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An unexploded U.S. cluster bomb hides in the dike of a rice paddy in Nanou Village, Laos. January, 2005. Photo by Titus Peachey
Faith reflection on cluster munitions and security
God’s purpose for the land
The biblical story is filled with references of blessing, security and peace springing from the land. A quick reading of the Hebrew scriptures finds the fields exulting (Ps. 96), parched land turning into springs of water, fields that are fruitful (Ps. 107) and green pastures where people can lie down in safety (Ps. 23). God’s purpose for the land is clearly to provide food and abundant resources for life and well-being
Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so….And God saw that it was good (Gen. 1:11, 12).
Questions for Reflection
What would happen to your sense of security if the land on which you lived, your lawn, your garden or your farmland became a place of danger and terror?
When cluster munitions lie hidden in the soil, they violate God’s purpose in creating soil for planting and harvest. These munitions become in effect, “seeds of death.” Whose interests are being served? Does anyone really benefit from this violation of the land? Why does it continue to happen? What ethical concerns does the use of cluster munitions raise for tax payers?
Our role in creating peace
Romans 12 invites us as children of God to live with renewed minds and not conform to the patterns of this world. We are called to feed our enemies and to overcome evil with good. Romans 13 states that governing authorities should not be a terror to those who do good and that only those who do wrong need live in fear.
Read Romans 12: 14-21 and Romans 13: 1-5
Questions for Reflection
When governments use cluster munitions and turn the land into a place of danger, how does this reflect or not reflect the role of governing authorities as described in Romans 13?
Ten-year-old Mohamed from Lebanon (a Common Place, Fall, 2009) who lost his left leg from a cluster bomb explosion is one of thousands of children whose lives have been devastated by weapons of war. In these situations, how do we overcome evil with good? What is our responsibility in relation to the governing authorities that use these weapons?
If a foreign military power dropped thousands of cluster munitions in your community, and children had to face this danger daily, what would you want the Christians in that country to do after they learned about this, and had studied Romans 12 and 13?
For those that know the wrath of our idolatry: a reflection on cluster bombs and idolatry by Nathan Toews, intern at the MCC Washington Office.