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thoughts on Syria [xposted from FB]

Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.

The situation with Syria is truly depressing, not just for the obvious reasons of more violence and misery and the likelihood of American complicity in at least some of it if we get involved, but also because it reminds me of all the things that are broken in the world.

We need a news media that accurately educates us on the fact of the matter, so we can have an informed opinion. We need a culture whose first response to moral outrage isn’t to reach for a gun (or a drone, or a smart bomb, or whatever). And perhaps most importantly, speaking as a Christian, we need a church less obsessed with political slight and culture wars and more devoted to developing the ethic of neighbor-love and enemy-love that was at the center of what Jesus actually taught. And we need a culture of vulnerability and self-sacrifice rather than of protection and strength.

Maybe the appropriate reaction would still be to get involved militarily. I don’t know enough of the situation to actually make that decision – maybe love of the people on the ground in Syria means going in and uprooting Assad, or maybe it doesn’t. But because we have such a poor understanding of these issues, both within the church and the culture generally, it seems we slip into war after war entirely too easily, and we do it in a rather uncritical way.

I’m part of the problem. I don’t talk about this issue nearly enough. I don’t think or read about it enough, either. And it’s depressing that I’m not better ready to think about situations like this and act so far as I can. I’d promise to do better in the future, but I know myself well enough to know I’ll probably slide right back into that minutia and false controversy that’s so much more comfortable in situations like this.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
mrowe
Aug. 29th, 2013 03:31 am (UTC)
Hmm, as long as the perpetrator of the most recent gas has still not been shown to be the Syrian government, and the UN inspectors' report on the attack back in May pinned that one on the rebels, all this war talk is more than a bit premature - nor will any attack and/or regime change improve the lot of the Syrian people in either the short or the long term.
marta_bee
Aug. 29th, 2013 03:36 am (UTC)
That's definitely the sense I've gotten, Nath. There seems to be a lot of saber-rattling and misinformation - in some circles (and not really limited to one part of the political spectrum) it seems an accepted fact that Assad is committing genocide and that attacking him will stop the killing. Neither fact seems settled to me.
julifolo
Aug. 29th, 2013 05:59 pm (UTC)
I'll probably time for the WW III refugee recuring nightmares :(

Basically, I don't see how adding more violence will help, especially with the bad track record USA has had on "humanitarian" interventions. Usually things wind up worse, not better.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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