Monday, May 29, 2006

Known by Their Fruit

For the last three years, Americans have refused time after time to acknowledge the bad faith of their leaders. The press is complicit in its failure to make the public aware of the human cost of the war. On one hand, there is American idealism that refuses to admit that George Bush, Dick Cheney and Condoleeza Rice are not cut from the same cloth as Tom Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton. On the other hand is a cynical press whose concern seems to be more interested in protecting its own interest than exposing the truth. It is, after all, more pleasant to be “one of the guys” than to be a thorn in their sides.

Considering the religious right’s core values, it would seem sensible to expect an outcry against the war in Iraq, its motives, its consequences and its prosecution, but there is nary a peep from American Christians against the war. “God Bless America” may be emblazoned on their cars, and their homes, but they seem incapable of facing the music, of seeing that when they pray for victory for “our boys” they are praying for death and destruction for Iraqi boys, girls, men and women.

Christians, the “saved” or “born again” and the run-of-the-mill varieties alike, believe they are given the gifts and the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Among these is something called discernment. Discernment means they can tell the difference between good and evil. Not only that, but they have an entire book, the Bible, to help them know the difference. One line of scripture that reads: “By their fruit you will recognize them. . . A good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit” (Matt 7:16,18).

So how is it that they can overlook the lies that got us involved in the Iraqi quagmire to begin with? How is it that they overlook over 2,000 fatalities and the 20,000 maimed soldiers the war has produced? How can they excuse the fact that the war has inflicted another 100,000 Iraqi casualties. Seeing these things is not some esoteric feat of divination, but rather plain, common sense.

© 2006

An extended version of this article is available for publication by writing

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About Me

I love my country, that is why I criticize its absurdities; I love my freedom, that is why I do it publicly.