Honestly, say this with a straight face. What are you waiting for?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Is It Just Me or Do Politicians Have Teeth the Size of Piano Keys?

It's been about 10 days since I posted a blog, so I guess it's time for me to put up another one. I apologize if you've been checking back to see something new, I just haven't had much to say. Part of this may be because of my laziness and complete lack of passion (to my disgrace) or maybe I just really feel the need to make sure what I write is worthwhile. I don't know.

I do know that I finished up with my Emerging Church reading that I engaged in over the past two months. I may blog on that later and give my final synopsis. I will say, that if you're like me and you avoided reading "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller because he's so cool and trendy and all the hip college kids like him, put down your armor and read that book. It was amazing to me. It was so refreshing to hear words from an ordinary dude who cares about his faith but is honest enough to address his faults. It has easily become one of my favorite books.

So earlier, I was reading the Modesty Writers Guild which is a blog written by Stephen Christian, the lead singer for the band Anberlin. Not only is he an amazing singer, but he's got some awesome things to say. Some of it may be a bit to liberal for some people, but if that's you . . . get over it I guess. Okay, that was a bit rude, if you don't want to read his blog, you don't have to. But he's got some great things to say and he's taking a trip to Guatemala to address poverty there in June that I would love to be apart of if I get the opportunity.

In his latest blog, he discusses the war in Iraq. I know, I know, I'm tired of talking about it too. But he brings up some very balanced and fair points. After discussing the good things that have come from this war for the sake of the Iraqi people, he gives these statistics:

"i recently read an article on an education portal, which was explaining that we pay about $186,000 per minute (total of 443.7 billion). it is not the amount of zeros that make this frustrating its that they went on to say that with that amount of money we could put 21,510,598 (the amount of every high school student in the united states) students through a four year college education at a state school, add 7,689,734 million more teachers to our school system."

I hope that blows you away. And like Stephen, I hope it makes you question whether that's a bit too American focused to discuss in depth. Because obviously, if not for what's already been accomplished in Iraq, the people there would not have recovered many of the freedoms that have been given back to them. I think the point is though, think about what we could be doing with our youth here in America to ensure a more educated and better world. Perhaps, as Stephen says, we could "raise up a generation who values the power of the pen over the sword."

I'm not trying to push a pro or anti war agenda here, I'm just giving you some things to think about before you slap another "I hate Bush" or "I cry tears of blood for our troops because I support them so much" bumper sticker on the back of your vehicle instead of interacting with other people and displaying your opinions in a way that is at least a little respectful AND respectable.

Sorry that sentence was so long, but it's been bottled up inside me for quite awhile now. If you have one of those bumper stickers on your car, I still love you. As for me, I'm out until next time.


Sam! said...

they DO have teeth the size of piano keys!

Double Click said...

Kiel, while I do not necessarily believe that the war in Iraq can rightly be called a "just war"--based on the principles of just war theory, as articulated by such men as Aquinas, Luther, or Calvin--nevertheless I do not think it wise to make a mathematical equation out of it. I guess my question is, "What is the cost of life for an Iraqi Kurd?" The Kurds, after all, were bitterly oppressed by Saddam Hussein, and we read almost nothing about those accounts in the press today. Now, though Saddam is dead, it is other similarly-minded terrorists who are causing havoc on Iraqi civilian life. Are we gonna put a price tag on human freedom? If so, then we need to reconsider the history of World War II--for in that case, should we have let the Nazi regime have its way with the Jews? After all, if the Iraqis of today are worth less to us than a college diploma, then maybe we should go to Germany and put a golden plaque on Hitler's grave and apologize to him for not minding our own business. That sounds harsh. Of course, we know that no one would give props to Hitler. But that is what we risk if we isolate ourselves from the world and ignore international problems. As it stands, though, Hitler was indeed wrong then. And the terrorists in Iraq are wrong now. I realize that the Iraqi war is a story of tragedy. And there are, in fact, many tragedic tales that will never be told: families who grieve, parents who shed tears, boys and girls who will never know their fathers...But it would be senseless to use nice and neat statistics to prove the madness of it all. Of course, the war involves madness! By the way, why is the American diploma worth so much, anyway? Perhaps those 21.5 million high school kids should get a job and pay their own way through college. Or, better yet, why not say 'forget college' and go overseas and help an Iraqi. Or, maybe help an African suffering from AIDS. Or, find something worthwhile in our world today and pursue it with all your heart and not worry about check sheets and graduation gowns.

he's only chasing safety said...

Matt, this is the same point I'm making in the 6th paragraph, only not as in depth. I agree totally with what you're saying, and the point of the post is that the issue of the war in Iraq is a double edged sword. However, people take uninformed opinions about it and express those opinions in degrading and disrespectful ways instead of being informed of all of the information and having an educated and respectful discussion about it.

I'm not taking any stands with this post, just giving a few facts that I found interesting. You of all people should know that the last thing I am is a pro-America, flag wearing, God bless our country and nobody else's ethnocentric jerk. At least I hope so.

I'll talk all day about the silliness of a piece of paper proving my American education and giving me priority or ability over others doing more important things in the world. I'll also talk about the fact that this DOES exist and those who do go further with their education open doors for themselves to make much more of a global impact (for better or worse.) I mean, isn't that what you and I are doing right now? Do we REALLY need a seminary degree when we stop and think about it?

There's so many things like this that don't deserve a one word answer that covers all the bases. These issues have multiple facets and numerous outcomes - many that seem right to one and wrong to another, so we can't just dismiss all sides with arrogance. We need to take the time to be informed and have real discussions about these things. I'm sorry if I upset you or anyone else, I wasn't trying to do that at all - actually the opposite.