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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 95 - 1/19/2003
How Do You Feel About War?
‘Yes I'm talking about this war dance/ A patriotic romance./And I know all you poets/Have seen it all before…’ – Colin Moulding, XTC
Colin: ‘The words were originally prompted by the Falklands War in 1982. But it was too much on one piece of history. Then along came the Persian Gulf War and I put the revised lyrics to a new piece of music. It was time to bring war out of the closet again.’
And again, it would seem. How do you, from your own spiritual perspective or tradition, view and/or cope with the ideals and realities of war and armed conflict?
Do your political leanings influence how you feel?
Do you have a difficult time explaining/defending/advocating your position to other Pagans or Heathens? Non-Pagans?
| Reponses: There are 153 responses posted to this question.
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| Peace And Non-violent Resistance ||Jan 20th. at 6:32:01 pm EST|
|Bittersweet (New Jersey, USA) ||Age: 29 - Email |
War is morally wrong. There are always other avenues open when you want to change the world. Human beings working together, in harmony with each other and with the Earth, will always be more powerful than guns and tanks. The war machine needs labor in order to function. It needs complacency and silence. It needs ignorance and helplessness.
When the people are empowered, when the people reach out to their neighbors as equals, then the war machine stops in its tracks. Having the power and using it are two different things. This applies to a government with the power to slaughter thousands of human beings and desecrate the sacred Earth. It also applies to the people who have the power to put an end to it: by no longer participating, by no longer conceding their will by remaining silent, by no longer feeding the fires of hate and destruction.
No matter the material difference between the wealthy and the poor, the privileged and the excluded -- all human beings are equal. That is a fundamental truth. Bullets do not change that. Power does not change that.
As a Pagan, as a Witch, I am dedicated to Goddess and to the Earth and to all who dwell here. I cannot stand silent in the face of pain and destruction. I am not helpless. None of us are helpless. War is morally wrong, whether it is the United States dropping bombs on Iraqi soldiers, or the United Nations sanctions that have driven so many Iraqi children into an early grave. It is wrong whether it is an American president calling human beings from another country "evil," or the American government curtailing the freedom of its own citizens.
Who is at war here? Who is "us" and who "them"? Or is the question itself the issue?
There are no foreigners. Goddess Bless.
| War.....its Life ||Jan 20th. at 8:15:27 pm EST|
|Joshua (Van Buren, AR) ||Age: 14 - Email |
I'm for war. maybe because I have this little black tick in me that identifies and connects with "brutal" ares. I thrive on destruction (yes, i have had proffesional help) but not all the time. but i think war is life. its going to happen plain and simple. i dont think there are many choices besides war like some people state. i htink there are three basic choices, war,peace,being lazy and having a cold war. and i think sometimes yo udont have a choice but war. i mean you dont HAVE to push the red button, but if you dont then your right hand wo/man will. so im for war. ares could be my patron god then. but i think war is good, war is "evil" either way its going to happen. and even though i dont liek the military, id join if i could.
| 'tis Hard To Be Patriotic And Anti-war ||Jan 20th. at 8:41:07 pm EST|
|Autumn (Greenville, NC) ||Age: 19 - Email |
I am very much against the war for many reasons. However, what I am most concerned about are the attitudes that some Americans who support the war are taking towards those who are opposed to it. On my university's forum, a veteran, and several others began a post on anti-war demonstrations and related sites. We were greeted by an abundance of verbal abuse- I was called a tree humping hippie, and the poor veteran was told - get this - that as a veteran HE owed the military and was a traitor. He was even told by someone to stop accepting his retirement checks!! It was also said that we were not to be talking about our government. It's unpatriotic. Ha! Ever heard of the constitution?? Oh, the musings of the uneducated...
| Out Of The Mouths Of Babes ||Jan 20th. at 9:08:00 pm EST|
|lilith (lost angeles) ||Age: 33 - Email |
comes practically no wisdom at all. once again, the bible is wrong. dear me. however will i cope?
