Army Sergeant Kevin Benderman, 40, faces a military trial for refusing to return to Iraq for a second tour of duty. The trial is scheduled for May 11 at an army base in Georgia. A Tennessean of Southern Baptist background, Bendermanjoined the army in 1987, was honorably discharged in ’91 and reenlisted in 2000.
We hear about the U.S troops killed in Iraq, and we sometimes see their faces on the TV screen or staring out at us from the newspaper. The number of dead stands at about 1,442. There is a second statistic: 10,770 troops have been injured. For many of them, their bodies are terribly damaged and disfigured, and they will never be the same.
Speak of nightmares! I dreamed that on a below-zero day my garage-door opener failed. Bundling myself in down until I looked like a Green Bay Packer fan, I braved the wind and went in through a side door. I had to remember how to pull the rope for manual lifting, all the while practicing new imprecations for the garage-door makers.
Where isn't there a resounding Christian voice protesting the Iraq war?
Dec 28, 2004
After the U.S. military began its assault on insurgents in Fallujah, we received an email from a reader asking, “And where are the churches?” The writer’s assumption was that churches should be rising up with moral outrage at the destruction of an Iraqi city and the forced evacuation of its citizens.
Let me tell you about Nadia, a friend and colleague in Iraq. From May 2003 until last April she worked for a newspaper in Baghdad. Then two of its reporters were killed and its editor, after receiving repeated threats, fled the country. So Nadia was out of a job. She tried to keep busy doing translation work for various foreigners, but one was assassinated and two were kidnapped.
Syrian Catholic Archbishop Basilios Georges Casmoussa of Mosul, Iraq, had been speaking in Bangkok, Thailand, on a mid-October day to a global gathering of Catholic media specialists about religious coexistence —despite bombings in August that struck five Iraqi churches, killing at least 12 with dozens more wounded.
The Vatican and the United States were close allies during the 1980s phase of the cold war. Republican President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II seemed to campaign shoulder to shoulder to oppose Soviet communism, especially in the pontiff’s homeland of Poland, and to combat abortion.
For Sheik Mohammad Ali Mohammad al-Ghereri, a Sunni Muslim cleric in Baghdad, the question is no longer whether to tell his followers to fight the Americans, but how to assure that they wage war properly.
On a recent Sunday Iraqi Christians flocked to the Latin Catholic church in the Hashmi district of Amman, a drab working-class area in the Jordanian capital, where they joined in a mass in the ancient Chaldean language. Some 200 worshipers packed the sanctuary adorned with a simple wooden cross and a picture of the Virgin and Christ.
A proposal: Let us stop fighting one another, for a season, about issues of sexuality, so that we can focus on what God is saying to the church about our complicity in the violence that is the deepest moral crisis of our time. And let us call the church to fasting and prayer in repentance for the destruction our nation has inflicted upon the people of Iraq.