Yesterday on our way to the grocery store, my little girl got out her notebook and wrote a short speech. She asked that I put it on my blog as a message for the soldiers. It is a simple message about personal responsibility for war which reminded me strongly of Universal Soldier, a song my parents used to play when we were kids. My father was an MP during the Vietnam War. He entered the Air Force full of machismo and war lust but soon found himself protesting the war and refusing to fight. His hard-won pacifism led him to the ministry and was a dominant philosophy of my childhood. It meant not only that we do not glorify war or choose to serve in the military but that we work hard to eliminate domestic and international injustice that leads to violence. We don't have a draft anymore but we do have too many young men and women disadvantaged by social, economic and educational inequality who find themselves serving in the military because they feel they have no other good options. My father has worked hard during his life, first as a clergyman and then as a community college professor, to empower young people to become thinkers rather than fighters- to fight injustice with words, and wit, and compassion rather than with weapons. I think he will be proud of his granddaughter's following statement.
"Do you believe in a God or Goddess? Do you think that he or she would want you to kill one another? Would you want to kill your brother or sister? If you don't want to kill, don't. Please stop the war now for the sake of the world."