Friday, May 23, 2008

A Letter From The Past (that, unfortunately is still relevant - with some slight editing)

April 6, 2003

Lewiston Morning Tribune
P.O. Box 957
Lewiston, ID 83501


In the March 16, 2003 editon of the Lewiston Morning Tribune, ---------, commander of the Moscow division of the Vetrans of Foreign Wars, is quoted as saying the following in reference to those who are protesting the US attack on Iraq, "I wish they would understand and have a clue."

Maybe they do, Mr. ____. Maybe they realize that since 90% of the victims of wars since World War 2 have been civilians (Kassmann in "Overcoming Violence," Page 60), any decision to go to war today is a decision to kill civilians. Killing civilians is what soldiers at war, including US soldiers, do nowadays. Just check for the latest numbers.

Maybe they don't want the US to get a "big bully" reputation by attacking Iraq since such an attack is a violation of international law.

Perhaps their compassion and empathy is large enough that they don't want to see Iraqis, as well as Americans wrapped in body bags, and just maybe they remember the Bible verse, John 3:16, which says. "For God so loved the world..." and they might realize that the word "world" includes Iraq.

Perhaps they recognize the humanity of every human being and understand that each Iraqi is created as much in the image of God as each American, and has as much right to live in his or her homeland free from foreign attack, as any American does.

Maybe they know, as all Americans should, that half the people in Iraq are under the age of twenty and maybe they don't want to see their tax dollars used to kill children and teenagers.

It's likely they remember a little recent history and recall that the last US war against Iraq failed to remove Hussein from power and make us feel secure. Maybe they don't want to try something that already been a proven failure.

Perhaps they realize that the US is in desperate need of universal health care, better mass transit, more affordable higher educaton, and a resuscitated economy, and also understand that the billions of dollars now being spent to destroy another country is not available to help solve any of these serious domestic problems.

Maybe they know something about history, and maybe they know the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament on how to treat enemies. Maybe they're not near-sighted and can see the suffering of those at the receiving end of this current plague of US military violence.

Perhaps, Mr. --------, the definition of those without a clue, may include individuals who believe that killing human beings is the way to solve our differences with other countries.


Leonard Nolt

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Good King (a cento, "stretch-villanelle" from Psalms 72)

May you be blessed with the gift of his light;
He always answers the poor when they cry;
How precious is their blood in his sight.

Those who trust in him will never die;
He created the stars, the sun, and the sky;
May you be blessed with the gift of his light.

He will rule the earth for sea to sea;
He will save the children of the needy;
How precious is their blood in his sight.

He will endure longer than the sun;
He will gather to him, all generations;
May you be blessed with the gift of his light.

Enrich the king with acts of justice,
The royal son with your righteousness;
May you be blessed with the gift of his light;
How precious is their blood in his sight.

His shalom flows on, like a great river into the sea;
He will bless his people for time, and for all eternity;
How precious is their blood in his sight;
May you be blessed with the gift of his light.

The fig shall ripen upon the tree,
And the fruit flourish on the vine;
May you be blessed with the gift of his light;
How precious in their blood in his sight.