Chronicles in Ordinary Time 33: The Way of War does not work

Why do I keep getting into political arguments with a particular family member? I posted a photo of a “Love Thy Neighbor” T-shirt, with a listing of specific neighbors; a listing that many seem to not include in the definition of ‘neighbor.’ My relative pointed out a protest sign in the background I ignored; and took an entirely different view of the posting that I intended.

I know that my relative and I will probably never agree in these matters; we have entirely different viewpoints on the world, and how it should work. I am trying to suggest to the world [the limited world that gives a rip about my thoughts] that the Way of Jesus will bring us closer to a Way of Peace than a consistent application of the methods that have been used for the last century, that haven’t worked. My relative blames the problems of today’s world on “Liberal bias”; and longs for a reincarnation of Ronald Reagan for President [I wonder what he thought, back in the 80’s?].

As I write this PBS is covering Congress’ debate over whether or not we once again enter into a war. Somehow there are political leaders who believe we can ‘sort of’ enter into a war. A limited war. That somehow we can enter into a Civil War of another country, and not enter into a Civil War. We can kill people in another country indiscriminately with bombs, and somehow not enter into a war. We can bomb, but we won’t use troops on the ground. Sounds to me like the idea of sending ‘military advisers’ to Vietnam, the war that wasn’t really a war…

CONGRESS VOTES
$200bn has been spent this week on ‘smart phones’ and cellular technology; and apparently there is a money problem in this country. I wonder how much in taxes has been paid in regard to the generation of that $200bn… $200bn invested in phones we want but do not really need, when half of the world is starving.

From Nadia Bolz Weber–
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nadiabolzweber/2013/09/sermon-about-how-totally-uncool-we-are
“When it comes down to it, we just do so much damn pretending. Pretending we don’t really rely a little too much on alcohol. Pretending that we are more confident than we really are.  Pretending that we care more about people than we really do. Pretending we are not afraid. Sometimes we even overcompensate so much about the things we are trying to hide, that no one ever suspects the truth… and then we are left in the aloneness of not ever really being known.
“On some level, we are continually trying to pretend some things about us are not true and other things are…
“The 2000 film, Almost Famous tells the story of a young man who finds himself as a reporter on tour with a famous rock band. His conversation with an older writer at the end of the film captures this perfectly: “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool”
“IN the kingdom of God we need not cultivate a persona to hide or overcompensate for the lame, poor, blind and crippled parts of us.  The unflattering photos. The parts which have nothing to offer, the parts of us which need help navigating our lives, the parts of us which must rely on others for help. In other words the uncool parts of ourselves are exactly that which Jesus invites around his table.  As though the only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with God and each other when we are uncool, lame, blind, poor and crippled. And as uncomfortable as it might be to be seen in such a stark and uncompromising light, there is also just so much relief in it. You just don’t have to pretend, or over compensate or be shrewd. You can just be. And in just being you can, in the fierce and loving eyes of God be known, be whole and maybe even rest a little. Because keeping it all up is just exhausting.

The Way of War does not work. It only brings death.

Fhff7-2

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