Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The War In Iraq - Is This God's Will?

Search For God
Is bringing democracy to Iraq in accordance with God’s wishes? I’ve heard a lot about God’s Kingdom, but I never heard anyone call it God’s parliament or congress. When did the concept of spreading democracy and freedom in the Middle East become a basis for faith in the righteousness of going to war? When did God sanction the concept of a preemptive war to promulgate American interests? When did this war become God’s will?

When President Bush was asked by Bob Woodward of the Washington Post if he had consulted with the former President before ordering the invasion of Iraq, Bush replied that, “ he is the wrong father to appeal to in terms of strength; there is a higher father that I appeal to.” But can we hold God responsible for everything. I think that sometimes we have to take responsibility for our own actions.

I think that people that go to war usually believe that they have God on their side no matter which side they are on. But does God actually take sides in conflicts that involve different philosophies or religious beliefs? Aren’t we all God’s children? Why would He want us to fight with and kill each other?

I always thought that both Christian and Muslim religions preached love and kindness for other people. Perhaps it is the more radical elements within each religion that preach the concept of my way or the highway. Is it the will of the people to allow our religious beliefs to be radicalized or have we allowed small fanatical elements in both religions to seize control of our emotions and force us into a war we really don’t want and don’t believe in, using the name of the Almighty whether it is God or Allah.

Recent polls indicate that more than sixty percent of the American public doesn’t believe in the war with Iraq. The cost of the war includes twenty-four hundred Americans killed, seventeen thousand wounded, and more than thirty thousand Iraqis killed. Is this terrible price in terms of lost humanity God’s will? The cost of the war in money to America is more than six billion a month, presumably at the expense of domestic social projects. The cost in suffering and stress to all people of good faith seems to me to be incalculable and too high. Is it God’s will that America bring freedom and liberty to the whole world whether or not they want to be liberated?

Recent surveys indicate that approximately eighty percent of Iraqis want American forces out of their country. They view us as occupiers not liberators. If democracy in some form is to come to Iraq, I don’t believe Americans can force it down their throats. The country seems poised at the brink of a civil war. We had our own civil war. I don’t think it is our business to participate in another countries internal conflicts. One has to question whether our participation in what may well turn out to be a fiasco in the name of democratization is really God’s will.

How can we justify or rationalize creating insecurity in another country to foster a greater sense of security in our own country? Is this God’s will? I think that instead of forcing our opinions and western style democratic beliefs on people of other religious backgrounds in Muslim countries, we would be better served to learn how to live in peace with people who do not have a democratic tradition and do not share our philosophies or beliefs on separation of church and state in government. Is it God’s will to remake Muslim beliefs into an American style Christian-Judaic political ethic?

Perhaps it is time to turn inward and look into our own souls to find the mercy and kindness that I believe to be God’s will. Perhaps it is time for America to stop trying to remake the world in our own image. Perhaps it is time to give peace a chance. Perhaps it is time to try asking God for his guidance in this matter instead of predetermining and interpreting His will in accordance with our own personal desires and philosophies. Maybe what we have to do is to have a little more compassion and understanding for other people’s point of view.