It's been said there are two kinds of suffering: one kind leads to more suffering, the other kind puts an end to it. The attacks of 9/11 were an instance of the first kind of suffering, for they quickly led to more suffering. They led, specifically, to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, in which hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed, including over 5,500 U.S.
Via Rose Berger,
the summer issue of Portland magazine
includes an essay by Portland editor
and Century contributor Brian Doyle,
in which he quotes at length a conversation with a young U.S. war veteran named
Jackie. She paints a striking picture.
Reign of Christ Sunday is not
the most approachable lectionary theme. Should the focus be on the reign or the
one reigning? Should preachers assume each year that most people have no idea
why the feast exists? Is there a case for just glossing over it, preaching on
whatever suits you, and getting on with Advent?
So was the Iraq war worth it? Sixty percent of Americans say no. The claims that originally bolstered the resort to war—that Saddam Hussein's regime threatened the U.S. with weapons of mass destruction and was aligned with al-Qaeda terrorists—were discredited early in the war.
Pundits and politicians used to say they were embarrassed to have to tell their children that Bill Clinton didn’t tell the truth about his escapades. Based on recent reports, the children are still not safe. Our newest role model in the White House has been flirting with untruths on matters far more serious than personal escapades.
For centuries, Christianity’s theory of “just war” has helped religious and political leaders determine when, if ever, war is justified and how to conduct a moral military campaign. Now, as the U.S. prepares to reduce troop levels in Iraq this summer and in Afghanistan next year, the 1,500-year-old theory is being deployed on a less-familiar mission: ending the wars ethically.
What will happen if Barack Obama makes good on his promise to withdraw American troops from Iraq by 2011? One scenario is that hostilities between Iraq’s Shi‘ites and Sunnis will reignite in a destructive civil war, plunging the country into further chaos.
In the wake of recent deadly violence against Christians in northern Iraq, the top executive of the National Council of Churches has welcomed the urgent call by Samuel Kobia, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, for the UN and the Iraqi government to denounce expulsion threats against the country’s Christian minority.