Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More war stories

I've already admitted to the unlikely habit of playing an online war game... Many of the other players there are military veterans so naturally the social chatter part of the game often turns to war as well. This morning I was talking with a couple of guys and one made a profound point about human nature that I want to explore. He said, "...human beings are war-like in nature, yet we crave peace and security. We are the only creatures who see war as a means to peace."

War as a means to peace...

We seek peacefulness yet describe our day to day life in the language of war. From the moment we are born, it seems, acts and talk of war surround us. Who hasn't observed a BATTLE of wills between a parent and child? Picked a FIGHT about something silly? Hurled WEAPONS (though they might have been cleverly disguised as sticks, stones, food or toys) at a childhood playmate? Engaged in a WAR of words with a loved one? Felt inner CONFLICT about an important life decision? Talked about ATTACKING that mountain of laundry? Had a yard INVADED by bugs in the summer? Said the clutter is the ENEMY? Spoken phrases like "SHOT myself in the foot" or "dropped the BOMB?" Described a tense situation as EXPLOSIVE? Or felt the need to RETREAT and seek solace another way when things didn't turn out the way we wanted?

Our churches are filled with scriptures describing great battles and hymns glorifying war with "we are all enlisted 'til the conflict is o'er... happy are we, happy are we" and "He hath loosed His terrible swift sword" echo through the halls.

We celebrate war and war heroes as a nation. Look at the memorials dotting Washington DC and think about the reason behind many of our national holidays.

And I'm not saying any of this is wrong... just pointing out that our actions don't match our words. Though we imagine ourselves as peaceful and loving, we are very fluent in the language of war. And that is the great dichotomy of mankind... we go to war every day hoping to find peace.

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