Monday, November 13, 2006

Here's What A 'Progressive' Religious Attitude Means

From, the following is instructive:

On the first Monday of every month, the Reverend Robert H. Malm stands before his congregation at a special requiem service and reads the name and rank of every US serviceman or woman who was killed in Iraq or Afghanistan the previous month. The first thing he notices is that most of the casualties are enlisted men. The officers and the women, those names jump out ... The majority are younger than 24...

But the constant stream of names coming before Malm has had him meditating on the war's costs. What does he think about as he reads the latest list of each month's fatalities? "The profound failure of war," he said. "What has it ever ultimately achieved?"

He thinks that the easy rhetoric of evil and of black-and-white conflict does not square with the complicated modern world. And he wonders: Where are the pacifist voices of those who take to heart the commandment "Thou shalt not kill"? He wonders what would happen if people became less interested in simply defending war and were more open to mercy, understanding and forgiveness.

As Wiggers readied the list of 105 names of those killed in October for the Monday requiem, Malm sighed. "It's just so sad."

Overwhelmingly, also, they are from 'rural' America, the 'heartland,' where the USer jihadi madrassahs prosper, and where there's nothing else to do to get the fuck outta town...


GeorgeM said...

This is what really infuriates me about this war. It didn't have to happen. As a country, we toss away the lives of our military without blinking an eye.
Where are the voices of the major Christian sects? It is now more than obvious that the war is based upon lies. Shouldn't our religious leaders be publicly condemnning this administration?
There was a moment before this conflict began, when the political and religious leadership of this country could have stood up and said NO. There was another moment, following the unmasking of the war's rationale.
They failed both times.

Pelican Pete said...

I remember Jose. I worked with him about 20 years ago. We were both working for SW Distributing outta Santa Fe. I was working while in college, he was working to support three ex-wives and a couple of kids. He was a quiet, slender, complicated man from the the Alemeda. He spent two years in Vietnam. He had some impressive scars you could see and more you couldn't. When I asked him why he stayed in the Army he said that he had nothing to come back to; no job, no education, no skill other than killing people; he'd gotten used to it. He stayed and smoked a lot of dope, and watched his buddies die, and did a lot of heroin waiting for his turn to step on a mine, or get sniped or OD. He came back in 1971 human wreckage, like countless tens of thousands of others. He spent three years in prison for stabbing his wife, spent another couple of years in ABQ in the South Valley, and then moved back to SF. When I knew him he was 33 and mellow and regretful. His life had hit its cul de sac. He was not atypical for his war. He was the kind of person Kerry made his joke about. He wasn't from " the Heartland", he was from the colon, and he knew it, poor bastard. He went to Vietnam, like his dad went to Korea, like his grandfather went to
WWII, because it was a way to escape the world that our society had all laid out for him. Take a good look at some of the pictures coming back from Iraq. There's tagging all over the walls, Surrenos and Nortenos are in Iraq, Crips and Bloods and NLR's. Why? Getting shot at in Basra beats getting shot at in Bakersfield because at least you're getting paid, you got better guns, and you might just get a Buster or a Scrappa while you're about it. Bush and Co have created generations of terrorists in the Middle East, and they have perpetuated the misery of Life as Walking Dead at home.