People who live in big cities in America are– rightly, I think– terrified that big American cities will be at an increased risk for another terrorist attack. That’s a real concern. I watched 9/11 from my living room in Columbus 18 years ago and I never, ever want to see that happen again. The fear must be much worse for people who live in New York and Washington.
But what’s far more likely to happen, is that Iran will suffer an attack like that from us. After all, the president is already threatening it– yesterday he threatened fifty-two culturally significant targets, which means he’s targeting civilians (a war crime). Today he threatened again, promising that his response would be “disproportionate.” The United States has the ability to make 9/11 happen to other people any day of the week without Americans at home really noticing. We spend the most money of any country in the world on our military.
Many conservative Christians I’ve seen on social media today seem pretty excited about this. They enjoy the prospect of blowing up Iran. Iran has terrorists and Muslims in it, after all. Trump is a pro-life president who is doing great things for us. We can trust him.
And if you’re one of those people, I’d just like to remind you of something:
There are unborn babies in Iran.
In fact, there are lots of them.
People used to hand out little quarter-sized plastic fetuses at the abortion clinic protests in Columbus. I imagine they still do that. They also used to hand out pamphlets about how a person’s unborn child was the size of a cherry or a plum or an apple already; how early they got fingers and toes and sucked their thumbs in utero. I’m sure many of my readers have seen those. Images of unborn babies torn limb from limb were shown all over social media in 2016, as reasons why a person of conscience had to vote for Trump instead of Clinton. One very unscrupulous priest even used an unborn baby for a sacrilegious photo shoot. I’m sure you’ve seen those images. Think about them right now.
And remember that at this moment, in Iran, there are unborn babies that look just like those plastic dolls. They are size of cherries and plums. They have fingers and toes, and suck their thumbs in utero. If the place they are living in gets hit by an American missile, those babies will be torn limb from limb.
Those unborn babies are inside the bodies of women, who also live in Iran. They don’t have the easiest time; in fact, their rights are restricted in many ways. It’s not the worst place in the Middle East to be a woman, but it’s not a good place either. Many changes need to be made. But if those women have their homeland destroyed by American bombs, they won’t have an easier time. We’ll have made everything much, much worse for them.
Those women are married to men. Some of those men are horrible and participate in the oppression of women. Some of those men are good men who want to help change things for the better. And some of them are just okay. And if we start a war with their country, those men will watch their families suffer and they will not think highly of the United States and the kind of “freedom” we spread to the rest of the world. In fact, they will despise us. Even the good ones will. And they will be right to do so.
Those women and men have children– not just the unborn children I mentioned earlier, but born children as well. They have babies that don’t sleep through the night. They have little boys and girls who play with toys and accidentally leave them on the floor before going to bed. Those children like to have fun and make noise, and most of them probably aren’t too keen on school. They get excited for holidays and want to be comforted when they’re sick. They become afraid when it’s dark, or when they hear a strange noise, or when they can’t find their parents.
If we commit war crimes and destroy their homes and families, some of them will die, and those who don’t will suffer horrendous pain and trauma. They will blame us for this, and they will be right. They will cry out to God as they’ve been taught and the God Who sees everything justly will hear them. Some of the children will pray to Jesus.
Oh, yes, that’s right. There are Christians in Iran. That shouldn’t matter, since we’re required to treat everyone with respect, but for the record, there are between five hundred thousand and a million of our Christian brothers and sisters living in Iran. They have beautiful, ornate churches with icons painted all over them. They have been there since the beginning of Christianity– Persians were among the converts on the first Pentecost, after all– and they do not view themselves as foreigners but as Iranians. And do read that article and look at the photo of that beautiful church interior. What a glorious cultural treasure.
Remember that President Trump has promised to destroy Iran’s cultural sites.
Did you think that he was only going to destroy cultural sites you don’t like? That bombs would somehow go around the beautiful churches and not cause any damage?
Do you think it will be easier for the Christians living in Iran if a country that’s always talking about Jesus commits war crimes against Iran?
Did you think Trump was only going to murder BAD people? Villains? Irredeemable caricatures you couldn’t imagine being anything like you?
Sadly, that’s not how war works. I wish it did. But if our president gets his way, he’s going to kill babies, men and women, children, and some of those people will be Christians.
Is that what you want to happen?
(image via Pixabay)
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