Friday, November 6, 2009


Doing something constructive with war grief


I am grieving for all families who lost or had loved ones wounded at Fort Hood on Thursday. May the God of comfort help them cope with their terror and loss and pain and anger.


I am grieving for all families who lose or have loved ones wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq every day.  May they, too, find solace that helps them cope in some healing way with the loss of their loved ones.  For the wounded, I pray recovery of body and mind.


I am grieved at war.  I am weary of war.  I am tired of the exaltation of militarism.  And I am bewildered by the perpetual denial of their toxic fallout and ineffectiveness.  In this latest go-around, we've lived for eight years with the ascendancy of all things military and war-exalting.  We've been forced to accept the draining of our national treasure and the loss of our future as "necessary."  We've been lied to and intimidated by a Presidential regime, humiliated by secret tortures and extreme renditions, and endured one fallacious callow justification after another. 

I have never been unclear about my sense regarding war in general and the Afghan and Iraq wars in particular. I've written consistently in opposition to these wars.  I spoke publicly for a better way at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis on the eve of the invasion of Iraq.  I've worked years with homeless neighbors whose lives and families have been devastated by war.  I've called attention to the high rates of suicides among active and returning troops, the alarming rates and intensity of PTSD, and the ineffectiveness of military and civilian responses to them.

In light of the quagmire in Afghanistan, the ever-increasing toll at home, and the fatalistic approach our current President is set to continue, I am renewing my challenge to militarism as a primary approach to problem-solving in general and America's role in Afghanisan and Iraq in particular.

Anyone who would like to join with me in discussing strategic nonviolent citizen action to renew opposition to war in Afghanistan and propose alternatives of nonviolence. e-mail me.  We'll set up a time to meet, pray, and strategize together.

In the spirit of dialog, I welcome comments and/or questions. Click on "responses" below to post. They're moderated only to reduce incivility.


  1. I would join you, but OKC is a bit of a drive! I would note for your consideration - that I am beginning to see more clearly in my own life that "non-violence" is not enough and active "peace-making" is the way. Willard Swartley's text - Covenant of Peace: The Missing Peace in New Testament Theology and Ethics - has convinced me that active peace making is central to the mission of Jesus - and therefore us who call ourselves his disciples.

    Peace and Grace ~

  2. Thanks, Marty. I need to get the Swartley book.


Your tasteful comments and/or questions are welcome. Posts are moderated only to reduce a few instances of incivility.