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  • Writer's pictureFr. Daniel S.J. Scheid SCP

What is Father Dan Thinking? 10-15-23


I despair of the terror, violence, and warfare plaguing our world (and that has always plagued our world): The war between Russia and Ukraine and Ukraine’s backers in NATO, the near-anarchy in Haiti, and now the deadly clash between Hamas and Israel in the land many call “holy”, the fighting a few days old as I write this; but, of course, the continuation of the conflict, running hot and cold, since Israel’s post-World War II creation. These three hot spots are but a small sampling of what is happening around the world.


I am convinced that the overwhelming majority of the world’s citizens want peace, want security and stability, want enough resources – and don’t want all this at the expense of people next-door or halfway around the globe. I want this. I bet you do, too. I don’t think we’re any different than most-all Russians, Ukrainians, Haitians, Palestinians, Israelis, etc., etc., etc.


Terror, violence, and war have been studied to death by nearly every academic discipline: theology, philosophy, psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, and political science, to name several. Even popular culture has taken a stab: “War! Hunh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Say it again!”


Cui bono? – It’s not a question of what. It’s a question of who. Who is war good for? Who profits from conflict? Who benefits by keeping open decades and centuries-long animosities? Who gains and keeps power? Who gets rich from death and destruction and displacement? I’m certain that if war weren’t profitable, it would have ended long ago. War is very good for a very few, and hell for everyone else caught in the middle of it, and whose resources are reallocated to pay for bombs and bullets. And we put up with it. I wonder when we’ll say enough’s enough?


Until then, I’ll keep praying Isaiah 2:4 – “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”


Until then, I’ll keep singing the Negro Spiritual taken from this passage – “Goin’ to lay down my sword and shield, down by the riverside, down by the riverside, down by he riverside. Goin’ to lay down my sword and shield, down by the riverside, to study war no more. I ain’t goin’t study war no more, ain’t goin’t study war no more, ain’t goin’t study war no more no more, I ain’t goin’t study war nor more, ain’t goin’t study war no more, ain’t goin’t study war no more.”


God’s blessings and peace,


Dan+

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