Thursday, March 17, 2005

War...What is it good for?

This should be my last polemical piece for a little while. Again I will open myself up to claims of Blue State Idolatry. This weekend I am going to be participating in an anti-war protest marking the anniversary of the Iraq War. Rev. Tom and Crystal Clear are welcome to disagree, as are my friends in the military.

I'd say most of my congregation is vaguely supportive, but no one else will be going to the demonstration in San Francisco. I don't believe that anyone from seminary will be participating either. Sometimes I think the real UU political position is "Shut up, vote for the democrats, and send a check to NPR." I know there are some UUs online who would like to see a return to the AUA's condemnation of pacifists during World War I.

I'm sure some of the Bay Area (Are Bay Area UU's Bay Arians?) congregations will have a contingent. I am going to meet early at the US Labor Against War Rally at Mission High School. If I find the UU banner that was at earlier demonstrations I will march with them as well.

I really do not believe that all UUs need to agree with me about the Iraq War and the so called Global War on Terror. I do feel that UUs who do agree with me are obliged to do more than vote every 2-4 years and send sternly worded emails and occasional paper letters. A wise man once taught me, the only sanction of a governed populace is the threat of becomng ungovernable. I refer the reader to reading #579 in SLT: "Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are people who want crops without plowing up the ground...Power concedes nothing without a demand, it never did and it never will."

Theologically, loving your neighbor as yourself sometimes requires brutal honesty about the involvement of one's own government in the world. Given the historical record, for me, it violates the greatest of these commandments to give this government the benefit of the doubt. By their deeds ye shall know them. So my light will not be hidden under a bushel this weekend.


At 11:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

General Sherman said it best: "War is Hell." Beyond that is Clauswitz's dictum: "Politics by other means."

What I want to know is where you found Howard S. Miller's writings on Kate Austin, and where that was published. In exchange, I can tell you where to find the estimable Professor Emeritus. He is not that far from where you are, although a far piece from where I am. I think he would appreciate knowing that someone is interested in his historical work. He's also a good left-handed fretless banjo player and Beachcomer. You can drop me a line at

Yours, Shooz


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