An blog by a member of the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, to explore the nexus between contemplation and resistance. "The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.
Saturday, February 19, 2005
Over My Dead Body
'"Over my dead body are they going to make me go back."
"I knew he was having dreams, nightmares," Lisset said. "He would wake up at night really sweaty."
On Dec. 6, he showed up for work, his uniform pressed, his boots polished. He sang cadence.
That night, he was found hanging in his barracks. Sgt. Curtis Greene, 331st Signal Company, was 25.
...The study found that 72 percent of soldiers reported their unit's morale was low; it found that mental health workers there felt untrained to treat combat stress.
Because of these barriers to getting care, many experts believe the number of soldiers in Iraq suffering from combat-related psychological problems is far greater than one out of six.
"...Lisset said he had nightmares and couldn't sleep. He cried easily, but avoided talking about Iraq.
"He just said it was ugly, and that you don't know what it's like until you're there," she said. "He always said he wouldn't wish it on his worst enemy."
When the evening news reported deaths in Iraq, he would weep and ask her to turn off the TV.
"He really cried, like it was someone he knew," she said. "He'd say that we shouldn't be there. He always wanted to know why we were there."' - "Over My Dead Body", St. Petersburg Times, Feb. 14, 2005. (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0214-09.htm)
In the words of Stan Goff, "...we are empty and incapable of truly connecting to people any more, and maybe we can go for months or even years before we fill that void where we surrendered our humanity..."
Each time we kill we surrender a piece of our humanity. The myth that tells us we should do it doesn't matter. It's the same now as it was 5000 years ago. Each murder, no matter how noble the lie for which it was committed, eats into our soul and steals a part of your being.
Genesis 4:10: 'And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.'
"God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being." Catechism, 2258.
"What made you establish man in so great a dignity? Certainly the incalculable love by which you have looked on your creature in yourself! You are taken with love for her; for by love indeed you created her, by love you have given her a being capable of tasting your eternal Good." Catechism, 356.
By love, each Iraqi was created. God loves each of us with an eternal love. What curse shall we bring on ourselves by destroying what God loves? Perhaps the curse which Sgt. Curtis Greene discovered when he looked at the dark streak in his soul. The fundamental lie is that we can murder with impunity. No "war on terror" or "surgical operation" can make it right. Ever. But we must never forget his mercy.