Killing in the name

nazarene-kids_1406

They start ’em young.

While on my way to test a friend’s vintage lens in the street, I ran into a procession, mostly of children taking turns carrying a replica of the Nazarene in a procession on one of the side streets of Manila. This while the religious and some of our so-called “statesmen” call for blood and vengeance.

Religion is a very dominant influence among the masses in this country, where roughly 80 percent (not an accurate estimate) are Christian Catholics. A procession like this means the community around it is soon to celebrate a feast of whoever the community’s patron saint is. This image was taken a few days after our country declared a national day of mourning over the deaths of 44 of our elite Special Action Force (SAF) in the hands of Muslim separatists in the south.

I find it ironic though that this same Christian majority, the same who flocked to the streets during Pope Francis’ visit barely a month ago, the same flock who were calling for love, mercy and compassion, now finds itself calling for blood, vengeance and all out war.

This war mongering among the faithful is not limited to the Catholics. On my Facebook wall, I see non-denominational, Christian pastors, church leaders, all of them God-fearing Christians, calling for blood. This post is for them, since I am sadly a part of this non-denominational, Christian faith.

On one particularly post, a pastor compared the President’s resolve, or perceived lack off, to that of the King of Jordan, who had absolute power and who, in recent news, swiftly struck back with vengeance, bombing ISIS targets after their own pilot was brutally murdered, burned alive, by extremists.

Now why would one compare an absolute monarch to a democratically elected leader, this is like comparing apples to oranges.

This “man of God” and his call for war had me immediately remember these same biblical passages being quoted in one of his preachings:

14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

Book of Psalms, chapter 51 (KJV)

Taken from this passage from the book of Psalms, Chapter 51 which began with the following:

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Do we really want our children to witness war? War can be brutal and indiscriminate. It does not know the difference between combatants and non-combatants, women and children, Christians or Muslims.

Like everyone else, I grieve for our fallen heroes. They did not deserve to die that way. I too, like everyone else, want the truth to come out. I want justice, but not at the expense of the lives of more innocent people. Not through war, we’ve had enough of that in the south. I can understand and even sympathize with the widowed, the children and families of our fallen heroes. They have every right to call for blood, every right to call for justice.

But for “men of faith” to call for war? I find it disgusting and hypocritical of the Christian faith that you proudly profess to be part of.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Book of Psalms, chapter 51 (KJV)

How ironic, a broken spirit and a contrite heart, calling for bloodshed and killing in the name of.

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