During World War II, Aug. 9 came to represent varying barbarities inflicted on innocent civilians, from the gassing of a Jewish Carmelite nun to the beheading of a German Christian war protester to the incineration of a Japanese city with a historic Christian church as Ground Zero, Gary G. Kohls writes.
Since the Fourth Century A.D., Christian churches have sanctified nationalism and wars rather than insist on the non-violent teachings of Jesus, leaving many misguided Christians to explain later why they became implicated in war crimes, a predicament that Gary G. Kohls says is repeating again in modern America.
Millions of Americans, when facing depression or even just anxiety, turn to powerful psychiatric drugs marketed by pharmaceutical giants, whose ads gloss over the risks in fast-talking fine print. A counter-movement warning of the dangers from an over-prescribed society is emerging, as Gary G. Kohls describes.
Some of our special stories in January, focusing on Election 2012, a possible new war with Iran, the economic degradation of America’s middle class, missteps on climate change and more.
Though founded by a pacifist, Christianity has justified some of the most brutal slaughters in human history, from the wars of the late Roman Empire to the Crusades to the Inquisition to world wars to genocides against “heathens,” Muslims and Jews. Yet, Gary G. Kohls says the essence of Christianity can still be reclaimed.
Some of our special stories in December reflected on the end of a long war in Iraq and the potential for a new one in Iran; reported on developments in the Republican presidential race; warned of new encroachments on civil liberties; and notedthe truth-telling courage of Bradley Manning; and more.
It might seem odd to anyone who understands what Jesus taught that the U.S. presidential candidates who most stress their Christian devotion are often the same ones urging more wars. But this defiling of Jesus’s message of peace is not new, as Gary G. Kohls recalls from an inspiring moment in World War I.
History is filled with cautionary tales about militarily powerful empires that collapsed because they spent far too much on guns over butter. The United States is now tempting a similar fate behind a ruling elite that uses fear and propaganda to maintain control, as Gary G. Kohls notes.
Like the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street, the French Revolution began as a rejection of an unjust system where the few were obscenely rich and the many had little money or power. Where it went off-track was in its embrace of violence, a lesson today’s revolutionaries must heed, says Gary G. Kohls.
As the Occupy Wall Street and other populist protests grow, the role of police – in either allowing dissent or crushing it – will be at center stage. In that regard, Gary G. Kohls sees valuable lessons from the Holocaust drama, “Sarah’s Key.”