weblog |

© Merle Harton, Jr. | About | XML/RSS

Saturday, October 30, 2004  

Genocide in Iraq, etc.  Yesterday The Lancet published a public health survey [.pdf] undertaken in Iraq in September 2004. The survey, "Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq," is the first science-based survey using cluster sample methodology after the invasion of Iraq, and the results confirm our outstanding fears about the ongoing conflict. "Making conservative assumptions," say the survey's authors, "we think that about 100,000 excess deaths or more have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq."  And if that's not bad enough: "Most of the individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children."

Lest we think that the comparison with Vietnam is inappropriate here, we ought at least to recognize that the US is once again engaged in killing innocent people for a cause that is foreign to the collective desires of the invaded country's citizenry—and this time, too, with the support and encouragement of American Christians. We seized control of a sovereign nation under false pretenses, preemtively without cause, and openly permitted many ugly atrocities:

  • Widespread looting of historic treasures in Iraq

  • Rampant destruction of homes, personal property, and mosques and churches

  • Theft of armaments for use against our soldiers

  • Razing of orchards that are a livelihood for Iraqis

  • Abuse, humiliation, and killing of Iraqi prisoners, many of whom were held without due process

  • Repudiating many international agreements and protocols, including those contained in the Geneva Conventions

  • Loss of civil liberties within the borders of the United States

Instead of praying for a winning presidential candidate on November 2, we ought to pray instead that God will today send his spirit to warm the frozen hearts of our leadership. As for American Christians who support the evil in Iraq, they should remove the wolf's clothing and stand before us as frauds, before other Christians in the US are devoured like sheep.

posted by Merle Harton Jr. | 1:48 PM |

Thursday, October 28, 2004  

Yesterday, in a special issue of the journal Nature Genetics, the published results of a survey of human variation as expressed in the human genome map conclude that race and ethnicity are no longer satisfactory categories for discerning differences among the human race. "It is impossible to look at people?s genetic code and deduce whether they are black, Caucasian or Asian, and there is no human population that fits the biological definition of a race, the study found."[1]  Race and ethnicity are nothing more than culturally based forms of taxonomy. The study also concluded:

"The human genome map has shown that if two people of any ethnic origin are selected at random, only between 1 in 1,000 and 1 in 1,500 of their genes will differ. This makes our species among the most homogeneous known to science: populations of chimpanzees and fruit flies differ much more from one another in genetic terms. A typical Caucasian?s genes will be as similar—and as different—to those of another Caucasian as they will be to a black African or a Chinese person."

Now Christians have already known this. When Paul was in Athens, he declared to his audience in the Aereopagus that we are all one family, since from one man God populated the entire world.[2] As for the taxonomy of race and the superficial differences of ethnicity, Christ totally abolishes this. When writing to the Galatians, Paul reminded them that through Jesus Christ "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."[3]

1. See Times Online, Wednesday, October 27, 2004; article archived at Religion News Blog, October 27, 2004.
2. Acts 17:22-28.
3. Galatians 3:28.

posted by Merle Harton Jr. | 11:40 PM |

Sunday, October 24, 2004  

The antiwar on terror.  Here's a clever online video that tackles a contemporary antiwar theme à la The Corporation documentary—except that in this case the corporation is us.  It takes a while for the film to load, especially over a dial-up connection, but I think you'll find that patience is rewarded.

I learned about the film on a forum over at Jesus Radicals.

posted by Merle Harton Jr. | 2:55 AM |
get my books