Monday, December 26, 2011

Herod's Drones

I'm praying this evening for the Air Force personnel who 'fly' our drones out of office buildings in Nevada.  Do they go home at night to families and soccer games?  Do they think about Afghan villages pummeled during the 9 to 5 they eat take-out with girlfriends and boyfriends?  What if the drones go wrong?  What if there's a civilian--or even children--in the way?  Do they think about all that watching Jon Stewart in bed? 

That leads me to pray this evening for my part in all this.  Does my conscience accept this new way of waging war?  Is there nothing I can do, nothing I can say to turn the heart of my own people to decency?  How easily we evolve new ways to kill!  Computer games with gruesome consequences!  Real people, real families on the other side of drones raining fire!  We can't find money for schools or roads or welfare...but we've got enough for madness.  Played on screens out of office buildings.  In Nevada.

And I have to wonder this.  Would it sit well with us if there were geeks in other places--say, Uzbekistan or Pakistan or Cuba, perhaps--'flying' their own drones over Modesto and Frisco?  Playing their little war games with us?  How would that go over?  Progress?

When will we tire of finding new ways to kill?  When will we see that madness is trying the same damn thing over and over and over and over...and expecting different results?  In the Christmas story, Herod reacts in murderous rage, seeking out the newborn baby boys, to purge and destroy.  It's a terrifying and bloody strand in the fuzzy fabric of Christmas...yet it remains.  For us to grieve and mourn.  So much death, so much rage.

If Christmas is to mean something, it has to mean something to those military personnel in Nevada.  And it has to mean something to all the rest of us, who get used to computerized mayhem and write it off to progress.  If the Prince of Peace is born in our midst, in caves in Palestine, in caves in Afghanistan, in caves all over the world...isn't it about time we stopped bombing the hell out of them?