the solution to many problems. It’s all justified. And besides, Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East. Poor people so far away matter even less than those in Flint. It’s the arms manufacturers Raytheon, Motorola, Boeing and their billionaire owners who really count. They’re our dear neighbors — on Wall Street.
Have you noticed; the stock market is soaring for the WMD giants?
Aren’t we proud of the freedom, democracy and peace our own WMDs have brought the benighted lands of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Somalia?
And once again the press is cheerleading it all. Check the newspapers. Look at CNN. Hardly a single editorial has criticized the rush to war. MSNBC’s Brian Williams finds our cruise missiles “beautiful.”
On Easter, all of that seemed so ironic — and infuriating.
That’s because everything I’ve just described is terribly out-of-sync with the Christian faith. Jesus was non-violent. He refused to take up arms to defend himself or his friends. He had no fear of death. Or rather, he overcame his fear and endured torture and death on behalf of others.
Imagine if 70 percent to 75 percent of U.S. citizens refused to succumb to today’s war fever because of our faith in Jesus’ Way. Imagine if we called upon that faith to demand that Trump sober up, stop the bombing and abjure permanent war that is the cause — not the solution — of the Middle East’s problems.
A faith like that would be worth embracing; it would make a difference. It might have allowed Jesus’ followers to say (and truly mean), “Happy Easter!
Reach Mike Rivage-Seul, a retired Berea College professor, at Mike_Rivage-Seul @berea.edu.