Tuesday, February 1, 2022

A Quaker considers war


No Survivors
Joshua 10:40

In terrible obedience
Joshua subdued the land—
      hill country
      the Negev
      western foothills
      mountain slopes—
together with their kings.
The target, by holy command—
any being that breathed.
No beast, no baby escaped
the brutal blitz.
A challenge, yes, but
not too hard for a band
of soldiers seasoned to kill,
not nearly as hard
as God’s latter command
to warriors of a new regime—
love your enemies.

This time, Lord,
you go too far.  

Old Testament War Revised

As a sophomore
our daughter made the coveted
cheerleading squad.
Some of the chants underscored
the brutality of high school sports.
One afternoon, I watched
as the girls waved their pom-poms,
danced, leaped, and led
the crowd in
      Kill kill
      Hate hate
      Murder murder
      Go, Team!
I was glad when the school
year ended.

A Reasonable Approach to War

If some worthy person in a far off country
is willing to die for his/her country and/or faith,
then the least I can do
is be willing to kill him/her
for the sake of my country and/or faith.