(Sunday Homily) As Our Bombs Fly, I Can’t Say “Happy Easter!” Can You?


It’s Easter. But I can hardly bring myself to say “Happy Easter.” That’s because the world is once again rushing towards war – the antithesis of the holiday’s celebration of life. And it’s being led in that direction by a nation where 70-75% claim somehow to follow the risen Christ.

[BTW did you notice that just last Thursday Christian fundamentalists dropped (on Afghanistan tribal lands) the largest Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) since Hiroshima and Nagasaki?]

What hypocrisy!

But why the bombing in Syria? Get ready . . .  It’s because of our “enemy’s” deployment of weapons of mass destruction! In Syria, it’s about chemical weapons! It’s about a leader who absolutely must be removed from office because he so resembles Adolph Hitler.

Sound familiar?

What’s his name again?

Wrong if you say Saddam Hussein or Slobodan Milosevic, or Manuel Noriega. This time it’s Bashar al-Assad. What a beast! He’s killed so many children!

But what about the victims of their WMDs, you ask – the children poisoned?

What about the poisoned children in Flint Michigan, I might ask? We stand by silent as they’re allowed to drink water contaminated by lead. Oh, but I forgot; those are American children – and they’re mostly black. And as we all know, black lives don’t matter. They’re on their own. We obviously have greater responsibility for poisoned Syrian kids. (Imagine the unborn fetuses that were killed!) We simply must protect them all from death at the hands of the dictator du jour.

Apparently we’ve forgotten about the 500,000 children our sanctions killed in Iraq during the 1990s. That was o.k. It must have been. Madeleine Albright said so.

Apparently we’ve forgotten about the millions (!) of children in Yemen currently threatened by famine directly induced by the U.S.-Saudi coalition which has been bombing that country non-stop for more than two years. We do nothing for them except continue the mayhem.

But that’s o.k. too. After all, our leaders tell us bombing is the solution to any problem you might care to name. It’s all justified. And besides Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East. Poor people (especially so far away) don’t really matter either. It’s the arms manufacturers Raytheon, Motorola, Boeing, and their billionaire owners who really count. They’re our neighbors – on Wall Street.

Have you noticed; the stock market is soaring?

And, of course, the record shows that our leaders have been right – in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia. Aren’t we proud of the freedom, democracy, and peace our own WMDs have brought those benighted lands?

And (once again!) the press is cheerleading it all. Check the newspapers. Look at CNN. Hardly a single editorial has criticized the rush to war. Brian Williams finds our Cruise Missiles “beautiful.”

On Easter Sunday, doesn’t all of this seem ironic – and infuriating?

That’s because everything I’ve just described is terribly out-of-sync with the Christian faith so many Americans claim as their own. Jesus was non-violent. He refused to take up arms to defend himself or his friends. He had no fear of death. Or rather, he overcame his fear and endured torture and death on behalf of others. Protecting himself by sacrificing others was not Jesus’ Way. Quite the opposite.

Imagine if 70-75% of U.S. citizens refused to succumb to today’s war fever because of our faith in Jesus’ Way. Imagine if we called upon that faith to demand that President Trump sober up, stop the bombing, and abjure permanent war that is the cause (not the solution) of the Mid-East’s problems.

A faith like that would be worth embracing; it would make a difference. It might allow Jesus’ followers to say (and truly mean) “Happy Easter!”

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Mike Rivage-Seul's Blog

Emeritus professor of Peace & Social Justice Studies. Liberation theologian. Activist. Former R.C. priest. Married for 45 years. Three grown children. Six grandchildren.

6 thoughts on “(Sunday Homily) As Our Bombs Fly, I Can’t Say “Happy Easter!” Can You?”

  1. Good one Mike! Here’s a post I put on Consortium News (which I highly recommend)…….

    CitizenOne, your theory sounds like the Great Game fantasies of the neocons. The picture it paints is of manageable chaos. The problem is that chaos refuses to fit itself to our scenarios. This script is similar to what many expect of global climate disruption; they think it will follow a predictable, logical course. For those familiar with chaos theory, this is an unlikely hope. Chaos theory is an elaboration of the uncertainty principle, not a guarantee of predictable, controllable sequences.

    As complexity increases in a system, the chances of a sudden unexpected shift or breakdown increases. The human created situation on Earth today is one of the most complex that we can imagine; it is correspondingly unstable. The famous butterfly effect (sensitive dependence on initial conditions) can manifest now triggering tipping points that will take us into new and dangerous territory literally overnight.

    If there were ever a more clear example of this situation it is the real possibility of all-out nuclear war. The nuclear powers on Earth are in a classic Mexican standoff at this very moment. These deadly arsenals are aimed at each other on hair trigger very short readiness to be launched times. There are no really effective defenses against these weapons once launched – to believe so is a dangerous illusion. Once one of the Mexican standoff participants pulls the trigger, all hell will break loose, and our specie’s time on Earth will become very short from there.

    It is the most dangerous delusion of the neocons that they can indulge in escalating threats and even actually initiate limited nuclear war, or even engage in a massive preemptive strike against all their nuclear opponents, and somehow survive and control the aftermath of such a huge fatal mistake.

    The path to peaceful resolution of the nuclear standoff may seem difficult, at times impossible, but the alternative has been properly named MADNESS.


    1. Thanks so much for sharing this post, Mike — and for putting me on to Consortium News. I’ll check it out. You’ve put your finger on the two most menacing problems we face — climate change and the threat of nuclear war. As you say, they’re both unpredictable in so many ways. The Neo-cons and Trumpsters are throwing caution to the winds. We all stand to lose.


  2. Jim – My response is on the website. Just bring up the site, and it should be there, I’m looking at it on my PC.


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