Column: I am convinced that you cannot be for war and be a Christian’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 20, 2006

Love Cruikshank, Love Notes

I feel that any war is the work of the devil &045; the manifestation of evil &045; and that if we spent as much time furthering the cause of peace as we do sending other people out to fight and die for us the world would be a better place for all concerned.

The other evening I saw on the news a little girl being asked, &8220;Can we be against the war and still be patriots?&8221;

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&8220;No,&8221; said the child. &8220;Cause we elect the government and the government decides that we should have war and so we have to be for it.&8221;

Hitler couldn’t have asked for anything more.

All my life this has been my favorite season of the year. From the time when I learned what Christmas and Easter were, Easter was still my favorite.

The glory of spring was always in its newness. The dried and dim were gathered on new winds and swept away. Pushing up from the earth were shoots of color proclaiming life building hope for a future.

I know bad things sometimes happen in the spring. The worst tornado Nebraska ever experienced hit Omaha on Easter in 1913. The terrible California earthquake of 1906 was still being talked about when I was a little girl.

The mother of a friend of mine was in a very plush hotel with visitors when the hotel more or less collapsed. It was night and one of her friends was wearing over her nightgown and kimono an extremely beautiful Spanish shawl.

One of the hotel residents, a somewhat stout gentleman caught in the shower in the altogether dashed up to the woman and seized the shawl, at the same time whimpering to the woman in pleading and apologetic tones, &8220;I’m sorry, lady. I need this more than you do.&8221;

It was frightening just to hear about, but people could laugh about it a little. Things are happening now that don’t bear laughing about. A black bear attacks three people, killing a six-year-old girl and wounding her mother and little brother.

Two little boys are drowned. A 10-year-old-girl is seized by a neighbor, a monster and murdered.

Terrible things were happening when I was a child, too. And ministers of the gospel roared from their pulpits that women were doomed to hell because they were bobbing their hair.

I was somewhat disappointed in the Easter TV programs this year. There is such a wealth of magnificent Easter music. I mean I have nothing against &8220;Easter Parade&8221; and the adaptation of &8220;Golden Wedding Day&8221; but programmers must have known far enough ahead that Easter would be here that there could have been some really powerful music.

I think that anything new to be discovered about the founders of our religion must be of interest to its followers. I’m something of a traditionalist when it comes to Easter, however, and it in no way enhances the day for me to hear about the beautiful relationship between Jesus and his wife, Mary Magdalene. Nor do I think he had to ask help from Judas to accomplish his eternal mission.

As long as the religion has been part of our experience, I can’t understand why all of a sudden these little touches are coming to the fore now.

Not that it matters, I suppose. What is important cannot change. To love God and your neighbor remains a given. I don’t know whether you can be against war and be a patriot or not. I am convinced that you cannot be for war and be a Christian.

(Albert Lea resident Love Cruikshank’s column appears every Thursday.)