Sunday, September 8, 2013

Syria Again

My friend Warren preached a fine sermon today about peace . . . except he didn't answer the question he posed at the beginning of it: should the U.S. intervene in Syria? I think he may have phrased it more generically, like, what should the U.S. do about the use of poison gas by the Syrian army? Actually, I have to say I was surprised. Susan came to church with me today, and she chatted with Warren afterwards. She wanted the answer too. Actually, Warren is ambivalent. I hope that's being fair to his views. He is not four-square against it, as I understand it. She talked to him, I didn't. But I do know we heard no outright opposition to some kind of action in what he had to say.

And in the context of what a follower of Jesus should do in this situation, that was the premise. Well, I call myself a follower, and I really don't think that he leaves me much choice. I have to oppose war; I have to oppose violence; I have to stand for peace in all circumstances. How can I possibly say war is OK because someone used chemical weapons to kill people? Hell, Assad has used bombs, bullets, and tanks to kill about 71 times as many of his own people as he did with chemicals--100,000 to 1,400. And Obama and the U.S. have done nothing about that. How can a little bit of war be acceptable? He also reminded us of the "hard sayings" of Jesus . . . and the fact that you're not going to follow him without suffering. And pacifists have ever suffered, in all ages and climes. Violence seems so utterly more congenial to us, doesn't it? Peace . . . that's unnatural.
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