My friend, Brian, posted this powerful video on the spiritual impact of war on his blog. Mark Twain wrote the poem, "The War Prayer," after the Spanish-American War, but it was published posthumously after the first World War. He agreed to not publish it until after his death because his advisors and family thougt it was too controversial.
I guess some things never change. We still can't talk about the evils of war in open public discourse. We still label war protestors, and even those who question the legitimacy of any particular war, as disloyal to the country, and worse, as standing 'against the troops. '
That's why this video* makes such a crucial statement now. Even a century later, Twains elequent words still reveal a deeply imbedded truth about us...this insidious fear of being pegged as an outsider, a troublemaker, a traitor, simply by hating a war and it's massive destruction.
As Twain said, "None but the dead are permitted to tell the truth."
I especially like what Twain does with the implications of praying that our side 'win'...what it means for the 'other side.' I believe we can support our troops and pray for their safety without villifying the 'enemy.' The Iraqui soldiers are sons and loved ones, too. The Iraqui civilians who live in constant mortal danger, have dreams and lives and families, too.
I pray for more diplomacy and compromise in the world...more conversations and fewer debates, more compassion and less competition, more courage to speak the truth in love and less fear of those we don't know and refuse to understand. I pray our law makers do the right thing and find a way to withdraw...for everyone's sake.
God bless the universe, and everyone in it.
*(I told Brian my only complaint about the video is that the voices and illustrations are decidely 'white male'-esque. It could use some diversity in culture and gender.)