first of all, joshua, war is not life. war is death. and invoking the god of war lightly is not particularly bright. he is no respector of persons, and that would include you. you would fall into the definition of cannon fodder.
second, i dont know who said it, that the allies were "kicking hitler's a**" before the US joined the second world war, but that is patently absurd. there are several really good books on the subject of the second world war, and i would suggest you read them. the allies, by which i assume you mean britain, france, scandanavia, et al., were completely snowed under by the nazi army and/or the luftwaffe, and unfortunately it took US involvement to break that particular stranglehold.
i say unfortunately because i believe war, all war, is wrong, period. the things that happened during the second world war, our "good" war, on all sides, makes me sick and ashamed when i read about them or, more rarely these days, hear about them, since my family was involved on both fronts in all branches of the service and the stories they told from time to time sure dont do much to boost the idea that war is a good and just thing. i think from time to time, and that is very very rarely, it is necessary, but that doesnt make it good. it might be a slightly lesser wrong than another, and in circumstances such as those a case can be made for it.
the current situation re: iraq, however, cannot under any circumstances be justified. we have not been attacked by this country. the world is not in imminent danger of this country. the world is in plenty of imminent danger from other arenas. and war will undoubtedly make an already fragile situation in both the middle east in general and the so-called "war on terrorism" in particular even more complicated, dangerous, and volatile. it will cost everyone more than the trillions of dollars that could be spent better elsewhere. the people who are agitating to wage war are not doing so with trepidition and a heavy heart, which is the only way in which war should be approached.
instead we are seeing a constant pro-war jingoism emitting from CNN, from the white house, and from the united states armed forces-- those old lies, "dulce et decorum est pro patria mori", we will keep the world safe for democracy and human rights, war is the way to peace, and blah blah blah.
i dont believe that it is realistically possible to reconcile a love of nature, a love of freedom, and a love of personal responsiblity with a love or even an optimistic acceptance of war.
war should be the very last of last possible resorts. and this iraq situation simply does not even come close to being justified in that context.
| The Last Possible Choice ||Jan 20th. at 9:43:52 pm EST|
|Stormwind (Canada) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I work for the Canadian military and consider myself a Warrior as well as a Pagan.
Soldiers know that if there is war, they will be among the first to die.
Few warriors desire war.
However, I believe that sometimes, when reason and diplomacy and justice fail, and someone is bound and determined to inflict pain on me and mine, that I have the right to protect myself and mine in self defense.
I wish it were not so. I wish people would always be willing to listen and compromise. Some people, like Hitler and Osama Bin Laden, are not. To stop them from inflicting pain, we must fight.
I do not believe that there is any justification for the US declaring war on Iraq the way things stand now.
The question, however, is what do you think of war. I think war is terrible, I think war destroys innocent lives, I think the repercussions of war are felt for decades after the guns fall silent. I think wars are fought too often for the wrong reasons.
But I think that sometimes, in order to protect what is good, one must raise up arms to defend themselves. I would do so knowing that I was doing so against another human being who is probably a lot like me in many ways--and this knowledge would prevent me from ever growing too fond of war, the last resort.
| War, A Human Legacy ||Jan 20th. at 10:46:34 pm EST|
|Spooky Tooth (Atlanta) ||Age: 48 - Email |
We (humans) as a species are in default. Free will without total consciousness mandates failure. Perhaps one day soon (I HOPE) we will obtain that enlightenment; least we lose our freedom, our humanity, our lives. Until then, war is a part of our legacy_ and a sad legacy indeed it is.
| War Is A Horrible Destruction Of Humanity ||Jan 20th. at 11:31:00 pm EST|
|Nicholas (Florida) ||Age: 18 - Email |
I personally think that war is terrible. I can remember as far back to when I was a child always wondering why people had to fight. I just do not understand why everything has to be the way it is. Humans are probably the most territorial beings there are. Wars are fought for the silliest reasons like land rights, religion, politics, and just plain ego. I mean let's face it people are all different. We will never be one race or creed. That is what makes this world so great. I just wish that people could realize these things. We need to leave everyone alone and let them live within their cultures the way they always have. WHY CANT WE ALL JUST GET ALONG??!!!
