April 22 Midweek News
Welcome to our Unity of Columbus Newsletter.
Over the past 100 years, our nation has been in six major wars: WWI, WWII, Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and Iraq
None of these wars were popular with Congress at the time. There was not an overwhelming majority of citizens in favor of them either.
However, by the time we entered each war, there was a groundswell of support. Patriotism became the cultural devotion of the people.
Leading up to the Iraq War, Americans were feeling fear and hurt from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Yet, somewhere between 40 and 50% of us did not want to go to war. There were different reasons but the result was the same – they did not want war.
If you watched the news media of the time, virtually all the stories were about the justification for war. The only voices being heard in the media were those advocating war.
That is what is called “selling the war.”
It happened in all six wars. The main stream media became the mouthpiece for our elected leaders to sell the war.
Selling war is easy. You identify an enemy, create a moral high ground (we are good, they are evil), establish the danger, feed the fear and enroll people to follow the call for God and country.
In the time leading up to our six wars, there was very little media attention to the side for peace (virtually none for the Iraq War). The 50% for the war received all the attention, the 50% against almost none. The result was that by the time the war started, it had an approval rating of about 75%. That is how you sell war.
But what about the voices who were opposed to war; what about the voices for peace? How do you sell peace?
Nonviolence is always the more difficult path but the only path that leads to lasting peace. In Unity we know that what we give our attention to, grows. If we focus on war, we create war. If we focus on peace, we create peace.
In a nation so deeply grounded in religious beliefs, it seems improbable that war is easier to sell than peace. The problem is that our religious leaders have changed their loyalties from God to country. Instead of uniting with followers of Jesus worldwide, they unite with politicians in our country. They place patriotism over religion or rather, patriotism becomes a foundational piece of their religion.
What can Unity do? We can continue our path of spiritual education. We can remind our Christian brothers and sisters what Jesus taught, “Love your enemies.” If we are to sell peace, we must start by changing the first step in selling war. Instead of identifying enemies, we are called to love them.
Join us any Sunday as we practice following the nonviolent, loving way of Jesus even in church!
As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying,
“If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.”
Luke 19: 41, 42