While cruising the Intertubes this morning, I came across a couple of articles prodding the reader to evaluate his or her place in the world, specifically in relation to war.
The first one over at Sigmund, Carl, and Alfred, was a post by a Daily Telegraph reporter who asked the final question at an historic press conference marking the end of the Soviet Union. His life has taken a turn that allowed him to reflect on the meaning of war and it's place in Western sociology. He has time to ponder his impact on the world and thanks soldiers and warriors for the peace that has allowed him to do so.
The second post over at Pajamas Media asks Whose Death Matters More? It starts with the comparison between the fictional Joe Schmoe and Albert Einstein and moves on to terrorists.
In a rare turn of events, those two posts got me thinking.
Here's the baseline: war is abhorrent and would never occur if everyone had the Love of God in their hearts.
However, since that's not the case, we must play the hand we're dealt and understand that there are people out there who want you, me, and our families dead.
That's the question that will never be answered to anyone's satisfaction because there's no sane reply to that insane question.
We're all born into a system over which we have no control. If you were born into a communist culture, you'd be taught how to be a good communist. If you were born into a cannibal culture, you'd be taught to be a good cannibal. If you were lucky enough to be born into a society that values freedom and individualism, you'd be taught to be a good American.
Now this is just one blogs' opinion, but Christianity holds within it the key for peaceful living. It starts with the knowledge that we are all in this lifeboat together, trying to do the best we can to provide for our life through the system into which we're born. No society is perfect, just as no person living is perfect. Therein lies the key: we can deal in a Godlike way with imperfect people, with patience and love, treating them the same way we want to be treated.
Hmmm, that sounds like another Christian principle. Something to do with gold and a measuring stick...
Anyway, that's the peaceful side of life which we should all strive for. It's harmonious, full of joy and rewarding in a way that trancends earthly things. The rub is, not everyone thinks that way.
Our sworn enemies have vowed to kill us or make us submit to them. Again, the insane question is Why? We don't actively seek your domination, so what's your real beef with us? Is it jealousy? Envy? Do you covet what we've accomplished in a scant 200 years and wish to take it for yourself? We've shown the rest of the world how beneficial individual freedom is and also how to achieve it. We've shown you the way, but it requires that despotic leaders give up their ways and allow the people to govern themselves.
We, as a nation, have also occupied a unique place in military history. We're the only power that has occupied foreign soil not to conquer, but to return the land to its rightful owners, it's people. Just think of how many countries the US has fought against and could be rightly claimed as our territory, but aren't: South Korea, South Viet Nam, Kuwait, Iraq, and those are just the ones in my lfetime. We're a warlike nation. We love a good fight, but it had better be for the right reasons.
We don't conquer, we liberate.
There's a difference.