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

Justice Denied Documentary Chronicles Racist Targeting of Chinese-American Bank

  Abacus: Small Enough to Jail Film Review by Kam Williams Justice Denied Documentary Chronicles Racist Targeting of Chinese-American Bank Asian-Americans are often referred to as the "model minority" because of their  success in the U.S. despite the existence of discrimination which has crippled other ethnic groups. However, the label has also led many a racist to misread Asian modesty as an invitation to treat them like … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama

  Rising Star The Making of Barack Obama  by David J. Garrow William Morrow Hardcover, $45.00 1472 pages ISBN: 978-0-06-264183-0 Book Review by Kam Williams “Barack Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention instantly catapulted him into the national spotlight and led to his election four years later as America's first African-American president. In this penetrating biography, David J. Garrow delivers an epic work … [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

Stunning Stenberg!

  Amandla Stenberg The “Everything, Everything” Interview with Kam Williams Stunning Stenberg! Amandla Stenberg first gained recognition for her role as Rue in The Hunger Games, alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson. After the success of that film, Amandla earned the 2012 Teen Choice Award with Jennifer for Best Film Chemistry. She was also nominated for NAACP Image and Black Reel Awards for that … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Finding Bass During a Mixed Spawn Season

  Finding Bass During a Mixed Spawn Season Yamaha Pro Mark Davis Offers Two Solutions For Catching Bass This Spring Warmer-than-normal winter temperatures have shuffled bass spawning schedules on many lakes throughout the country this spring, but Mark Davis has seen it before, and the veteran Yamaha Pro knows just how to approach the problem. “With the milder winter, bass began spawning much earlier than usual this year so when a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

A Sport Where You Feel the Thrill Without Going to the Extreme

  A Sport Where You Feel the Thrill Without Going to the Extreme by Amy Lignor   There are many sports “fanatics” out there who literally dive head-first into an extreme sport in order to get their adrenaline pumping – taking on a sport that comes hand-in-hand with a monumental amount of risk. But for those who are not interested in being scared to death, yet wish to feel the thrill, data has shown that zip lining has become the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

The Hottest Locales for Small Business in the U.S.

  The Hottest Locales for Small Business in the U.S. by Amy Lignor   No, Silicon Valley is not being replaced. However, with the Kauffman Foundation releasing its annual Startup Activity Index last week showing, in detail, trends in U.S. business startups for 2017, it was revealed that California has been booted out of first place. The top spot for new businesses to be built and thrive in the United States has been taken over by the big, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Once Upon a Time Vacations

  Once Upon a Time Vacations by Amy Lignor   Whether you are a lover of history or you simply have the “Beauty & the Beast” obsession – which, according to movie revenue data, millions all over the world are suffering from – just think how amazing it would be to stay in an actual castle. We already know what the beauty would be from the female perspective, but when it comes to the gentlemen out there, just think about how much … [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...]