04
Feb
10

Swords Into Plowshares, Please

I’m not some idealistic peacenik. I realize that sometimes, asses must be kicked for things to get done right in this world. For example, I’m all for sticking around to hunt down Al Queda in Afghanistan and trying to get that nation some stability. Why? Because that’s the source of a lot of the terrorism, both the support (hiding places and training camps) and the bodies to hurl at us. Also, Afghanistan is a hot mess, and partly because of what we did to get the Soviets out (and that came back to bite us on the ass, since the people we armed to fight them are now are enemies).

But Iraq I want us out of. Now. Because we only went there for a grudge match with one guy (Saddam Hussein) and by extension his lackeys, we did it for the oil and the chance for rebuilding contracts, and we lied about the reasons (weapons of mass destruction that never existed and that Saddam wasn’t likely to build since he was more about satisfying his desires than fighting us).

So, I don’t advocate that we strip away tons of military funding. World is dangerous. I get that. But we spend too much time using our military to enforce our will than to truly defend ourselves or punish the right people these days.

So, then I see a couple days ago that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking for a 20-something percent increase in the next federal budget to just over $4 billion to radically revamp food safety in this nation. Now, if you have any knowledge of the state of food safety and monitoring in this country (sadly, I do), you’d realize that’s a very minor request and that it probably will accomplish little.

And yet, the U.S. Department of Defense, at the same time, is asking for $700 billion.

Yeah.

That’s one-hundred and seventy-five damn times as much money.

Isn’t that around 17,500% the amount of money the FDA is asking for?

To wage war.

Rather than protect people here at home from unsafe food. To bolster an agency that is charged with the safety of all drugs and much of the food in this nation (the U.S. Department of Agriculture having some responsibilities there as well.)

Where are our priorities?

And the ones who most fight against FDA funding and for more funding of the military are the Republicans, who so often are the ones touting God and Jesus, too, and telling us we’re a Christian nation.

Got news for you, you hypocritical, shit-heeled bastards: Jesus fed people. He didn’t smack them around. Jesus healed. Jesus preached the importance of peace. Yes, he mentioned that sometimes, we need to take up swords.

Sometimes.

But we always need to be there for people who are hungry, sick and hurting.

I’m going to say this bluntly: There is a higher percentage of Republicans who claim to be Christian who will have spaces waiting for them in hell than there are agnostic Democrats who will be.

Not a much higher percentage, mind you, because the damn Dems seem to forget about their human priorities too, in the midst of greed and power-mongering.

But if you’re going to claim Jesus, start acting more like him.

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20 Responses to “Swords Into Plowshares, Please”


  1. February 4, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Jesus, here we go. Terrorists and Afghanistan. Why dont you give this a read.

    http://www.ottawasun.com/comment/columnists/eric_margolis/2010/01/29/12670836.html

  2. February 4, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Yeah, there are many people questioning whether a traditional war can reduce terrorism. I’m not convinced it can.

    I think terrorism is a war of messages, and a traditional war does not with that battle. We can’t undercut terrorists until we can begin to reduce the antipathy many people in other countries feel towards America. And that’s not going to happen while we’re bombing village and killing children no matter how many aid packages we put together.

    It’s a tough fight. America’s wealth is built on practices that are going to hurt folks in other countries. In fact, EVERY wealthy nation does the same thing, but since we’re the big boys on the block, we get the most blame.

  3. February 4, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    EVERY wealthy nation does the same thing, but since we’re the big boys on the block, we get the most blame(Big Man)

    Thats probably the most accurate statement Ive ever heard you say. Well, at least from my point of view. 🙂

  4. 4 Deacon Blue
    February 4, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Tit for Tat,

    I’m not saying we should tear the shit out of Afghanistan. What I am saying is that it is the country most central to our terrorism woes (as opposed to Iraq) and the place we may need to have a presence in for quite some time. As a country without much in terms of resources (as far as I know), it also doesn’t have a “cash cow” to give it a leg up in terms of stablizing and growing economically (unlike Iraq, which is pretty oil rich).

    So, looking at the two countries. Looking at our threats and where they’ve come from. Looking at who is most destabilized and most needs some kind of organized military presence. And looking at which is most likely to go tits-up if we pull out, which would you choose?

    I’d choose Afghanistan.

    Peace is great. I love peace talks.

    But sometimes, as I said, asses do need kicking. And the asses most likely to need kicking and in the greatest numbers, were in Afghanistan last I heard.

    But all of this still misses my key point.

    The FDA gets $4 billion. The Dept. of Defense gets $700 billion.

    That’s what this post is about. That’s the travesty.

    So why do you feel the need to school me about diplomacy and military might when my overriding point is that we should be leaning less toward force (far less) and much, much, much more toward protecting people from the true daily threats?

