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Friday, December 14, 2007

The Kingdom

Not the one you're thinking of. :)

I just finished watching The Kingdom. A friend of mine works for Blockbuster, so he gets to preview a lot of the movies about to come out. Anyway, we all went over and watched it.


I should say that again.


I come into it from a different perspective. In college, my primary field of study was the Middle East. I'd actually hoped to go into foreign affairs, work for the State Department, make the world a better place. Yeah. You see where I'm going with this, right? I spent a summer living in Israel and realized that foreign policy in the Middle East has very little to do with what's right and everything to do with power. I couldn't live with that. And frankly, as much as I am a rebel, I'm not into being a one-woman fight against the machine.

I watched this movie with a lot of sadness. I'm going to ruin the ending, so if you're one of those who can't deal with it, I apologize. Each side ended with the notion that "we're going to kill them all." There was this little boy, and that was the thought planted in his head. You want to know where the terrorists come from? Those little boys. And probably, little girls.

The next generation of terrorists are going to be even more ruthless. We think it's bad now, but I believe it will be even worse. The younger generation sits back and watches as their loved ones die horrible deaths. All the blame is placed on the Americans. Or, if you live here, on the Muslims. And so we learn to hate. When we hate, it's easier to kill. They aren't one of us. They are the enemy.

If you want to know the truth about what's going on over there, you need to know that we're all in the wrong. All sides. We aren't the good guys. But we aren't the bad guys, either.

I gave up my Middle East dreams because I didn't know what to do about it. There are some in this country who would think I'm unpatriotic or wrong or worse, a terrorist myself because I feel this way. And the thing is, I'm none of those things. I love my country. But I love other people too. And I think all people have the same inalienable rights. Rights that we deny a lot of others because they believe different things, live a different way, and look a little different from us.

I say this as an American. I say this as a Christian. I say this as a mother.

I used to laugh about the bumper sticker that says, "Who would Jesus bomb?" I keep thinking about it, though. Who WOULD Jesus bomb? He came so that all might be saved. Not everyone except the people we don't like. Abram became Abraham, the father of many nations, so that all the peoples of the world would be blessed. The fulfillment of all the law is love. I'm a bit confused as to how any of our actions are in line with the law. But apparently I follow the wrong law. At least in human terms.

So maybe I did blog about The Kingdom, after all. And not the movie.

If you want to change the situation in the Middle East, if we want to win the war on terror, it's not going to come by going in, guns blazing. I used to work with an organization that's figured that out. Seeking Common Ground- Building Bridges for Peace brings together young women from Israel, Palestine, and the U.S. to learn about one another and break the cycle of hatred. I was privileged enough to work with a number of the girls, get to know them, and fall in love with each and every one of them. It's groups like SCG, working to change the hearts of the next generation, one person at a time, that's going to make a difference.

I encourage all of you to take the time, step into the shoes of your enemy, and truly consider what Jesus would really do. Perhaps, if we started to figure that out, we wouldn't be damning the next generation to hell on earth.

1 comment:

Heather said...

I stopped reading because the movie's on our queue (how on earth do you spell that word?). I hadn't really cared about seeing it until I saw your double Wow.
And who knew you worked in Israel?