Killing for Christ
The Destructive Power of Faith

I saw today of dead and dying children in Iraq,
pictures too horrific to be

put in main stream newspapers or shown on TV,
pictures that cry to the human

soul that the pain and suffering must stop also cry
out to every true

Christian that Jesus' teachings never allowed for
such wanton slaughter.

Yet these are the innocent victims of our fanatical
dependence on the preaching

of these men who sit safely ensconced on their
splendid chairs amidst tall

vases of flowers, smiling beatifically for the

How can we witness Bush's acceptance, indeed his
encouragement, of Ariel

Sharon's savagery and not condemn his acts as
anathema to the teachings of

the Christ he proclaims as his God? How can we
suffer in silence the

ferociousness of Sharon as he spreads his hatred and
nihilism over the

bloodied landscape of the unholy lands of ancient
Palestine? Our

indifference, our silence blessed the rape of Rafah
in May, God's month of

renewal; our indifference and our silence blessed a
summer of slaughter in

the season of God's increase; and today, our
indifference and our silence

acquiesce to a season of harvest that gathers in the
dead and maimed in Gaza.

Where is the voice of America that should cry
against these killing fields,

these American supported killing fields, these
murderous rampages that

defile the love Jesus begged we have for our
neighbor, a love equal to that

we have for ourselves?

Where are the Priests, the Rabbis, the Imams, the
quiet Buddha monks, all

who claim to love humankind? Why does silence reign?
Whose voice are we

afraid of? Where are the voices of our leaders,
where is Kerry, where is

Dean, where is Edwards? Why do we hear words of
condemnation when we witness

the wanton slaughter in Beslan of children in school
yet hear not a word

when the IDF slaughters the children in the
kindergarten in Jabaliya or our

missiles miss their intended target and destroy the
lives of innocent

people? Does one mother's weeping reach our ear and
another goes unheard? I

would that every mother's cry would reach our ears
as it rents the sky that

we might know what Christ meant when he said, "Love
the Lord thy God with

thy whole heart and mind and soul, and thy neighbor
as thyself."

William Cook is a professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California. His new book, Psalms for the 21st Century, was published by Mellen Press. He can be reached at: cookb@ULV.EDU