  5. 5 Deacon Blue
    February 4, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Big Man,

    Very true. Aid packages after a bombing don’t work too well.

    And so I’d like to see our find leaders, esp. the most hypocritical Republicans, start shifting great big hunks of the $700 billion DoD budget toward something more useful.

    Building schools. Hospitals. Sending some Peace Corps folks over. Empowering the citizens to do more than kowtow to their corrupt leaders (perhaps more corrupt than ours, if such a thing is possible).

    But I know that’s just a dream, which is why I keep thinking I need to move to a nation that’s less interested in being the World Police and World Bully Squad.

  6. February 5, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Deacon

    Im suggesting “why” you think we need to be in Afghanistan in the first place? Maybe if more people knew the politics behind the war they may be less inclined to think we should be there for any reason. Im curious, did you read the article?

  7. February 5, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Deacon

    You should check out a movie called Lord of War. It may be fiction, but it sure makes it clear why the Big Nations of the world are involved in so wars worldwide. And it aint about peace or helping their fellow human.

  8. 8 Deacon Blue
    February 5, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Tit for Tat,

    I did read the article.

    And I’ve seen “Lord of War” which was a very good film. I agree.

    Look, whether or not we should be in Afghanistan is a matter of conjecture. But looking at Iraq and Afghanistan, it makes a whole lot more sense to be in the latter than the former. Tons more sense.

    And when did I say these wars were to help anyone? I know the driving forces behind war. I also know the limits of peace. We can’t negotiate with everyone. We can’t buy everyone off. Some people just hate us…just as our government sometimes irrationally hates other people and nations (Cuba, for example). Do you think there would even be a place for negotiation with the Taliban and Al Queda if we weren’t out in force? As the article points out, these people often cannot be bought…shit, bin Laden gloats about being part of the murder of some 5,000 innocent people in New York City and they hide him. I mean, I kinda wouldn’t feel warm and fuzzy toward such a group.

    Violence is a tricky thing. Personally, I avoid it at all costs, but I think it’s naive to think that nations don’t have to go to war at times, or have other sorts of aggressive posturing. Really, if we just stood down our entire military right now from Afghanistan and Iraq, do you really think the terrorists would just say, “Great, America is cool with us again. We’ll never cause problems again!” Because like it or not, this is an interconnected world now, and even if they don’t come to our shores, what happens abroad can have huge impacts for us here.

    A lot of it is about greed, and posturing, and all sorts of other things. But once again, you are harping on a point that is totally irrelevant to my post. My acknowledgment for the need to have military force at times…and my assertion that we belong in Afghanistan more than Iraq, does not means I’m waving a fucking flag for beating Afghans into the dust.

    So, let’s drop it. I make a post about terrorism or military strikes, hit me up then. THIS post is about how fucked up it is that we overfund the military to the Nth degree and let food safety, health, etc. go by the wayside.

    I like discussion, but I’m not going to have this topic further sidetracked into bullshit that is 180 degrees removed from my point.

  9. February 5, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Sidetracked?? YOU started your post with this misinformation.

    “I’m not some idealistic peacenik. I realize that sometimes, asses must be kicked for things to get done right in this world. For example, I’m all for sticking around to hunt down Al Queda in Afghanistan and trying to get that nation some stability. Why? Because that’s the source of a lot of the terrorism, both the support (hiding places and training camps) and the bodies to hurl at us.(Deacon)”

    Al Qaeda is an Ideology, it does not have a base of operations. It is now Global. If you wish to show the love of Jesus in your heart spare the innocents in both Iraq AND Afghanistan. If you NEED to use the sword, I suggest you swing it at Saudi Arabia, seeing as they are the major financial contributors to Al Qaeda worldwide.

  10. 10 Deacon Blue
    February 5, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Tit for Tat, I made an initial opinion and a clarification that I’m not a total pacifist, before launching into a criticism of the DoD funding. That is not “starting” anything. And Afghanistan HAS been the source of many of the terrorists we’ve faced. Global or not, a lot of it is based around Afghanistan and Pakistan. Funding may come from Saudis, but the work of training and a lot of the other activities and leaders are in Afghanistan area.

    You have a habit of focusing in on point in my blogs that irk you, and taking them out of context.

    Now… DROP IT!

