Matthew Clanahan; ISFJ; 25-year-old graduate student; Learning Support Specialist and adjunct instructor at Three Rivers College; Bachelor's of Science in Mass Media/Radio with a minor in math from Southeast Missouri State University; Apple enthusiast; total geek; coffee connoisseur; flannel lover, multiple-instrument musician; drummer for Berlin Airlift; caffeine addict; LGBT ally; Christ follower; ordinary radical

Interests: peace, love, equality, people, social justice, human rights, feminism, music, vinyl records, lyrics, quotes, art, poetry, films, books, technology, coffee, tea, demilitarization, sustainability, community, community development, community gardening, historic preservation, Jesus, theology, orthodoxy, heterodoxy

Read the Printed Word!

I listen to a lot of music.

I spend a bit too much time swooning over pictures on Tumblr of people I find attractive.

I appreciate meaningful/artistic/literary/lyric tattoos.



 

War is the killing of human beings. Who can even think that it could ever be ‘just’?

Mother Teresa

The moral outrage evoked to provide a rational cover for the compulsion-to-intervene—“We cannot allow the use of poisonous gases on civil population!”—is a such a sham, it doesn’t even take itself seriously. As we now know, the United States more than tolerated the use of poisonous gases against the Iranian army by Saddam Hussein. During the Iraq-Iran war of 1980-1988, the United States sided with the Iraqis to quell Iranian influence in the Gulf, despite being well aware of Iraq’s liberal use of mustard and tear gas, according to declassified government reports. The United States even secretly supplied Iraq with satellite images of Iranian battlefield weaknesses to aid in the targeting of Iranian troops. Where were moral concerns then?

Right after 9/11, I asked a kid in my neighborhood what we should do in response. His answer: “Those people did something very wrong…” He thought pensively and continued, “But two wrongs don’t make a right.” As Martin Luther King taught us, you cannot fight fire with fire, you only get a bigger fire. You fight fire with water. You fight violence with nonviolence. You fight hatred with love. As a Christian, a follower of Jesus the Prince of Peace, I am deeply troubled about the possibility of a military response to the violence in Syria. Jesus consistently teaches us another way to respond to evil, a third way – neither fight nor flight. He teaches that evil can be opposed without being mirrored, oppressors resisted without being emulated, enemies neutralized without being destroyed. I am praying that the nonviolent imagination of Jesus and MLK would move the leaders of our country and our world to find another way forward than violence. When I heard US military leaders calculating the collateral damage of an attack on Syria (“classified” information), something feels terribly wrong. Christ once scolded his own disciple who tried to use the sword to protect him. After healing the wounded persecutor, he said to Peter, “If you pick up the sword you will die by the sword. Put your sword back.” Over and over we have tried to use the sword – in Iraq, in Afghanistan, now possibly in Syria… and the sword has failed. The cure becomes as bad as the disease. When we fight fire with fire, we only get a bigger fire, and a bigger mess. Two wrongs do not make a right.

There are few things more bizarre than watching people advocate that another country be bombed even while acknowledging that it will achieve no good outcomes other than safeguarding the “credibility” of those doing the bombing. Relatedly, it’s hard to imagine a more potent sign of a weak, declining empire than having one’s national “credibility” depend upon periodically bombing other countries.

This war has created the climate for greater armament and further expansion of destructive nuclear power. One of the most persistent ambiguities that we face is that everybody talks about peace as a goal. However, it does not take sharpest-eyed sophistication to discern that while everybody talks about peace, peace has become practically nobody’s business among the power wielders. Many men cry Peace! Peace! but they refuse to do the things that make for peace.

Martin Luther King, Jr., “The Casualties of the War in Vietnam” (via thepoorinspirit-extras)

Today we are fighting an all-out war, undeclared by Congress. We have well over 500,000 American servicemen fighting in that benighted and unhappy country. American planes based in other countries are bombing the territory of their neighbor.

The greatest irony and tragedy of all is that our nation, which initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world, is now cast in the mold of being an arch anti-revolutionary. We are engaged in a war that seeks to turn the clock of history back and perpetuate white colonialism.

Martin Luther King, Jr., “The Casualties of the War in Vietnam” (via sassfashionandtheology)

(Source: thepoorinspirit-extras)