Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jesus and the Total War

(The painting represents Dali's view of war.)

I found myself once again in a debate on another (medical providers), forum. On that forum, there is a section about non-medical practice issues, which often become political.

The debate started about the Gaza relief flotation interception last week. I really try to stay out of these discussions because I get too emotionally involved (even loosing sleep over it). However, with several provocative statements I had to jump in with both feet.

When these discussions tackle Islam, Iraq, Afghanistan or Gaza usually a line of demarcation quickly develops between the hawks and doves. I tend to be a dove. The hawks tend to be a combination of the ex-military grunts and . . . Evangelicals.

My view is simple. While I find myself defending Muslims or at least Arabs, frequently, it is more about human rights . . . all human rights. I would not hesitate to defend Jews, gays, handicap, or any category that I sense is being bashed. As I said on the medical forum, my philosophical perspective is simple. I believe that God is there, and that all people are created, equally, in His image. Therefore, all people deserve justice.

This is where I stand perplexed. In these debates, I find myself shoulder to shoulder with the most liberal people. My partner in the defense of the Gaza Arabs is a very vocal atheist and another is an outspoken gay leader.

So I started to scratch my head yesterday. I really, honestly,
am perplexed about how you can mix Jesus with hate. It doesn't add up.

The perspective of some of the Evangelicals is that the terrorists are evil and deserve the hammer of God. In the case of Gaza, Israel is God's chosen people. Therefore, we should wipe them out. Not only does the hawk group want to tighten the blockade (as one said, "we need to bring the Gaza people down to their knees) but the last straw, which got me most confused, was that one Christian said the he believed in "Total War!."

My point to him was that in Gaza, maybe .01% of people have done terrorist acts (launching rockets into Israel) so then we starve the innocent women, kids . . . and men? Some have suggested to me that we should not only starve them but bomb them.

I honestly don't understand this view among Christians. I feel shaken . . . like I' m from another planet. Is there a guilt by association? Is there a collateral hate? What I mean is, if someone got drunk and drove, hitting and killing one of my kids, I can certainly see me hating them (to speak honestly) but I don't think I would even be tempted to hate their wife, their brother or their children. Maybe if they where the ones who supplied the booze.

I don't know if there is a question in this post but more of a venting from my well of confusion.


Justin said...

MJ, I was pointed to a very relevant book by S. Mark Heim, Saved From Sacrifice, which addresses this very issue. It is a matter of scapegoating. The Gaza/West Bank Arab is being held up as the scapegoat for all of the Mid-East's ills.

It's complicated, but I highly recommend the book.

MJ said...

I looked up the reviews. Sounds very interesting and I hope to read it.Thanks, I will put it on my list.

NOTAL said...

I share your confusion. I know my political views tend to be rather. . . um. . . radical, but I can usually understand where others are coming from. I understand that from different premises, completely antithetical views can each look reasonable and rational.

However, when it comes to killing innocent people, I just cannot comprehend how people can justify it. What premises do you have to assume to come to this conclusion? Does one have to assume that Israelis or Americans (depending on the specific issue) are, by nature, superior to other races or nations (especially those with more melanin)?