I can’t help but feel that after 9/11 and a decade spent entrenched in the War on Terror that many Americans have become de-sensitized to the infinite value intrinsic to every human life. Too often I find myself arguing with people who are stuck in the mindset that American lives are innately more valuable than other lives and, well, as for the lives of muslims in the Middle East . . . these people treat their pet dog with more respect.
If you or someone you know is suffering from a case of life-is-valuable-only-when-its-convenient syndrome then please go here and re-sensitize yourself to humanity.
On June 23, 2006, Pope Benedict called for ‘serene and peaceful co-existence’ in the Middle East. Referring to Eastern Catholic Churches in the Holy Land, the Pope said
“the serious difficulties it is going through because of profound insecurity, lack of work, innumerable restrictions and consequent growing poverty, are a cause of pain for us all… I invite pastors, faithful, and everyone in positions of responsibility in the civil community, to favour mutual respect between cultures and religions, and to create as soon as possible the conditions for serene and peaceful coexistence throughout the Middle East.”
America has repeatedly ignored the Pope’s frequent messages of peace, however, instead inciting violence in the Middle East at almost every opportunity. If we want to see an end to the conflict in the Middle East we must first treat our Muslim brothers and sisters in Christ with the respect their humanity deserves or we will only push them towards greater and greater acts of retribution against us.
Ultranationalism is plaguing our country at the expense of true patriotism and as a result we have such odious political conglomerates as bigpeace.com which purports that efforts to expand peace throughout the world are purely some leftist ploy to power. Peace is not like government; whereas big government results in such despotisms like corporatism, “big” or widespread peace is precisely what our Christian values demand we pursue. After all, the alternative to peace is war and who can possibly believe that serial war abroad is better than peace? Unfortunately this seems precisely the mindset of bigpeace.com. Rick Santorum unwittingly illustrated the absurdity of this mindset when he likened the Iraq war to fighting the supreme evil of Mordor. Really? Have we stooped so low as to characterize the Middle East in terms of analogies for Hell? Remember, this is the same Iraq war condemned as unjust by two separate popes.
The political pundits of Big Peace are so enslaved to ultranationalism that even when common ground is discovered between Muslims and America’s conservative Christians they are quick to spin it as yet another imminent threat to the American way of life. In response to efforts to work with Muslims to stop abortion, Big Peace writer Diana West stated the following:
Making “common cause” with Muslim states to vote down pro-abortion law at the UN becomes dangerous if and when it means constructing a Trojan Horse by which proponents of sharia make their stealthy advance into regions of respectability in the West that would otherwise be closed to them as sworn enemies of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Apparently, maintaining ethnic purity within the United States is more important than the lives of 52 million children. Its no wonder that in a recent statement Pope Benedict XVI said that America is “increasingly hostile to Christianity.” Instead of valuing nationalism above all else we need to return to our Christian values of charity, self-denial, humility and peace, recognize the infinite value in every human life, promote cultural exchange, free trade, a strong diplomatic presence globally, and replace serial warfare abroad with a strong national defense at home. Only then can we expect to see progress in the Middle East and improve our own security – to say nothing of the restoration of the soul of America.