Summary: What do Christians tell children about the war in Iraq?
WHAT DO WE TELL THE CHILDREN?
- Ecclesiastes 3:8 says that there is a time for war and a time for peace.
On Wednesday night of this past week, United States forces, in response to orders given by President George Bush, launched an armed attack on the nation of Iraq. The next morning in the “Readers Views” section of the Orlando Sentinel the following letter from a reader entitled “What will we tell the children?” was printed.
“As we tuck our children into bed at night, we hope they will grow into strong, healthy, caring adults. We imagine them going off to college, getting married, pursuing careers, having children of their own. In the process of their growing, we teach them vital lessons about how to cooperate with others and how to resolve conflict peacefully without the use force. We tell them fighting is not nice, being a bully is wrong, hurting others is not acceptable.
I wonder what our children will be thinking as they watch the media images of war, as the camera zooms in on broken and bloodied bodies, as Iraqi women cry in agony as they clutch the lifeless bodies of their children. I wonder what our children will think when their fathers, brothers, cousins, uncles and neighbors march one by one onto the battlefield?
Do you think Iraqi mothers tuck their children into bed at night, hoping they will grow into strong, healthy, caring adults – educated, married, employed and having children of their own? I wonder what their children will think when they hear the bombs dropping around them? . . .
I have heard it said that this is a ‘defining’ moment in history. Define for me what lessons are we teaching our children? Are they lessons of lies, hate and destruction? . . . "
It is an interesting question. In times like these, what are we to tell the children?
My friends, I believe there are six primary lessons we must teach, six things we must tell our children. Number one, I know, “I’d rather live in the United States than in Iraq.
I. I’D RATHER LIVE IN THE United States THAN Iraq
Why would I rather live in the United States than Iraq?, because as a nation founded by Christians and on Christian principles, America has been blessed by God.
We could, for instance, talk of the beauty God has blessed us with in America. We could speak for an hour about the beauty of the coastlines that ring our nation. We could talk about the beauty of the St. John’s River flowing between its palm-lined banks, or the sun rising through the morning mists in the Smokie Mountains. We could talk about the Indiana corn fields, or the wheat lands of the mid-west, or the beauty of an elk herd grazing in Colorado. We could speak of the Grand Canyon, the Great Redwood forest, or Glacier National Park, but we have no time.
We could talk about the material blessings God has given us in this country. We could talk about the clothes hanging in our closets, our two-car garages, and the struggle with our weight; but we have no time for so lengthy a list.
No, we don’t have the time to discuss many of our blessings, so we will mention just a couple. In America women have rights and freedom. In most Islamic countries they do not. In many Islamic nations, if a woman is raped, she is frequently killed by her family to restore the family honor.
I’d rather live in America because God has blessed us with freedom of speech. In many Islamic countries, the press is controlled by the government and dissidents are jailed.
I’d rather live in America because God has blessed us with freedom of religion.
. You don’t have someone calling out in our cities 5 times a day telling us it’s time to pray and checking to make sure you do. You can choose the religion of your choice, or you can choose to have no religion at all. I thank God for our religious freedom.
I’d rather live in America because God has blessed us with unity. Our last presidential election was one of the most controversial in history, and yet you saw no military coup, you saw no troops called out and stationed around the country in order to keep the people in line. We may argue and fight like brothers and sisters, but God has kept us a family.
I’d rather live in America because God has blessed us in so many ways that people from around the world are buying, stealing, and forging visas in an attempt to get here.
A Baghdad resident was quoted on the news saying, “Our God will help us win this war.” The only problem with that statement is that I, a United States citizen am praying that my God will help us win the war and my God is bigger than yours.