Guest Post: War and Money
By Judith Curtis
All religions say “Thou shalt not kill,” but so many countries have legalized and glorified fighting in wars as one of the most outstanding honors one can achieve. We glorify warriors—their stance, uniforms, weapons. We invented patriotism: everyone must glorify war or be considered not up to par. Many cultures are devoted to war as a way of life. They need to have an enemy—tribalism, warlords, terrorists, suicide even, because it is considered glorious to die for the cause.
Not only is killing other human beings during war acceptable, but the more one kills the more honors they can receive. Many die for the cause. And if they do not die themselves, they may suffer watching others die, having to kill to stay alive. If they are wounded, their bodies are often never the same.
In some countries even children are sent into battle. They are brainwashed into thinking it is their god-given duty. At times we hear of suicide bombers who give up their own lives to annihilate many others. Often they are fighting in the name of God, convinced that God is on their side.
War is big business. For many countries, including the United States, weapons are one of their major exports. And with so many weapons available, these countries seem to engage in continual conflicts to use them and to keep the business going. So there are virtually limitless funds available to develop and produce more weapons that kill ever more efficiently.
And what happens if someone’s conscience causes them to not want to kill? They are called cowards, sent to prison, and even killed for not participating. Citizens who oppose war are often viewed as unpatriotic. Even churches become supporters of war. War is also a major subject in the literature of all cultures—legends, novels, plays, movies, songs, and now video games, which condition entire generations from the time they are children to participate in the destruction of other human beings. Some sit at computers destroying other humans all day and go home to family and kids at night.
There seems to be no end to the destruction of others. Everyone talks about peace but wars don’t bring peace—only temporary halts until another can be started. About one quarter of all the taxes in the United States support the military. The world economies would collapse without it.
At the end of the Book of Mormon blood lust prevails. In the account of the final battles of the Jaredites, they go out each day knowing they were going to fight to the death. And they do that until nearly no one was left—even knowing they are going to die does not stop them.
At some point we need to find ways to avoid war, do away with racism and violence, and seek to find ways for all people in all countries to accept and commune with one another. For all religions to accept those of other religions and come together. Hopefully this would prepare us for the second coming of Christ to have our thousand years of peace and joy.
Judith Curtis lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She is a poet and has taught women in the church how to write memoirs for many years. Judith is a proud supporter of Exponent II.