I've been having an argument on the blog of Fr Dwight Longnecker which is most unseemly. I have not helped in making it seemly, but some things need to be said! He is a Priest, so I should be more respectful of his blog than a layman's, but I took objection to his post on the gun sights scripture story on US soldier's guns, for more than one reason! What I really do not like is nationalism to the point of blindness towards our own Government's corruption and agendas. I watched, very recently a TV programme about hospital workers in Afghanistan who are daily treating our British soldiers, who arrive, at the age of 18, 19, 20 with their legs blown off from roadside bombs. We honour their sacrifice, but should we honour the Government that spends our brothers' blood so cheaply!?
Both Iraq and Afghanistan can, now, be nothing but endless wars, drenched in futility, the original motives of which will always be dubious, in light of revelations new and old. We, we, as Catholics, should never put the pride of our nationality above our identity as children of God, nor should we forget the dignity of those, even those who hate us! Our Blessed Lord said as much when he said, "Love those who hate you."
I, personally am not a British Catholic. I am a Catholic! Of what use will our nationality be in Heaven! That means that if the Government who runs the country in which I was born, or the Government in the US, or whatever powerful Government is running a war which is highly circumspect from the outset, and, indeed, whatever evil they claim they may be fighting to win our support, until I see a Papal Bull backing it, I'll not consent! It is not being done in either my, nor the Church's name and never has Pope Benedict XVI, or, I think, his predecessor, given his blessing to either of these wars.
Both the US and the UK, we shall doubtless reap what we have sowed over there. Our presence there is by no means defeating terrorism. No, we are merely pouring petrol onto the flames of a fire and I dare say that no matter how many body scanners you put in airports now, thanks to Tony and George, we're gonna get burned someday! Just for those who are interested, here is a list of countries with whom America has been at war, since 1945. You'll notice, they are all big, heavily armed, industrial, militarised countries!
China (1945-46 & 1950-53)
Guatemala (1954 & 1960)
El Salvador & Nicaragua (all of the 1980s)
Iraq (2002 -)
Hmm...is it just me, or does that kind of look like a near perpetual state of war? Anyone heard of the military industrial complex? Believe me, I know our Government does it too, but just because a war is sold to us on the basis of a 'sexed up dossier' of spin and lies, or 'we gotta go hunt the guy with the funny name who used to be employed by us', does not mean, that just because we are Catholics, those of good faith, that we should give the Government our blessing. God knows we should pray for our troops, like the brave men that they are! But those who sent them there, oh my, if I ever make it to Heaven, I'll happily take a break to watch them...
I remember going to one of the first Masses I ever went to at a Church in Brighton and being graced with the words of a Priest, who, during his homily, said, "We pray for our leaders and Governments. May they understand that evil is never justified, no matter how good the desired outcome", or something along the same lines. An unjust war is just like abortion. You lash out, for you were unprepared! You weren't ready and it wasn't planned! And just because you've been hurt, you kill the innocent. They took 3,000 of your men, so you take 100,000 of theirs! Then, you're surprised when go they hide in the mountains and come back when you're not suspecting! God help us! Some Americans think the Devil is in Afghanistan. I assure you, that if anyone has access to the corridors of power in the US, the White House and 10 Downing Street, it is the Devil. He isn't just operating in Muslim strongholds, after all!
Looks like our current PM is about to go before the jury which will not convict him of signing the cheques for Iraq. He was totally blameless, of course. After all...he is the Prime Minister of Great Britain! Tony was the bad guy, remember that. We do, at least, remember that!