Numb to War Deaths?

From AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) – It was another week at war in Afghanistan, another string of American casualties, and another collective shrug by a nation weary of a faraway conflict whose hallmark is its grinding inconclusiveness.

After nearly 11 years, many by now have grown numb to the sting of losing soldiers like Pfc. Shane W. Cantu of Corunna, Mich. He died of shrapnel wounds in the remoteness of eastern Afghanistan, not far from the getaway route that Osama bin Laden took when U.S. forces invaded after Sept. 11, 2001, and began America’s longest war.

Cantu was 10 back then.

Nearly every day the Pentagon posts another formulaic death notice, each one brief and unadorned, revealing the barest of facts – name, age and military unit – but no words that might capture the meaning of the loss….

One measure of how far the war has receded into the background in America is the fact that it was not even mentioned by Mitt Romney in his speech last week accepting the Republican presidential nomination. President Barack Obama has pledged to end the main U.S. combat role in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, but current plans call for some thousands of U.S. troops to remain long after that to train Afghans and hunt terrorists.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • http://anirenicon@gmail.com Allen O’Brien

    Wow. I see the numbness, myself numb, and it’s sad.

  • http://textsincontext.wordpress.com/ Michael Snow

    Maybe numb to war deaths, but few evangelical Christians OR leaders question warfare. Most are patriotic cheerleaders who would be aghast at what leaders like Moody or Spurgeon said about it.
    “What pride flushes the patriot’s cheek when he remembers that his nation can
    murder faster than any other people. Ah, foolish generation, ye are groping in the
    flames of hell to find your heaven, raking amid blood and bones for the foul thing
    which ye call glory. Killing is not the path to prosperity; huge armaments are a curse
    to the nation itself as well as to its neighbours.”1026.706–Charles Spurgeon.

  • http://www.postyesterdaychurch.blogspot.com Josh

    Thank you, Michael, for the Spurgeon quote.

  • Eddie R.

    Not numb; just not in our faces these days. Why? Because as long as Bush was President, the media and the Dems kept pushing the deaths in our faces. Now, they have no reason to keep the mounting losses in front of us.

    So they don’t.

    And we blame ourselves.

  • http://www.eric-michael.com EricMichaelSay

    Numb to the deaths of volutary soldiers of a nation that has been at war my entire lifetime? Yup.

  • Mike M

    Eddie R: as easy as your explanation seems, it’s a spiritual and ethical issue and not a poltical one. Neurobiologists have also found decreased activity on FMRI’s in the insula region of the brain (responsible for integrating sensory input with empathetic inputs to the frontal cortex) when people are exposed to stimuli that overwhelm their sensibilties. On the other hand, males but not females, showed increased activity in the excitatory regions of their brains when exposed to images of “enemies” in pain. So when you can convince a guy that someone is an “enemy” you can send him to war while the good folks at home lie content in perfect numbness.

  • CGC

    Hi Everyone,
    I can’t help but think as they send more soldiers to Afganistan, things like I heard in the news today is mind-boggling. Some teachers are teaching our children about 9/11 that it was the Afganistans that attacked the U.S. on 9/11 because the Afganistans hate us. Is it just me or do others see major problems with this approach? Does this help our soldiers going over to Afganistan? And do we really believe it was Afganistan behind the 9/11 attacks? The last time I checked, it was basically Saudi’s financed in Saudi Arabia and trained as terrorists in Saudi Arabia. It seems the whole Afganistan thing is a kind of scape-goating since it’s against our supposed American intererests to hold Saudi Arabia in any shape or form responsible for the 9/11 attacks.


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