The 12th anniversary of 9/11 is upon us and our country is on the brink of taking military action against Syria. It makes me wonder if the powers that be (Obama, Kerry, Congress) ever think about responding to evil in the world without using violence.
In the spring, my small group bible study completed a DVD study called “Jesus, Bombs & Ice Cream.” The DVD is a recording of an event hosted by Shane Claiborne, a Christian author and activist, and Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. The event featured presentations, testimonials, music and visual arts that explored what the world would be like with “fewer bombs and more ice cream.” My small group watched the video in segments over several weeks and used the discussion guide that accompanied the DVD.
One of the themes that my small group discussed during the study was what would have happened if the United States had reacted differently after 9/11? We pondered how US/Mideast relations might be different if the US hadn’t launched a full-scale war in Afghanistan, but had instead sent soldiers armed with food and trained to teach school.
There is a video that is based on part of “Jesus, Bombs & Ice Cream” (see above) in which Cohen, or rather an illustration of him, shows with stacks of Oreos that the U.S. could take a fraction of the money spent on national defense and use it improve education at home, feed all of the world’s hungry children, and fund several other social programs. Under Cohen’s proposal, the U.S would still have a national defense budget that is five times greater than Russia’s and seven times greater than China’s.
Maybe it is naïve to think that goodwill can be purchased or that the world would be safer if would-be terrorists are well fed and educated, but I would like to think that there are better solutions to fighting evil than with more violence.
Melissa Gish is a former elementary school teacher who now spends her days educating her children on how to be decent human beings