Saturday, April 21, 2007

Compassion Requires Truth and Love

My husband did a Google search on me the other night and came across two comments I made to this man's post last November. He asked me to post these comments here at The Jackalope's Voice, so here goes:

I found your link from “ROT Unmasked” post. First, I am very sympathetic to your problem with chronic pain as I too am a sufferer. My prayers go out to you that you may find mercy with those that treat you. It is a very difficult road and I cannot even begin to explain to you how my spiritual life has developed in light of this sorrow. I would encourage you to seek not only solace for your soul, but the wisdom and understanding that is found in The Bible. I thought I knew what Christianity and religion was all about having been raised in a “Christian” home. But, it wasn’t until I read the entire book for myself that I learned of the Big Picture, the magnificent puzzle that is God’s revelation to man. It opened my eyes to understanding the political world and the nature of man. It is that view that explains why I think going to Iraq was the right thing. My husband and I are conversational English partners with many people, especially from South Korea. My father served in the army in Korea and was presented with the Bronze Star for meritorius valor. A real act of bravery that would make John Kerry’s Silver Star tarnished in comparison, but I digress.

I never really understood what Korea or any subsequent war was all about, until I saw a French woman weeping and paying homage to the D-Day Paratrooper that stood in the doorway of the cellar where she and her family were hiding during the 50th year celebration. You see, they knew that if that man in the doorway was a German soldier, they would be dead. We can only appreciate the relief the family felt when it was revealed that the uniformed man in the doorway was some farmboy from the Midwest - an American, when we understand the horror of human nature. Fifty years later, this woman was overwhelmed with gratitude that a farmboy from the Midwest had thought it important to protect her freedom and liberty. I watched this happen on t.v. and I was moved to tears. I now understood. And likewise, these people that I meet from South Korea, they all tell of the gratitude that they have of men like my father because they know it was only through men like him and the grace of God that prevented them from living in the terror that is North Korea. Evil must be confronted at all times, from the school yard bully, to the government that threatens to wipe another free people off the face of the earth.

This is not politic, this is the fact of living in a fallen world, as we religious zealots would say. If we see evil and do not confront it, then we are not men. Iraq is the place were that is happening. If we leave without victory, then we will each be responsible for the genocide that will take place as every Iraqi with a purple-stained finger will be eradicated so that the new totalitarian regime can establish their “utopia”. All people yearn to be free, but human nature rears up its ugly head and wants to control and be in power over others. That is the nature of this fallen world.

Again, I am so sorry that you suffer such pain. I am home from church today because I just have to stay off my feet because of my pain. It is constant and then more than I can bear. I’m grieved to know that someone young is having to suffer so. I will pray for you.

I would like to participate in ROT’s Vincent, you and the others mentioned in the post to get a new perspective on Texas and U.S. politics.

Nancy Coppock

Here is his response:
Thank you for commenting Nancy. I can see you have your view and it is rooted in your spirituality. I have to admire that… but I also have to disagree with it. For every South Korean or French family that rejoices remembering an American soldier in their doorway, there is a Vietnamese family that remembers the sight of an American with horror. I wish I could believe that everytime we send out soldiers somewhere, we do it because we are right and we are fighting evil. But I can’t anymore. When I was a child, I saw the world in black and white, good vs. evil. When I grew up, I discovered there was only grey. The world hasn’t fallen; it is as it always was.

Probably my view is also reflective of my spirituality. I have long wanted to believe in a God, a supreme being who keeps the universe just and fair. But faith, by its very definition, is a kind of ignorance. It is unquestioning belief in the absence of evidence. I could never be happy with myself or with the universe if it is reliant on self-imposed ignorance. I need proof, I need evidence, I need to see and to know.

That’s why when I see what we’re doing in Iraq, I can’t just sit back and have faith that we’re right and that we’ll be victorious. The evidence I see seems to suggest that our presence there is only making things worse.

My reply:
I love that! Who says that there is a Vietnamese family that remembers an American soldier with horror? Several years ago I had a discussion with the college student son of the owners of the Vietnamese restaurant my family patronized. I apologized to him that for all he and his family had been through that when they finally get to America, we turn around and elected our own version of his oppressors, Bill Clinton. I was just talking out of the blue to this young man. We had never spoken before. He readily agreed with me, adding that the Democratic Party was like the communists his family had fled, in that they always made big promises that would never be kept. He said people would vote for the Democrats because they wanted something, but it would never work out like they thought.

Now, I realize that this is anecdotal, but I would propose that the idea of the fear of American soldiers is a myth and that the truth is what the people actually say. Of course there are the incidents of criminal behavior but I would chalk that up to human nature of the individual rather than to cast aspersions on the entire group. For instance, if a member of your high school commited a crime, does that mean the entire alumni are all criminals? In the larger picture, America is good. Indeed, my Korean friend only yesterday was commenting that compared to the rest of the world, America was the least corrupt nation that he had ever known. So, it would seem even our dirtiest slime, is cleaner than any other nation’s slime. I laughed, of course, because I decry any slime, at any time. So, maybe you are looking through the eyeglasses in reverse. Maybe, it’s time to change your perspective. You are still young.

In our spiritual discussion, I would remind you that we do live in a fallen world. Because we yearn for something different is truly evidence that this is not our home. Why would we desire something that doesn’t seem to exist if it truly does not exist? Man is imperfect, of that I am sure! And this world is certainly not just….or the ugly people would have all the money, to quote a line from Laurie Anderson. ha! But seriously, that does not mean a perfect God does not exist. Or that because of the vulgar nastiness of human nature, we should not strive to live beyond those baser instincts. If you think THIS world is bad, just consider what it could be like should the few cease striving after the sublime! We would become the horror of Commander Kurtz in “Apocolypse Now” which was not really a movie about the truth of the war, but actually a commentary on the darkness of the human heart as written by Joseph Conrad.

Faith is actually a gift from God [link added 4-21-07]. It’s not really anything we are capable of creating. Faith is a gift and gifts must be accepted and opened to be enjoyed. For this reason, so many people lack faith because it does come from God and we willingly refuse the gift. Faith is not a magic act or trick that we fool our minds with. That truly is the definition of ignorance and therefore deplorable in the eyes of God. Faith is not ceasing in our questioning, indeed true faith is an ever expanding gift. Sort of like a Russian matroska doll in reverse.

In the war on terror, we can not have faith we will be victorious, because faith without works is dead. However, we must be resolved to accept nothing short of victory because to lose is to exchange our way of life for slavery to an alien ideology. To be defeated will end our way of life. This is an enemy that will not just sit in the land that they would then dominate. This is an enemy that will track our way of life down to the ends of the earth. I can not willingly flinch into a future like the movie Brazil with bombs going off in the mall and life trying to ignore it or an ideology tracking even my thoughts into the recesses of my mind. And people think Christian Republicans are the enemy? Hello? You and I are just enjoying a sparing of wits and ideas, there is no burka to throw over you or a sword in my hand. We need to pray to the Almighty that we are victorious in this fight, not only for liberty and freedom for others, but for our own precious way of life. There’s nothing more like the spirit of anti-christ when a people would kill anyone in the name of God!

Your blog title says that you are a cripple. What is your condition and the cause of your pain? I truly care for your position and I share in your sorrows. Truly, this world is not our home. I would again encourage you to pick up the Bible to discover more about the great mystery of God’s revelation of Himself to us. Abraham searched for the city whose foundations were laid by God and this was counted as righteousness to him. Knock and the door will be opened unto you. Seek Him and you shall find Him. I know this is true, that once I was blind, but now I see and no one can debunk that which I am totally aware of what happened.

With sincerity,
the jackalope’s voice