Thursday, January 16, 2014

Let's work for peace in 2014

The federal government's excessive military spending is inconsistent with Jesus' teachings on peace.

Originally published in the Marshalltown Times-Republican

By Rev. Darrell Mitchell, member of the Iowa Peace Network Joint Oversight Committee

As I sit down on these last few days of 2013 and face the New Year of 2014, my thoughts go out to that great "Peace Poem," by Amanda Bradley.

PEACE will come when people live in friendship, side by side,

And cherish understanding more than hatred, greed, and pride.

PEACE will come when people see all people as the same,

And no one has to live in fear, in ignorance, or shame.

PEACE will come when people who are needy can reach out

For shelter, food, or love, and no one has to do without.

PEACE will come when people learn to listen and to care

About the rights and dignity of people everywhere.

PEACE will come when love and trust and kindness know rebirth,

And on the day all people will rejoice in PEACE ON EARTH.

When it comes to "PEACE" we Christians are often the enemy of Jesus. One half of my tax money goes to support our many wars we have been involved in. It supports the CEOs of our defense contractors who make over $11 million dollars a year. During World War II there was not one millionaire that made money off of that great war.

Today, as of 2006, there were 21,500 millionaires in the U.S. that made their living off of the defense industry. Yes, we have spent $8 trillion on our nuclear defense over the last six decades.

Does our capitalism support a continued war in America? Does Jesus want my money to be spent this way? Does Jesus want me to bomb and kill my enemies? I raise this question as we begin a new year in 2014: what can we Christians do collectively, to turn things around, for "Peace and Justice" in our world today, so we are not the enemy of Jesus?

Let us not forget those great words by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, as he left his political office in January 1960, he warned us about the military industrial complex within our country. At one time he had this to say, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

2014 is a new year, with new possibilities, and let us Christians, collectively, work together, to build a new America, so that peace can come into our world.

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