In a little while, I am going over to the Bayview Park and Ride to join other war protesters in a day of anti-war events.
I am not a pacifist. I do believe there may be such a thing as a just war. But Iraq is not it. Nor was Vietnam. Nor Korea. Nor any of the many "turf wars" that occur constantly around the globe.
My faith tradition, Unitarian Universalism, is not specifically a peace tradition, though we have many pacifists and conscientious objectors within our congregations. What UUs generally believe is that Truth is important and that Honesty must be at the heart of politics, that human life is not casually expendable, and that both sides bleed when the shots are fired.
I believe that the Iraq war was started because of deliberate misrepresentations about WMDs and about 9/11, that Congress was misled into believing the misrepresentations, that a pre-emptive strike was immoral, that the thousands of Iraqi citizens who have died at our hands are not "collateral damage" but are our human brothers and sisters, that we have made a bad situation in Iraq worse with our insistence that our form of democracy be instituted there, and that American lives are being foolishly expended.
I believe that the war is an outgrowth of American hubris and privilege and that our military personnel, who are being required to shoot and kill other humans at our behest and are in grave danger of dying themselves, are, in many if not most cases, trapped by their loyalty to a system which is using them. They have no real choice but to serve the system, for their families, their sense of honor, and their personal moral code demand that they fulfill the service they signed up for. I do not condemn them; I understand what it means to be in such a position.
At the root of the hubris and privilege that have instigated the war is an addiction to the fruits of domination. That is, in this case, energy. Oil. In other wars it has been control of land masses and their natural resources.
Addictions have been described as an effort to fill up a spiritual vacuum, a self-medicating of the pain of being out of relationship with God. Traditional religion has not done the trick in filling up that vacuum; instead, it seems to have increased the compulsion to feed the addiction with ever more power and greedy consumption. Religion must shift its emphasis from dominion to cooperation.
Addictions kill human beings, whether it is an individual death from alcoholism or a national, even global, death from war.