Friday, April 04, 2003

Listening to the news and the debates on various listserves --
I have been thinking about why I have my reaction to my government and our pursuit of this war in Iraq. Last night it became clear to me (in a spiritual autobiography using a timeline of world events for our EFM class) -- I was born in 1941 -- my playmates were bundled off to Concentration Camps for being Japanese-Americans. My first memory of TV was watching the McCarthy hearings and the House UnAmerican Activities Commission. Professors of a college in my town lost their jobs and were banned from teaching on the basis of rumor. When I was in college and into young adulthood - it was the VietNam war. More and more lies from that era have been revealed. My friends died thinking they were doing something good - and those who returned (who actually served on the battlefield) are very cynical about all war. In the course of this reflection - I realize that I do not have much in my history and experience of my country to give me confidence in the decisions that are being made and the rhetoric used to support it. This current war seems to be just one more lie - which history will reveal after all the death and destruction? I hope not - I hope we are acting out of the goodness of our hearts - that we truly desire to be a liberating force in the world. Time will tell.
You may say I am exercising a selective memory but these are my marker events. I love the principles of this country - just finished reading (actually a book on tape as I drive to work, 160 miles through the Rockies, each week) John Adams -- how timely to listen to the letters and reflections on the founders of our country. How precarious our freedoms (we were thanking the French that time around). Every generation has had challenges to the Constitution and our form of government. Once again our freedoms are being eroded - not by some external enemy - but by our very own lawmakers. Freedom of speech, freedom of our personal lives and choices, freedom of religion taken away in the name of protecting us. When will we begin to witness to the real power of the US - the beacon of freedom, a place of welcome to the stranger, rich beyond believing. When will we move as a people of abundance and generosity and stop acting like spoiled children who having opened so many Christmas presents turns to our parent and says "is that all?"

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