The current international crisis revolves around the willingness of a nation to submit to United Nations resolutions on weapons inspections. The rationale behind it all is the perceived threat to peace and stability in the world resulting from failure to comply. Earlier this year - a matter of months ago – the United Nations convened the “Earth Summit”, seeking to address the perceived threat to the peace and health of our planet resulting from the lifestyle choices of those predominantly in the Western World. Two nations refused to comply with the wishes of the remainder of the world to act in the interests of the planet’s health – Australia and the United States, largely flowing out of recognition of the impact such changes would mean to their people’s lifestyles.
There are two wars being called for – one on Iraq, and another on those who vandalise our planet by their way of life. Ecologists suggest that if everyone lived as USAmericans live, the planet could sustain a population of no more than 350 million, or 7% of its current population. It is clear that there needs to be some drastic action to protect the world from this ever-creeping threat. At a level of justice, this underlines a gross distortion in use of the earth’s resources.
A cynic might suggest that the USA’s predilection with Iraq is a diversion from its failure to capture Osama bin Laden, or to direct attention away from its appalling record on the environment. It might also suggest another reason for our own government’s enthusiasm for war on Iraq. It is much easier to point the finger of blame at another and avoid responsibility for our own failings.
And we cannot sit idly by pontificating on this. As much as we are beneficiaries of this inequity, we too are responsible. As long as we remain silent about the economic and military injustices being perpetrated by our own national political leaders, we too are responsible. At a personal level we might find it easy to identify the smoke and mirrors deployed by others while overlooking or justifying our own similar behaviour. To be a good disciple of Jesus is to be one who cares for all creation, and to adopt a lifestyle which does not perpetuate the injustices we see in and to the world around us.
No-one said it would be an easy task to follow Jesus. It requires an adjustment to every part of our lifestyle.
October 6, 2002