What is humanity’s greatest failure? It is a failure of understanding, a failure of love, a failure of respect. It is a failing of compassion, a failing of negotiation, a failing of faith. It is trusting in human power rather than in God’s might; relying on physical weapons rather than on spiritual ones. Humanity’s greatest failure is the human act of making war on people.
What is a bigger human failure than war? In war, even if you think you win, you lose. The losses in war are tremendous — precious people from your country cruelly killed, tremendous human suffering, massive property loss and destruction, and collateral damage — the hurting and killing of civilians (not even considering the harm done to the soldiers on the other side).
My parents have told me that when I was a very small child I would talk and cry about war. Most children hear about war and/or see war movies or stories on television and think nothing of it. I took it seriously.
As a little child I used to tell my parents that I never wanted to kill anybody. They would ask me: “What if they make you go to war?” I would answer: “I will be killed rather than kill somebody.” My wife, hearing my parents describe my childhood views of war said: “You were a passivist from the beginning.”
I don’t know where I got such deep convictions, but they have been with me all my life. I was in college during the Vietnam War and was never drafted, so I don’t know if I would have had the courage to live up to my antiwar convictions or not.
However, I have not been very open about those deep convictions. I wrote a few antiwar poems in college, but that was kind of a popular thing to do during those days. Yet, I have always hesitated to publicly admit that I believe war to be morally wrong. I believe that it is humanity’s greatest failure.
I guess that I have been afraid that people will call me unpatriotic or un-American. It is funny that while living all my life in a land that prides itself on freedom of speech, that I have been afraid to exercise that right and openly say that win or lose, war is a terrible evil.
Why should young human beings give themselves to seeking to do everything they can to kill other human beings of another nationality or group? That has never made any sense to me. In fact, the idea of war still grieves me terribly.
Surely human beings who are smart enough to develop all the amazing technologies around us, have enough intelligence to resolve national conflicts without resorting to government sponsored cruelty, horror, slaughter, and terror. So why so much carnage in human history? And why was the most modern and sophisticated century (the Twentieth Century) the most bloody of all?
Perhaps a big reason is that people like me, who have an innate sense of the evil of war, are intimidated into silence. I am sure that many people who claim that they have fought for the freedom of speech will not like it that I am exercising that freedom in my own blog.
However, it is time. It is time to for humanity to rise up and overcome its biggest failure. It is time to find a better way than war. The right to life should include the right not to kill and be killed in war.
Many people speak against hatred nowadays. We are told not to hate people of different races or people who engage in behaviors we believe are morally wrong. I agree! However, that’s not enough! Jesus said not to hate our enemies. But even that is not enough. Jesus also said to love our enemies, to turn the other cheek. Then he backed His beliefs by laying down His life for those who despised and rejected Him. And the power of His example still rings though the history of mankind, shouting: “There a better way than violence — the way of sacrificial love!”
Even some famous American generals have agreed with me. Check out these quotations:
Also, here are some quotes from some folks who agree that war is failure and folly.