Monday, July 14, 2014

What Have We Become?

     Something deep within my soul cried out when I saw this photo of the body of a three-year-old Palestinian child being carried by mourners.  Pain shot through my body.  I wanted to look away at the horror of it all, but I made myself look.  I made myself bear witness to this tragedy.  Can you imagine having to bury your child at the tender age of three?  Mohammed Mnassrah is just one of over 20 Palestinian children killed by the Israeli airstrikes over Gaza.  Many civilian homes have been bombed.

I don't want to talk about politics.  I don't want to talk about military strategies.  I want to talk about humanity.  Was three-year-old Mohammed not human?  Did he deserve to die?  What was his crime?  Should we not mourn his death?  Should we not mourn the deaths of all innocent victims of violence?  Some say that the taking of civilian lives is inevitable because Hamas uses civilian sites and Israel must defend itself.  I ask you to lay aside your ideologies and look at the lifeless body of three-year-old Mohammed. How can we look at this picture and not feel pity?  How can we look at this picture and shrug our shoulders and say it was inevitable?

What has happened to us?  What have we become?  Have we lost our souls?  Have we lost the capacity to be human?  When the death of innocent children no longer stirs any sorrow or empathy within us, what have we become?  When we are more interested in the World Cup than the bombing of civilian homes, what have we become?  When the church is more interested in its liturgies than being a cause for justice in the world, what have we become?

I mourn for Mohammed.  I mourn for Naftali, Gilad and Eyal, the three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped and murdered.  I mourn for Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was burned alive at the age of sixteen in retaliation.   I grieve for every victim of violence, suffering and oppression.  I grieve for every person who can look upon the death of a child and talk politics and not humanity.  I long for a world where people care more about ending oppression, injustice and violence than soccer, reality television and shopping.  When good people are silent evil wins.  There must be another way.  There must be another way to resolve conflict without killing little children.  And if all of us who clam to know God do nothing to help find that way, then what have we become?

Following The Way,

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