| So Wrong ... ||Jan 20th. at 11:44:42 pm EST|
|Luna (Clearwater, FL) ||Age: 17 - Email |
I saw a very interesting bumper sticker that said "War does not determine who is right, only who's left." I agree with that entirely! I have never agreed with war, so my discovery of Wicca had nothing to do with these views. Personally, I don't see how anyone with a heart and conscience could applaud war and death! No matter what, there will always be terrorism. Killing the terrorists makes them martyrs to others, and the idea of terrorism thrives.
My only wish is that someday all the countries of this Earth can find points of agreement and tolerance. What the world needs is negotiation and peace ... definitely not war.
| My Ramblings ||Jan 20th. at 11:53:30 pm EST|
|Starchilde (Wisconsin) ||Age: 20 - Email |
War is hell. I don't really want a war, because i am a firm believer in that famous phrase. I have not witnessed war and frankly i don't want to. But over the evolution of humankind, we have shown ourselves to be very proficient at it. It has also caused great techological advancements. The ancient Celts fought, the Gauls, the Germanic tribes, Mongolians, Japan had it's samurai and Shogun, the Spartans lived for it, the Romans perfected it, and now we, as an era, have made it more deadly. Horses, swords, shields, and bows have given way to nuclear missiles, tanks, and airstrikes. If we go to war, we could very well wipe out the entire planet.
I also believe that in some situations it is necessary. when two peoples have such a difference of opinion they cannot resolve with non-lethal means, then by all means, let them have at it. Its called survival of the fittest. That may very well be whats wrong with the world. We have gotten away from the natural order of things, where the smart and strong live another day and the loosers decompose without leaving a trace that they were here besides bones. its why we as a species have grown to be the dominant species. we are smarter, have better resources, bigger guns and, of course, thumbs that make us the top of the food chain. the only predators we have (as a species) is ourselves. all we can really do is sit back, hope our leaders keep us alive, and enjoy the fact that if we manage to wipe ourselves off the planet, then at least the animals have a chance to live and grow populous once more, unless all the nuclear fallout turns us into indiscriminate mutants that kill every thing insight, but don't mind me i have a tendancy to read to many books and a tendancy to ramble as you have just read.
| No ||Jan 21st. at 1:09:06 am EST|
|Alan (Albuquerque) ||Age: 46 - Email |
A lawyer once told me that in civil litigation if a trial occurred than the process had broken down. What he was saying was that if the parties had not recognized their best possible result ealier and settled on it, then one or both were being stupid. War is correlary.
| Make Love, Not War ||Jan 21st. at 3:22:54 am EST|
|Calitha (Redford, Michigan) ||Age: 40 - Email |
War is somtimes a neccessary thing. When we are attacked it is natural for us to defend ourselves, especially when we know who our attackers are. War to defend our freedom and way of life, that is a cause for war, but to attack innocent, or even not so innocent parties, as a way to raise your numbers in the polls, or to settle a score that started with your father, or to occupy and control a country for it's resources is wrong. So am i for or against war? That is a question not easily answered. I fear for those who make war, and i pray for the safe return of our soldiers, and i worry for the children of the countries at war. I think the Cranberries said it best, "in times of war we're all the losers there's no victory, we fight to kill and kill our brother."
Light Candles for Peace!
| OPPOSED ||Jan 21st. at 4:12:58 am EST|
|Moon (New York) ||Age: 41 - Email |
I believe this war is about oil and old scores to settle. I don't believe it is about our national security. Not only is it costly in monetary terms, but the fact that innocent people will die makes it far more costly. As far as I am concerned, not one human life is worth all the oil in the world. This is going to be a bloody, nasty fight....another Vietnam, if you will. We don't need to do this and we shouldn't. There are other alternatives and I think those should be depleted before we jump into a war.
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