It is cold outside so I thought I might step into some hot water for a few minutes and talk about the War in Iraq. It seems as though the media has polarized this just like it tries to polarize everything else. We get this sense that either you are for it or against it. I think the truth is that most Americans wants to bring our troops home as quickly as possible. Some think it has to be today. Others think it has to be done over time.
We also may disagree on whether we had to go over there or not. It is pretty easy to look back and say they were no weapons of mass destruction and President Bush acted foolishly. What I try to remind people is that psychologically we were damaged after September 11th. We saw threats everywhere and it wasn't just the President who was nervous about Iraq. Just about everyone in Congress voted to go ahead with sanctions and use force if needed.
The question we need to ask is are we safer now than we were then and are the people in Iraq better off now. The answer can be debated but I believe it is yes to both. We don't always get the good stories from the front. But there are enough of them going around. The cost has been steep, paid in young lives, but the majority of young men and women who have served believe it was worth the cost.
This goes to the deeper question in my mind. As Christians, do we ever have the obligation to step up and denounce what is wrong? Does that also at times require us to use force to put down evil? I know that we don't have a Christian government. We aren't even a Christian nation anymore. Where does our responsibility end.
It is so easy to pick our causes. Amnesty International pleads for human rights and works to bring about justice around the world. When they see evil, they speak up. The genocide in Darful is coming to light. Can we stand by and do nothing? Human slave trading is taking place all over the world and it is sanctioned by some governments. How do we respond?
Right now I believe we ought to stop fighting each other and begin to pray for those who are serving in the military. Many of them believe in what they are doing. They are establishing order and trying to make this world a safer place. In our congregation we have at least five of our young people serving overseas right now. It is hell for them but they are proud of what they are doing. They believe they are doing good. So let's pray for an end to war, but remember those who are serving.