With Palm Sunday coming up on 20th March this year (2016) I have been reflecting on an icon of the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. You can see the image I mean here https://www.flickr.com/photos/monasteryicons/7036525475. One one side there are the crowd of disciples and townspeople, who are not looking very happy, and on the other side are the people of Jerusalem, including a mother with a young baby. Only the mother and baby look like they want to welcome this donkey-riding Prince of Peace.
In mimicking (and mocking) the Roman authorities who rode into towns as conquerors on horses, Jesus arrives in humility, seated at eye level, with no weapons to enforce his rule.
As the Social Justice Unit of the Uniting Church Synod of Western Australia, we have a focus on peace making and peace building. I therefore want to share a couple of articles with you, which make me reflect.
The first comes from the World Council of Churches: “Many Christians today believe idolatry to be a thing of their pagan past. (Stephen) Sidorak says, however, there is new idolatry “as we now worship the power we have to destroy creation much more than we worship the God of creation. We bow down and worship weapons of mass destruction and the source of their power, nuclear energy,” he notes.”
You can read the the whole article here: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/news/us-pastor-recounts-pilgrimage-to-japan-warns-of-idolatry-with-weapons-of-mass-destruction
The second contains some very disturbing information:
https://newmatilda.com/2016/03/16/imprecise-automated-deadly-why-australia-shouldnt-buy-into-the-drone-war/. The article describes how ‘automated’ war actually kills and maims people and ends like this:
“when the Australian Department of Defence’s 2016 White Paper boasts that “scientific and technological sophistication” will create “a capable, agile and potent” future force, we need to think about what this means in reality for those living in war zones. The Government’s potential investment in drone technology should not slip by unnoticed. To remain silent about the horrors of the US-led War on Terror and our part in them facilitates their continuation”.
I encourage you to read these two articles, and contemplate with me just how seriously we trust in the Prince of Peace, or how much we as citizens of this nation, are actually relying for safety on weapons systems which are incredibly destructive and damaging to people -often innocent bystanders not combatants- and to our environment.