My award this week is for the best local Christian of the week. That award goes to an anonymous local man who offered to donate a burial plot to the family of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The anonymous donor is a Seventh Day Adventist, who believes God wanted him to donate a plot he owns at Crown Hill Cemetery in Vienna, Ohio for Tsarnaev’s burial. The donor was quoted by WKBN saying, “This man (Tsarnaev) can no longer hurt anyone in this country, and perhaps God can use this act of kindness to change somebody else’s mind and keep anyone else from harming or trying to harm someone in the United States, or anywhere else in the world for that matter.” My not so Christian award has two winners this week. The first winner is Bob Moses, president of Crown Hill Cemetery, who consulted with his legal department to stop Tsarnaev from being buried there. The second winner is local veterans who said if Tasarnaev were buried in Vienna they would dig up his grave. In the end the not so Christians won and Tsarnaev will not be buried locally. WWJD? Didn’t Jesus hang out with sinners and say to love your enemies? It seems to me that is the place real Christian ministry needs to begin.
Changing the world for the better will require lots of forgiveness and understanding of those we consider enemies. When our nation’s psyche is often fueled by vengeance any moments to pause and look for peaceful solutions is lost. The war in Vietnam didn’t end because of protesters in the streets. It ended when returning Vietnam veterans questioned the rational for the war and joined those in the streets protesting. Returning veterans told of losing friends for what seemed like no good reason. They told of horrors they committed or saw committed by our troops. I believe the military learned something from the Vietnam veterans who returned telling of the horrors of war. I think the soldiers that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have been told to tight-lipped about what horrors or injustices they have seen while serving. I think holding in some of those terrible things seen in a war zone is leading to the high number of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), we are seeing with returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. The Department of Veterans Affairs released a report on PTSD, showing 30% of the 834,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans treated at Veteran hospitals and clinics have been diagnosed with PTSD. Many of our politicians only care about our soldiers when they are in the war zone and don’t care about providing for returning veterans. Veterans should never find that they are in a whole new war zone when they get home and need medical and economic help.
I was just discussing with some folks about how most of our area shootings are among people who know one another. That is of course horrible but it makes more sense than people who are killed for no apparent reason by someone they didn’t even know. It makes us feel uncomfortable like it could have happened to us. People who kill someone they don’t even know are considered the most dangerous people in a society. We call them a psychopath “[ˈsaɪkəʊˌpæθ] n A person afflicted with a personality disorder characterized by a tendency to commit antisocial and sometimes violent acts and a failure to feel guilt for such acts Also called sociopath.”
When our young men and women are sent off to war aren’t we asking them to be psychopaths and sociopaths? They are killing people they don’t even know and being asked to feel no guilt. Of course wrapping it up in the flag and dehumanizing the enemy with racist terms like sandnigger, Hadji and raghead is supposed to make it more palatable. In the Bible we wince at Abraham being asked to sacrifice his son Isaac and yet since our nation’s founding we have been sacrificing our sons and daughters in war after war. The best way we can pay back our veterans sacrifice is by making sure their children and grandchildren never have to go to war. We haven’t realized the horror of war yet or by now we would have found peaceful solutions. I will point out acts that make for peaceful solutions in the near future but for now I want to thank our vets who gave their lives on this Memorial Day weekend. I don’t criticize our veterans for their service or think of them as psychopaths. They served our nations proudly and we should be proud of them. They have never failed it is we who have failed them. After so many of them have given life and limb we should have long ago honored them by finding peaceful solutions instead of choosing war. It is way past time to realize peace not war is what is needed to transform this world.
Ten crazy things the right did this week.
Rockie Lynne: “Little Boy in a Uniform