  11. February 5, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Well Sheit, Am I supposed to just agree with your post? Maybe part of the reason you have such funding in regards to your military is because of faulty logic in regards to who, what, and where the attacks come from. Maybe, just maybe if the citizens of your beautiful nation understood more of the reasons why there are terrorists you may not have to have the bulk of your money going into the military machine. Culture, History, Geography, Politics. Your post touches on all of these. If I point something out its not just because it irks me, its because I think it is totally relevant to the overall gist of what you are trying to convey. Isnt that what blogging is all about? Posting something and having others agree or disagree or commiserate with your rant, whatever it may be?
    Oh and by the way, Al Qaeda is not based in Afghanistan or Pakistan. The foe you fight there is the Taliban, who by the way were your allies before Al Qaeda and 911. I am suggesting that maybe the fight there is wasting your precious money that could be used for more humane purposes. Do you think that maybe the military machine wants people to think that the fight there is important? Afterall how do you think they make their money other than having people shot or bombed?

    Im done now. 🙂

  12. 13 societyvs
    February 5, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I think it is kind of odd the moral majority is all about the ‘protection of this country’ – supporting wars more or less…and attitude I see nothing of in Jesus’ own teachings (he never mentions when and how to use the ‘sword’ – he believed in peace). Yet this is not the Jesus figure the moral majority would have us believe is actually in the gospels…he some bloodthirsty figure from Revelations (or something like that).

    As for the spending problem – it really is a problem. I just watched Food Inc. the other day and I see the need for an overhaul in food administration procedures – for the safety and health of people in the North America’s (USA and Canada alike). People are dying and getting sick from all the crap the FDA allows in to food and to let some things remain unchecked in the food making process. We don’t need more e-coli – we need less.

    I think the money they spend on defense could very well build your economy and help stop food poisoning.

  13. 14 Deacon Blue
    February 5, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Tit for Tat,

    You don’t have to agree with me, but the fact is that my POST was about something 180 degrees removed from what you’ve been harping on. You took the first 20% of my post and ignored the other 80% that forms my actual point.

    I also made a point in the comments (if you were paying attention) that more humane activities would be better, and that money would be better spent on things other than missiles and drones, but even those would require the military presence to make sure the people carrying out such humane activities don’t end up dead.

    I’m not trying to shut down opinions or dissent, but the fact is I told you earlier I didn’t want to keep going down the path you were insisting on treading, and you ignored me. In the end, this is my space, and there are times when I will tire of hearing what I see as distractions to the real point.

    You can be an argumentative guy, at times, and you DO have a tendency to take my comments out of context lately to put them under a spotlight, while ignoring my overall jist.

    Now, I’d done. 🙂

  14. 15 Deacon Blue
    February 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    SocietyVs

    I agree that the “sword Jesus” is often taken WAY out of context. As I read it, Jesus is talking about defense rather than aggression, and the understanding that sometimes we may end up in fights, but that we shouldn’t be starting them.

  15. February 7, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Hey, Deke, I wrote some stuff here that Christians might object to. http://silknvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/gen-11-324-v-origin-of-species.html
    I’d appreciate your feedback on it, if you’re willing.

  16. 17 Deacon Blue
    February 7, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    I’ll stop by soon. Right now, my “boss” (aka Little Girl Blue) is about to kick me off the computer to play some games on PBSkids.org and Nickjr.com

  17. February 11, 2010 at 2:36 am

    Deacon,

    I have only just now discovered your blog (actually, via Google Image Search, looking for a “Badass Jesus.” … It’s a long story for another time).

    I just wanted to say I am absolutely impressed with how you think and write. You tell it like it is, no strings attached, straight from the core. I truly and utterly respect that, and hope you continue to write for awhile yet. You’ve inspired me greatly to keep reading. 🙂

    By the by, have you ever read the book Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller?

  18. 19 Deacon Blue
    February 11, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks, Kieyt, I appreciate the kind words.

    I’m not familiar with that book, but I’ll look into it.

    And as for a “Badass Jesus”…he was a badass at times, and I mean that in the most respectful and positive way possible.

  19. February 12, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Personally, I find Jesus to be THE most Badass person in existance. Who else can take a meager meal and feed thousands one minute, walk on water and calm storms the next, go Indiana Jones on some pagan taxcollectors, only to turn around, get crucified without cursing his assailants, come back three days later all calm like it was a picnic.

    The book I mentioned was, for me, an extremely enjoyable and enlightening read. The author, Donald Miller, basically just shares his story and testimony, but he totes it as “non-religious views on Christianity.” He takes a step back to examine the faith for what it is, and what it should be – stripping away things that are just pomp and ceremony to really take a good, hard look at what Christ really wanted from us.

    He’s very dry in his humor, and likes to poke fun at himself quite a bit, and from what I’ve read of your posts so far, you two would get along great.

    He makes a profound statement about hypocrisy that is rampant in the church: The Christian Army is the only army that buries its wounded. One brother stumbles, and the others are quick to condemn and stone him, when instead we should be rushing to his side to help him back up.


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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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