Nabil al-Jurani/Associated Press
Iraqi children in Basra waved their toy weapons during a holiday in September
The headline in the 01-01-11 NYT begins to indicate how completely we've lost the hearts and minds of Iraq's people, young and old." Iraq Moves to Ban Toy Guns as Play Turns Real" 1 Reading the article reveals that the violent culture, encouraged by our invasion, leads to kids' play mimicking the real horror of war. This in turn raises up children believing that shooting and bombings are their normal way of life. Hurting each other is acceptable. Early death is routine. Killing the enemy is to be praised.
As these psychic wounds of war penetrate the spirits of Iraqi youth, so do they embed in the young hearts of our own society's trained warriors of occupation. What terrible carnage they see and hear, remains to torment, and even though rarely witnessed back in the homeland, continues to poison, in many ways, everyone's hopes and dreams.
Iraqi boys in Baghdad refugee camp 2007, play with toy guns. By Namir Noor-Eldeen, Reuters
The Iraqi official is speaking to all of us. "It's the responsibility of the community to get rid of these toys," said Dr. Emad Abdulrazaq, national adviser for mental health at the ministry. "They make it easier for a child to make the next step to real violence, because every day he enjoys guns."
Though the article's author concludes it's unlikely, let us pray that Iraq bans toy guns. May we also join in a worldwide campaign to ban war toys which has long been the Christmas good tidings of Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy and others. 2 Then may the world move on to renounce all killing machines. As stated from Isaiah 2:4 in the church's lectionary at the beginning of Advent—and now needs completion by all the People of God with God's saving grace:
"One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war any more."
We desperately need this New Year's resolution--to accept the merciful gift of the birth of the child Jesus, banish the curse of war which has plagued so many generations, threatening the mind and heart of our children's children.
1 Please read – informative on the many ways the Iraq war harms the children. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/01/world/middleeast/01iraq.html?_r=1&ref=world&pagewanted=all
2 From a letter on war toys by Fr. E.C. McCarthy----"For the Christian a peaceful existence for all humanity can only be brought into existence by fidelity to the means for establishing peace revealed to humanity by the Prince of Peace, Jesus. Why? Because for the Christian Jesus is the Incarnation of God and only God knows how to conquer evil and bring peace to humanity. If God says "This is the way to do it," then this is absolutely and for certain the way to do it. Jesus teaching or training a child or an adult to kill others, or to learn to kill is absurd. Yet, Christians are doing just that every Christmas, the Feast and Birthday of the Prince of Peace, when they hand over war toys, which include now Nintendo [Amerca's Army, and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2--ongoing examples] and other high tech avenues of playing homicide and the destruction of other infinitely loved sons and daughter of the Father/Mother/Parent God."