Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I had the opportunity on my mission (I served in Norway), especially when I was in the arctic to get to know many political refugees from North Africa and the Middle East the vast majority of which were Muslim. On ALL counts they were warm people, extremely friendly, welcoming and giving. I actually visited a Mosque when I was in Bergen and traded a first discussion with some gentlemen who were kind enough to teach me and my companion the 5 pillars of Islam. We were there during the call to prayer and the place was full of men praying. This was approximately a year after the attacks on 9/11. In other words when the U.S. was gearing up to go to war in the Middle East. If ever there were a time when we were vulnerable and could have been in harms way surely this was it. However it was fantastic and it continues to endure as one of my favorite mission experiences.

What worries me is that there is a ton of war propaganda being spread all over the media telling us that Iran wants to attack us or Israel or anyone else. There seems to be a widespread effort to make us all very afraid of them and to force us to hate them. I can't remember ever once seeing a picture of Tehran on the news or anything besides Ahmadinejad in front of the UN. Maybe its just me, but there are never pictures or stories of the people of Iran. After seeing what it looks like and listening to Rick Steves talk about his visit there recently, I actually would love to visit there. These are both worth the watch, one is short and the other, much better one is a bit long.

What actually upsets me about it all is another war is completely avoidable. We are the ones stirring the hornets nest. We are imposing sanctions, we are the ones making military blockades, we are the ones that have Iran surrounded and cornered. They don't have a single thing to gain with going to war with us or anyone else for that matter. I don't hate Iran or Iranians, I don't dislike them either. I have no feelings about them other than I think that the average Iranian is a lot like the average American - just a poor sucker trying to slog through another day, put food on the table and keep their family healthy and safe and above all, to be left alone. Before you parrot the war propaganda please at least read something. Listening to Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity does not count. In fact that is probably making you dumber. Above all, we are supposed to be Christians, yet it seems to me that the Christians are the most belligerent, salivating for another war, and this breaks my heart.