Monday, March 19, 2007

Lose the war? Hell, we're losing our souls!

What will it profit a person to gain the whole world but forfeit their soul? Matthew 16:26
Friends, we are in danger of losing our souls. During this season of Lent, the scriptures undeniably warn us that we are on the wrong path. Oh it looks a lot like the way to Jerusalem, but maybe you've gotten use to its easy - even accommodating - ride. You see, this road takes a hard turn just before the cross... Friends, I've come back from the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq at the National Cathedral to warn you...we are in danger of losing our souls. The war in Iraq is destroying our souls.

We've spent billions and billions of taxpayer dollars with hardly a second thought. We're about to authorize billions more. But there's never enough money to insure our children or raise the minimum wage or pay our teachers. Do you see the danger to our souls?

Mental health disorders among Iraqi war vets are epidemic. And we can't even have confidence that our troops are receiving the best healthcare. Surely second best is better than this. Soul eroding. The stress and strain on our military families. Families separated by multiple deployments. The economic hardships. Skyrocketing divorce rates. The death of thousands create thousands of widows and orphans. Doesn't it just pain your soul?

And then there's the torture. Has the mall muzak so numbed our souls that we aren't outraged by the torture? We're so proud of our torture that we've legalized it. We've brought it out into the light of day. We've shone a light on it. There ought to be a special ribbon for our cars. Who would Jesus torture? Ooops, sorry. That was the hard turn just before the cross I was warning you about. Kinda sneaks up on you and next thing you've landed in the middle of the crowd shouting, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"

This war is slowly hollowing out our souls. At it's best, the Church just hasn't seemed to notice. At it's worst, it swaddled the baby Jesus in red, white and blue. It's gonna be a lot harder to pretty up the cross. For there is no denying: Jesus didn't come to Jerusalem with a conquering army but with arms of love. Jesus came to die for faith, not to kill for faith.

The church needs people of faith - acting in faith - to help bring about the end of this immoral war of choice. As Rev. Raphael G. Warnock of the Ebenezer Baptist Church said:
"Mr. Bush, my Christian brother, we do need a surge in troops. We need a surge in the nonviolent army of the Lord. We need a surge in conscience and a surge in activism and a surge in truth-telling."
President Bush is going to win this war come hell or high water. Maybe he's willing to forfeit his soul for his noble cause. He's not dragging me down with him.

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