Monday, January 18, 2010

Matt. 8 -- a talent for war [0]

The American "peaceniks" of the late 60s did not believe the reasons offered for going overseas and killing, or being killed by, total strangers.[1]

So, how to you demonstrate your aversion to war? The German anabaptist movement that gave birth to the American Amish communities avoided the badges of the military castes of 16th century Germany -- including buttons and mustaches.

The American hippies adopted other emblems of resistance: effeminate clothing, long hair, in-you-face immorality, drug use.[2] "The American folk rock / love rock musical" Hair had some unforgettable tunes, including Good Morning, Starshine. The central characters had it. Lots of hair, that is.

Yet, decades later, the "flower children" who avoided military service still suspect that they missed out on something. They did not participate in the defining trial of their generation, and often feel as though they've been "out of the loop" ever since. One of the very few people isa commended was, in fact, a military officer. A foreign one. A member of the occupying forces. Let's read the story:
Mat 8:5,6 İsa Kefarnahum'a varınca bir yüzbaşı O'na gelip, "Ya Rab" diye yalvardı, "Uşağım felç oldu, evde yatıyor; korkunç acı çekiyor."
Mat 8:7 İsa, "Gelip onu iyileştireceğim" dedi.
Mat 8:8 Ama yüzbaşı, "Ya Rab, evime girmene layık değilim" dedi, "Yeter ki bir söz söyle, uşağım iyileşir.
Mat 8:9 Ben de buyruk altında bir adamım, benim de buyruğumda askerlerim var. Birine, 'Git' derim, gider; ötekine, 'Gel' derim, gelir; köleme, 'Şunu yap' derim, yapar."
Mat 8:10 İsa, duyduğu bu sözlere hayran kaldı. Ardından gelenlere, "Size doğrusunu söyleyeyim" dedi, "Ben İsrail'de böyle imanı olan birini görmedim.
Let's look at a few sentences:
  • evime girmene layık değilim -- to my house / for you to enter / worthy / I am not
  • Ben de buyruk altında bir adamım -- and I / authority / under / a / man am
The military mind recognized what was going on. A King was on the scene. A Messiah, who embodied ultimate Authority. For this man under authority, the matter was a "no-brainer." If his servants obeyed him, obviously disease would obey the Healer.

The military mind has to be realistic. Those who understand hierarchy have insight into the structure of the universe.


[0] A Talent for War is the title of a science fiction novel by one of my favorite writers, Jack McDevitt.

[1] It turns out that the Gulf of Tonkin incident / resolution was a fraud. One that 50,000+ young American men, and untold thousands more of Vietnamese, paid for with their lives. But it made a few people very rich.

[2] As the old joke goes, "If you can remember the sixties, you weren't there!"

No comments: