Christian Soldiers

An Essay

by Hal Crowther

As an aged boomer I read this piece with feelings mixed of nostalgia and anger. I share your view that today's pushback from the electorate does resemble that resistance we witnessed (and supported) 50 years ago. I am not certain I want to see today's resistance grow as frantic and violent as it did then, and yet I know the future will emerge as it will; on the other hand, in a deeper place I crave it. Your essay has given me much to think about: I feel compelled to visit again and reevaluate my past, politically and morally, within the present; there is much to weigh in terms of the history Berrigan cites in your piece. When I see the many faces aged as mine is on the news reports of the political activism now occurring, I'm comforted by the fact that were I to become active (why else revisit?), I wouldn't be the only geezer out there.

As another aging boomer I read Christian Soldiers with feelings of deep sadness. I have constant, unresolved anxiety of how to help push for a world where resources and ideologies are not battled over in devastating wars. I was nineteen when I marched on the streets of London against the Vietnam war. Finding myself in England again in the days before the Iraq war I was able to go to London to march along with millions of others to protest another insane, despicable, endless battle. As I left to take the train to London my mother told me that I must feel like a teenager again. Hurt and truly disappointed I replied that "No," I did not feel like a teenager. I felt angry and bitterly frustrated that nothing had changed in our war culture in my lifetime. Even when most people were opposed to the Iraq war, Britain went ahead regardless with their US ally. No doubt I will be on the streets again but what to do when conscience is not enough? Thank you, Hal, for writing such a personal and insightful essay about true heroes of conscience.


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