the euro mormon blog
|The family and I spent Columbus Day at Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania. One marvels at the blood and horror that reigned over these green fields in July 1863. I kept thinking about an image from the movie Kingdom of Heaven when Christians and Muslims fight desperately at the walls of Jerusalem. The camera pans up to give a gods' eye view of the carnage. From on high, the human combatants don't look like brave knights, or heroic mujahaddin. They look like swarming ants, no better than animals (except animals don't go to war).|
Consider how God views our penchant for killing:
And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood. (Moses 7:33)As we came to the cemetery at Gettysburg, my son asked me who were the" good guys" and who were the "bad guys." I paused for a moment. War is so often framed in those terms. I am no pacifist, but have come to realise that the "just wars" we herald do not always make war just. The Battle of Britain was just, fought by "good guys." The fire-bombing of Dresden was not just, nor the atrocity at Hiroshima. War, even with the banner of justice behind it, quickly becomes the theater of hate, of evil, of all that is devilish.
"They were all good guys," I told Jacob, for who am I to judge the soul of this unknown infantryman lying in the soil of Gettysburg?
But, be certain that there are bad guys, those masters of war who build the bombs and the guns, who play with the world like it's their little toy.* They rule even now, fighting unjustified pre-emptive wars, blowing up civilians with suicide bombers, building nuclear weapons when they should be building their people earthquake-proof homes.
We have been called to "renounce war and proclaim peace" (D&C 98:16). Sometimes, for some of us, these are words only spoken, not truly embraced.
*HT: Bob Dylan.