Google+

The Injustice and Anti-Spirituality of War

The inspirational twentieth-century monk, Thomas Merton, being a contemporary of atrocities such as Auschwitz, Hiroshima, and Vietnam, became quite aware of the dangers and injustices within the institution of war. In a letter to Etta Gullick, Merton wrote “There is one task for me that takes precedence over everything else: working with such means as I have at my disposal for the abolition of war.” Based on the thoughts and example of Merton, war is a dangerous and unnecessary institution that is unjust at its foundation and should be rejected by all contemplatives, especially Christians.

merton“At the root of all war is fear.” Fear is one of the most dangerous concepts known to humankind. Fear can keep you from doing what you truly need to do, and fear can make you do that which you do not want to do. War stems from our fear of everything. Humans are paranoid. We have created a boogeyman mentality; whether it is the Arab that is going to fly a plane into our building or the black man that is going to steal our wallet. We create war because we want to extinguish this fear. We desire peace, and the only way we see to achieve it is to rid ourselves of fear. Merton wrote “There is in reality not the slightest logical reason for war, and yet the whole world is plunging headlong into frightful destruction, and doing so with the purpose of avoiding war and preserving peace!” The truth is fear cannot be extinguished. Fear will always exist. Instead of fighting wars to get rid of it, we must instead rise above the fear.

The danger that we are so afraid of is not the Arab or the black man; the danger is at the very core of world power. Merton says “Violence today is white collar violence, the systematically organized bureaucratic and technological destruction of man.” What is more dangerous: someone robbing a corner store in the ghetto because he has a drug addiction that stems from a life of harsh poverty or the world leader sitting next the “launch button” who is afraid that the world is out to get him? The powers that be make it seem that danger is in those who stir things up; those who are so distraught by the state of their living situations that they are willing to do what is necessary to make a change. But Merton says “The problem of violence, then, is not the problem of a few rioters and rebels, but the problem of a whole structure which is outwardly ordered and respectable, and inwardly ridden by psychopathic obsessions and delusions.”

It is those who reflect upon themselves and the world, those who contemplate on the state of things, who should reject war even more so than most people. This includes, especially, Christians. Christianity is a religion and spiritual practice that has nonviolence at its core. Christ himself spoke of peacefully rstop_war1esisting evil, and, when it came down to it, he gave the ultimate example by not resisting his arresters and rising above the evil. Violence is a step backward for the spiritual growth of all Christians. Love is at the very heart of Christianity; love of one another and, above all, love of God. If Christians are to love one another, then there is no place for violence in their practices. If God is in fact love, and we do not love one another, then we do not love God. On this, Merton writes “If [those willing to endanger others] are Christian they are purely and simply arming themselves with hammer and nails, without realizing it, to crucify and deny Christ.”

As those who love God, regardless of your particular perception or manifestation of what He is, we must not let fear shake us. We must, instead, have faith; faith in God and faith in the fact that the abolition of war is possible if we want it to be.


 Merton, Thomas, A Call to Compassion, (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2000).

Entertainment

Ben Affleck Directs and Stars in Gruesome Gangster Saga

    Live by Night Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams Ben Affleck Directs and Stars in Gruesome Gangster Saga    Dennis Lehane has enjoyed phenomenal success not only as a novelist but writing directly for TV (Boardwalk Empire and The Wire). And several of his crime thrillers have been brought to the big screen, including Mystic River, Shutter Island and Gone, Baby, Gone. In 2007, Ben Affleck directed Gone, Baby, Gone, staying behind … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

The President’s Kitchen Cabinet

  The President's Kitchen Cabinet The Story of the African-Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas by Adrian Miller University of North Carolina Press Hardcover, $30.00 292 pages, Illustrated ISBN: 978-1-4696-3253-7 Book Review by Kam Williams “[This opus] vividly tells the stories of the African-Americans who worked in the presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder

  History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder by Amy Lignor   For the longest time, scientists and archaeologists have been confused and bemused by various discoveries they’ve unearthed that offer little or no explanation as to the who, what, and why of the people who created these things or left them behind. Even now, in 2017, there are discoveries being studied; stories that were once legends now have actual bits of proof being found that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

2017 Hobbies That Bring You Serenity

  2017 Hobbies That Bring You Serenity by Amy Lignor   Origami. Memory albums. Quilting. What do these have in common? Well, at one point or another in time, they have represented the “hottest” hobbies in the United States. Taking up hobbies are not only a fun thing to do for the “artistic/creative” type, but they also help to reduce stress. Even the AMA has cited the fact that taking up a hobby can produce a calming environment … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Skeeter SX210

  Skeeter SX210 By Craig Lamb After buying a bay boat, why spend more time and money getting it rigged out for your needs? With the Skeeter SX210, you get a boat already factory rigged with the standard accessories and features serious anglers want in a bay boat. Best of all, you get the extras, dependability, and durability that make it a Skeeter for an affordable price. Affordable doesn’t mean any corners were cut. That’s not the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Will NASCAR Theatrics Bring Back Viewers?

  Will NASCAR Theatrics Bring Back Viewers? by Amy Lignor   For any of the millions who once watched ABC’s Wide World of Sports and heard the words “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” they remember the footage of a skier’s crash when it came to the “agony” side of things. Everyone knew that sight was a fact – a video that was absolutely real. Nowadays, however, it seems that more and more sports are “making up” shots that … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

How Are Retail Sales in 2017?

  How Are Retail Sales in 2017? E-Commerce Reigns by Amy Lignor   Despite consumer uncertainty, as well as a very sluggish beginning to 2017, the U.S. retail sales industry is projected to increase 4% this year. Headlines show that many retailers and companies posted “soft” holiday sales to end 2016, which caused some notable retailers to either cut jobs or close stores as a result. However, when it comes to 2017, the National … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Where to Vacation? Go Big or Stay Home!

  Where to Vacation? Go Big or Stay Home! by Amy Lignor   We speak about luxury vacations, budget vacations, vacations that are fun for the kids, and many more areas of travel at this time of year. But there is also a category that many do not touch upon because they “assume” it is far too difficult for those on a budget to be able to enjoy these jaw-dropping wonders. However, whether you are a backpacker looking to “become a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]