Saturday, May 23, 2009

Do you hate this blog? Give thanks for those who died so you can.

"Freedom is not free," goes the saying. Fellow blogger Baby Blue Online posts news that China is blocking all kinds of internet communication as the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre comes up.

China is interfering with Blogger, YouTube and other internet outlets that we all take for granted. The manifest wisdom of free and open communication is not seen as manifest or wise in many parts of the world, and the sad truth is that we have freedom of speech and other liberties because many people died fighting for them.

This is an ostensibly Christian blog, and warfare is something that most followers of Jesus want to limit. Some disciples are pacifists. Prayers for peace are common in churches. War is what happens when human beings fail to use the highest capacities that God has given to the human race.

But the irony is that those higher capacities could not flourish on earth without warriors to sacrifice for them in dire times.

Whatever our ambivalence about war, "selfish" is too weak a word to describe us if we don't stop to remember and give thanks for the lives laid down so that we can, among other things, blog and tweet.


Tregonsee said...

If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.

TLF+ said...

Thanks, Tregonsee - we might also consider that the enemy we face today specializes in denying people the right to learn much of anything but subservience or death.

Caught a cable news report today on "The Saddest Acre in America", which is the part of Arlington Nat'l Cemetery where those who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan are being buried.

David Handy+ said...


As usual, I wholeheartedly agree. Thanks for an appropriate Memorial Day weekend post.

I think Augustine was right to support the whole Just War concept in Christian ethics. And there isn't the slightest doubt in my mind that militant Islam is world enemy #1, and that bitter and violent warfare against militant Islam is fully justified in the name of the Prince of Peace.

But at the same time, that doesn't mean that anything goes, even in warfare. Wars must not only be fought over just causes, but also fought justly.

My father was a Korean War vet. And my Sioux Falls male relatives of an earlier generation, Gale and Dick Braithwaite (both respected lawyers in town in their day), were likewise veterans in WWI and WWII respectively. In my grandfather's case, he came back from France with a shrapnel wound that he never fully recovered from, and that caused him to limp til his dying day. I honor his memory, especially this weekend.