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).

REQUEST INFORMATION

Entertainment

Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale Co-Star in WWI Docudrama

  The Promise DVD Review by Kam Williams Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale Co-Star in WWI Docudrama It's Eastern Turkey in 1914, which is where we find druggist Mikael Boghosian (Oscar Isaac) plying his trade in his half-Armenian/half-Turkish village where Christians and Muslims get along swell. The ambitious, young apothecary would really rather be a doctor, so he strategically courts a neighbor (Angela Sarafyan) from a relatively-wealthy … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period represented a window of opportunity for African-Americans... Many [Black] political leaders emerged … [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

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

  Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been ‘discovered.’) Unfortunately, when it comes to this article, ‘meteoric rise’ is something that will not bring a smile to one’s face. To put it simply, if you wish to refinance your home, you need to do it ASAP. If choosing to wait too much longer, homeowners across the … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Healthy Living: The Cellphone Guide

  Healthy Living: The Cellphone Guide by Amy Lignor   Much like the political realm, there will always be debates and disagreements when it comes to the technological realm—especially when it comes to your health versus the almighty cellphone. Now, it is a fact that communication in the 21st century literally brought about a revolution. Mobile devices are being used and will remain at the top of “must have” lists for all ages for … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Choosing Binoculars for the Ultimate 2017 Hunt

  Choosing Binoculars for the Ultimate 2017 Hunt Any hunter will tell you the most important choices to make when going for that ultimate successful hunt comes from the little things. Yes, the guns, the location for the hunt, the clothing that’s best for the winter and/or summer hunt – all of these things are on the hunter’s ‘must-buy’ list. But there is one other thing that is just as important: the binoculars. As you slowly develop … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Esports on a Meteoric Rise in 2017

  Esports on a Meteoric Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   Okay…we all know that football is America’s favorite sport. Or…is it? NASCAR has a wide following. People still love to go to the ballpark in the lazy summer days to watch a Yankee hit a homerun. There are those who love to practically melt in the summer watching the Williams’ sisters prove that tennis is a ‘cool’ sport. And, there are gazillions of soccer fans all over the globe … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Is Social Media Still Growing?

  Is Social Media Still Growing? by Amy Lignor   It was in 1999, Bill Gates wrote a book titled, “Business @ the Speed of Thought.” Within these pages, the man who became the computer world’s wizard made massively bold predictions that, at the time, sounded ridiculous and outrageous to those who read them. But when you look at how the social media realm has grown over the past few decades, it is important to take note that not only … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Vacation Locations: Knowledge is Fun Too!

  Vacation Locations: Knowledge is Fun Too! by Amy Lignor   Most children (and adults, too) will either roll their eyes or sigh when, while speaking about vacation locations, the word “learning” just happens to be mentioned. Yes, it is a fact that school trips take all of us during our younger years to everything from museums to libraries to historic locations in order to teach us things we should know. But when thinking about your … [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...]