The Klamath Basin Peace Forum

March 24, 2006

Three years too many

Filed under: Uncategorized — kbpeaceforum @ 4:10 pm

On Sunday, March 19, 2006, several individuals (about 15) marked the 3rd Anniversary of the beginning of the “War” in Iraq by staging an Overpass Event overlooking Highway 97 in Klamath Falls. We had signs that read “Bring ‘Em On Home” with the “On” x’ed out, and “Three Years Too Long.”

One individual stopped. He recognized this writer from press releases and asked if I were a minister. When I confirmed this fact, he asked me if I had read Romans 13. I had.

Romans 13
To Be a Responsible Citizen
1Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. 2If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. 3Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear.

Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you’ll get on just fine, 4the government working to your advantage. But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it. 5That’s why you must live responsibly–not just to avoid punishment but also because it’s the right way to live.

6That’s also why you pay taxes–so that an orderly way of life can be maintained. 7Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes, pay your bills, respect your leaders. 8Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. 9The law code–don’t sleep with another person’s spouse, don’t take someone’s life, don’t take what isn’t yours, don’t always be wanting what you don’t have, and any other “don’t” you can think of–finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself. 10You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.

11But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. 12The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. 13We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. 14Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!

The bold and italics are my emphasis. This passage tells us to respect the government and to understand that all governing authority is under the blessing of God. It also says “Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order.” I beleive that there is no peace and there is no order under this administration. I further beleive, that the mandate of government when Paul wrote to the Church in Rome was not “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Government was in power by economic and military might. There was no choice, no democracy, no freedom of conviction. I am the government. Looking honestly at how government is in error is a responsibility of good citizenship. This government has shown time and time again a disregard for the poor, a disregard for the truth, a disregard for the sick and homeless. This government supports the wealthy and the corporate greed that has run up the governmental debt in America’s history.

This government does not follow the basis of law that this scripture quotes. It does not seem, at least not from this writer’s perspective, follow the injunction”Love other people as well as you do yourself. 10You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.”

The individual who asked me about the passage made the statement that I was not a very good witness to this scripture. With repsect for his opinion and interpretation of these words, I must disagree. I am withness to the actions of prophets who have been called to hold the king responsible when he is not doing God’s will. This administration took us to war based on false witness. This administration is taking us deeper and deeper into debt to finance militarism and colonialism in the Middle East. This administratioin is ignoiring the plight of the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the veterans who sacrifice so much for its questionalbe causes, and the children.

When there is peace and order, and the clarions of war are silenced, when the poor are afforded the same opportunities for housing and health care and food as the welathiest of Americans and the world, when citizens can express their opinions about public policies without fear of being branded unpatriotic, I will honor the government under God.

David

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