Disarming Ignorance

Come behold the works of the Lord....She makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; she breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; she burns the chariot in the fire (Psalm 46:8-9).

We Americans are a "how" people: How do we do this? How do we do that? What techniques or technology will "get the job done"?

Too seldom do we question our "how" with a "why." That error can take ruinous directions because the why implies a sense of consequences; the how always has consequences.

Since Hell, Healing, and Resistance is exclusively about war, here are a couple of imperative questions inspired by it: How do we end war? (It is only by disarming our hearts and the empire’s weapons.) How can we risk disarmament? (It is only by risking obedience to God, which is no risk at all since the risks of disarmament are nothing compared to the risks of armament.) How can a people disarm its government? It is only by insisting on disarmament, justice, and peace. A disarmed people and an armed government is an impossibility, a contradiction.

As a start, Americans must dispel the abysmal ignorance about war. Arguably one of the most violent people in history, we still know little about war. We can learn that war victimizes everyone and everything-the devious, blind old men who initiate war; the young soldiers who fight it; the innocent civilians maimed or killed by it; the environment fractured and poisoned by it.

Nobody wins in war. Everyone, and everything, loses.

A FIRST STEP toward disarmament would emphasize a spirituality of nonviolence. Information that tells the truth about war is required background.

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Sojourners Magazine November-December 1998
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