I hope this post offends you

Posted 1/10/2009 by CtotheB in Labels: , , , , ,

As I got ready to write about my predictions for the divisional playoffs (which will be undoubtedly outdated by the time you read this...is anyone reading this?) I criticized myself for not blogging about the situation in Gaza. I feel like a hypocrite, another practicioner of kitchen table compassion. How could I turn the turmoil that has killed hundreds and displaced thousands more into a footnote of my day? I spent 6 hours watching football (with teams I don't even like that much) and a few minutes reading a couple articles and have spoken to no one.

And I usually pride myself on being informed. 

I've bantered with family and friends and spoken to people much more informed than I, but still feel meaningless.

How could I let this happen? 

Why am I completely comfortable watching civilians die and the anger I feel pales in comparison to what I would feel if FOX didn't carry the game today?

And by now I'm mad at you for wanting me to just make my predictions for Sunday, talk about what I thought of Saturday's games and stop being so "deep".

I'm mad that I don't know more about this; that the most I can say to people who have no sympathy for people in Gaza is, "it's a grey issue. Hamas is putting Palestinians at risk but that doesn't leave Israel blameless for the death of civilians."

I'm mad that many Christians and Americans misinterpret our relationship with Israel and don't offer criticism in situations that are desperate for it.

I'm mad at overt and covert forms of anti-Semitism that prevent people from understanding the Israeli perspective at all.

As a Christian I am humiliated because I know that Christ isn't calling us to be sideline disciples. So we can't afford to contribute to the "I am just one person" rhetoric. There has to be more we can do. 

Write your representative in Congress, donate to the International Response Fund division of the Red Cross.

A friend of mine recently wrote, "People who don't pray, inform, protest or care about what is happening in Gaza are complicit with the murder of innocent civilians."


I can't be responsible for this.

3 comment(s) to... “I hope this post offends you”


Alex Boland said...

All I can say about this is that you probably wouldn't get much more of an understanding of the current conflict by reading more news on it. "News," for the most part is a lot of clutter, a lot of immediate information that *seems* very relevant but could mean nothing. It is a gray issue, and I think all of us can admit that there is no perfect solution for this immediate crisis.

The best thing we can do is think of the big picture; the news is going to say what sounds right, what people want to hear and what sells. Meditating on the big picture won't put the bloodshed to an end tomorrow, or even in a week, but it might allow us to stop what hasn't stopped for the last 60 years.

WHayes said...

It pains me to try and comprehend what's going on over there from the general American perspective.

On one hand, I see how one of my jewish friends put up a Facebook application that gives an hourly update of how many Hamas rockets have landed in Israel, but then I turn on NPR and hear how Israel has been shelling UN and Red Cross relief vehicles indiscriminately. You want to sympathize with both sides, but for me personally, I start thinking about Israel's behavior and I start getting pissed. Is it anti-semitism that's keeping people from seeing it from the Israeli perspective, or is the army just plain wrong on this one? Are we so angry because we see it as a reflection of our own actions over the past 6 years in Iraq?

Criticism is needed. Israel is far from being totally justified in this, and Hamas has always been in the wrong for using innocent Palestinians as shields. It definitely doesn't give Israel the right to shoot at everything that moves in hopes they hit an enemy fighter, or leave entire Palestinian families bleeding and dying on their living room floors for days before letting in the bare minimum of relief efforts.

What do we do? Where do we go from here?

WHayes said...

And what I mean by "American perspective" is that of someone on the outside looking in.

Are there logical solutions to this conflict? Does it all boil down to feelings? Does it become all about anger, betrayal, the desire for justice, the clouded logic of the heart looking for revenge?

Clint Eastwood was just quoted in Esquire as saying that we're currently living in a "pussy generation," weakened by being all about how we feel about issues. Maybe there's some merit to that. I know I'm not the thickest-skinned individual myself. Maybe we should all put down the teacups for a moment and get back to straight logic. If only life were like math: only one right answer, but many ways to get there.

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