Sunday, May 29, 2016
Thoughts on Memorial Day and War
The Last Memorial Day
by Rev. Paul J. Bern
This weekend we are all celebrating the 2016 Memorial Day holiday. Unlike Veterans Day in November, which celebrates the end of World War One, Memorial Day celebrates those who gave their all during World War Two. This got me to thinking about what the name would be for the day that commemorates all who will be killed in World War Three. One possibility would be “Destruction Day”, the “Doomsday Grand Memorial” could be another. This, of course, is assuming there will be anyone around to name this hypothetical holiday at all. One thing is certain – the 3rd world war, and it appears there is going to be one as I write this, will be a nuclear conflict with casualties in the hundreds of millions, or even billions, of people. This war, which will actually be two wars to be fought in rapid succession, is foretold in the Bible in Revelation chapter six, verse 8: “I looked, and before me was a pale horse! It's rider was named 'death', and Hades followed close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”
Then a second war is prophesied to take place after that, as the Bible recounts just three chapters later: “The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from one of the horns of the golden altar that is before God. It said to to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, 'Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates'. And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. The number of mounted troops was two hundred million. I heard their number.” [Revelation 9: 13-16, NIV] Neither of these wars has occurred as of this writing, but they can both be found in the Old Testament as well as the new. The first war in Revelation chapter six can be found in Psalm 83, and the later one can be found in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 (I encourage everyone reading this to read those three chapters; it takes less than 10 minutes combined, and it will give everyone a better perspective of what I'm writing about). There are currently 7.4 billion people living on the face of the earth, so if the Revelation Six war kills one fourth of humankind, that would come to 1.85 billion people. The second war in Revelation nine will kill fully one third of the people who are lucky enough to survive the first war, or an additional 1.85 billion more (I think it's more than a coincidence that the two figures for the two wars are exactly the same). So it is safe to say that these two wars combined will kill half of humankind, and possibly even more.
Will a 'memorial day' be created for these wars too? The meme for that last one in particular, the one that kills a third of mankind, could be “the war where we went insane”. Another possibility could be “The War That Made No Sense”. My country, the USA, has been at war in Iraq twice in the last 26 years for oil, a substance that should have been rendered obsolete as far as fuels are concerned after the Arab oil embargo of 1973. And yet, here we are in 2016 still using gasoline for a fuel while we asphyxiate our planet – and ourselves – one tankful at a time. Had America switched to, say, cleaner-burning natural gas back in the 1970's when we should have, our air would be proportionately cleaner and the planet that much better off as well. That's exactly why the American incursions in Iraq should never have occurred in the first place! Moreover, had the American military not gone in there then, we wouldn't be having the difficulties with Middle Eastern terrorism that we have been having since September of 2001!!
Albert Einstein once famously said, “I don't know what kind of weapons World War Three will be fought with, but if there's a fourth world war it will be fought with sticks and stones”. Einstein probably didn't realize at the time what a prophetic statement that truly was. With humankind possessing enough nuclear weapons to fry the entire planet hundreds of times over (something Albert Einstein probably never imagined considering that he died in 1955), a nuclear war would render nearly every living thing extinct, especially ourselves. I see no point in World War Three being fought for oil and other natural resources when, once victory is obtained, there is no one left to sell all that oil to! This is completely insane! The US military-industrial complex must stop in the name of God immediately! There are 7.4 billion lives at stake, and mine is one of them! End the insanity! Stop this madness of war for profit or we, the American people, will be compelled to force you to stop!! Moreover, if the US government had done its job by legislating an accelerated national program to replace fossil fuels back in the 1970's when the handwriting against fossil fuels first appeared on the proverbial wall, we would all be driving electric cars now and there would be few gas stations left, with all of them having gone the way of Route 66.
Let's not have to come up with yet another day of commemoration for all those who gave their lives in yet another pointless war. This has gone far enough, too far in my humble opinion. Moreover, Memorial Day commemorates only the soldiers who gave their lives, while ignoring all the untold hundreds of millions of innocent civilians who died in the crossfire. This is not to detract from the extreme importance we attach to those we commemorate this weekend – far from it! May God bless and remain with our fighting men and women, but all I'm saying is, let's make sure we don't ever have to set aside still another holiday like this one. We have Veterans Day and Memorial Day, plus the annual Confederate holiday here in Georgia where I live. Although I personally do not celebrate Confederate Memorial Day because I grew up in Cincinnati (just across the Mason-Dixon line), I respect those who do even if I don't think the same way as my Southern brothers and sisters do). But my point is, three Memorial Days are more than enough. Please, everyone, let's not ever have to create yet another holiday to honor the dead from yet another war. To quote Rodney King, “Why can't we all just get along?” Better still, to quote Jesus Christ, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called 'sons of the living God'” (Matthew 5: 9).