The world has proven to be an especially crazy place the past few weeks. Having been bombarded with so much lately, I have, with many others, shared a lot of (what some might consider) idealistic thoughts. If too much is said too often, then others might not know when to take one seriously. In other words, if one preaches too often, people might think this person has no time for practicing all those things he or she is espousing. For this reason, I plan to quiet my ethical rhetoric on my status updates for a while, but, before I do, I have one last thing to say, at least for the moment.
I understand that in this present world, nation will inevitably rise against nation, that there will at times be people, even groups of people, who will want nothing more than the destruction of others. For this reason, it is necessary for nations, if they are to survive, to protect themselves against threats. Now, I also believe many nations war in the name of defense when the root cause is something completely different. Having said this, I do believe we are seeing real hate being portrayed on the world stage by the militant group known as ISIS.
This group has given us little room to judge them as anything less than cruel and vengeful. Therefore, I can understand the need for nation to rise against nation, for one group to set out to destroy the destroyers, but that does not give us license to delight in the most serious of human decisions: to take life from others. When we send our troops off to war, we are asking them to put their lives on the line while they go off to take the lives of others, and, because we ask them to go in our stead, we want to be supportive. However, there are right and wrong ways to go about this.
Making jokes, concerning the slaying of our enemies, especially while sitting comfortably away from combat, or from the raining nightmare of bombs from the sky, is unsavory. Some things are just too solemn to be threaded into a joke. War, in all its forms, especially since it cost the lives of the innocent and the guilty, is anything but funny. The soldier knowing this might at times make light of his (or her) own situation and what he has to do as a means to cope with his reality, but we, the citizenry, need not do the same; yet, we often make fun of the deaths of our enemy, because we finally feel vindicated.
We tell others who often speak of the ills of war, “I told you so,” and our gloating turns sour. We become delighters of death. We become well-wishers of war. We become grinning cynics of peace. The Christian should not take the religious worldview of another group, even if it is a radical fundamentalist group, and turn their deaths into a joke about what truly awaits them in the afterlife when they finally meet the true God by twisting their religious views into something humorous (I do not feel I need to elaborate all the ways we laugh at the fictional afterlives we have dreamed up for radical Muslims).
We should not make light of asking someone to kill for us, nor should we delight in human death of any kind, even when we can say it is justified. Moreover, we need not feel unsupportive of our troops if we feel horrified by war; many of our troops are also horrified by this reality (I see the quote, “War is Hell.” most often from my friends currently or previously in service). However far removed, and however different, we are talking about human life here: “Say to them, As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live” (Ezekiel 33:11). You may now carry on. For a time, I will save my thoughts for my blog and otherwise focus on practicing my ideals in the real world.
Bright blessings to you all.