Wednesday, March 22, 2006

An Iraq Prayer

We've been talking about what it means to be human and to be dehumanized. Then I ran across this essay on Common Dreams that quotes from the blog of Tom Fox, the Christian Peacemaker abducted and murdered in Iraq. His life in Iraq, I would suggest, amounted to an extended prayer for peace. Perhaps it is time for some prayer in the streets.
As the Common Dreams piece says:
Tom's Iraq blog is his sad and informative legacy. His last entry was written the day before he was abducted. Why are we here?

"If I understand the message of God, his response to that question is that we are to take part in the creation of the Peaceable Realm of God. As I survey the landscape here in Iraq, dehumanization seems to be the operative means of relating to each other. We are here to root out all aspects of dehumanization that exists within us. We are here to stand with those being dehumanized by oppressors and stand firm against that dehumanization. We are here to stop people, including ourselves, from dehumanizing any of God's children, no matter how much they dehumanize their own souls."

2 comments:

Karen said...

Counter purposes....at odds with self....

In military basic training, it seems that soldiers are trained to dehumanize themselves and their targeted enemies. They are told they are there for the mission of peace and social justice, but they have to be dehumanized and dehumanize the "enemy" in order to accomplish this "mission." What a quagmire! We are stuck in some 1984 double-speak loop...except it isn't fiction.

So if we are really serious about bringing peace/justice, what should we do?
How do we "stand with those being dehumanized by oppressors and stand firm against that dehumanization"?

Tom Fox and others attempted/are attempting to bring peace and justice by going to Iraq "to take part in the creation of the Peaceable Realm of God." I know he wrote in his blog about the oppression and dehumanization of others, and brought a truth to us that emphasizes the need for us to humanize all...ourselves right along with Iraqis, US soldiers, terrorists and even presidents and dictators. To humanize them (and ourselves) means that we care, love, and pray for well-being, comfort, justice and peace.

It is so much harder to see the labeled or perceived enemy just as human as we are...as one of God's children.

As I try to understand the views of all involved in this mess in Iraq, each group argues that its presence and actions are to establish justice and peace---although their actions seem to evoke quite the opposite. Do we really have this common dream of social justice and peace? Do we define these terms in the same way?

I continue to pray, to try to reach a peace within self and to understand and view others who have been portrayed as such evil beings as humans....it is such a challenge.

mr. doug said...

I read the entry which was submitted to read and my instant response is: AMEN! We are caught up in a society, culture, life and system of breaking things down, dehumanizing, and dis-gracing people and things. We mis-use and abuse the people and creation in our lives, even ourselves - essentially living lives of poor stewardship (I feel that should be one of our constant prayers, to be good stewards - goes along with being peacemakers and to act and practice justice).

So, yes, we should be in the world sharing a gospel of grace, love, and solidarity/connection/desire for relationship.