I’m going to start off this post by asking that you take a look at these photos of the refugee crisis.
(Warning: The images are graphic and depict drowned humans. This is your Trigger Warning.)
The only proper reaction to seeing these is some sort of visceral reaction. Looking at the dead men, woman, and children should tear you up inside. You should want to look away, to forget. Because it shouldn’t be happening.
We can’t let ourselves forget. If we forget we’ll continue living in a world where this happens everyday, again and again, until the world bleeds to death.
Why do we live in a world where these things can happen? Because we live in a world where the dominant powers have been shaped by a dark ideology. The religious traditions of biblical Judaism, Christianity, and Islam venerate a God who kills and destroys. Their canons include “poetry” about dashing mothers to the rocks along with their children. For every call to social Justice, to raising up the poor and fighting for peace, there is a threat that God will brutally massacre those who don’t get it right. Christianity and Islam take it even further by claiming that God will punish the “wicked” forever.
I am very aware that these dark dystopic interpretations of the Abrahamic traditions are not the only interpretations, they just happen to be the most dominant in recent history, and the loudest. They are also not the only places humans get evil ideas. For every madperson claiming “God commands it” (i.e. Hitler) there are those who have no religious affiliation.
Nothing we do will ever bring back these children or their lost and broken families, There is no coming Messiah who will raise the dead to life. Who will make it okay. Their souls may find peace in some fashion, but nothing will change the reality that violence and greed have destroyed them. And will continue to destroy those like them.
Throughout history many have claimed there can be “Just War”, that by following rules War and Violence can be made more humane. I believe this is a lie. I believe the only path is put down our swords, to melt our guns and bullets down into farming and construction equipment. To spend our money on building a livable world.
“Nonviolence is the answer
to the crucial political and moral questions of our time:
the need for [humanity] to overcome oppression and violence
without resorting to oppression and violence.
[Humanity] must evolve for all human conflict
a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation.
The foundation of such a method is love.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr is only one person who despised violence and cried out for a better way. There have been many throughout Ourstory that have lived their lives on the bedrock of peace.
I took a course this summer on Transnational Feminism. A lot of the material was readings and videos that described the effect war(and poverty) has on human lives. The stories were horrible, and some of them can be found in the link at the bottom of this post. It was these stories, facts, and statistics that convinced me of the necessity of the U.N. declaring War a Crime Against Humanity and forbidding all member nations from engaging in aggressive armed conflict, except as a last resort.
And here is one of my favorite songs….