By Tim Goodrich
U.S. Tour of Duty
August 14, 2005
Since today was Sunday, I¹m going to take this time to talk about religion. Although I¹m not typically a religious individual, the prayer service that we had at Camp Casey today was nice. There were a number of reverends there representing their different faiths. Prayers were said, bread was broken, and tears were shed.
I find it interesting the way religion has come to be twisted in American society. Instead of being an institute of peace, there are too many congregations across the United States that support the illegal occupation of Iraq. The last time I looked, the Ten Commandments said, "Thou shall not kill." They don¹t say, "Thou shall not kill, except when another country needs oil or strategic military control." And it¹s not that I¹ve forgotten the Ten Commandments, either. In fact, I looked at them today as we passed the Bush store at the main intersection in Crawford. They have an overly large display in the front of the store consisting of the Ten Commandments with a fake Liberty Bell in the middle. I would think that with this display being so prominent, Bush would know better.
The one thing that will always stick in my head about religion and war is this story: Just after I left the Air Force, I was going around to local churches in Oklahoma City giving them flyers for a candlelight vigil for peace, with hopes they would announce it to their congregation on Sunday. I arrived at one of the larger churches, and when I could not find the minister, I approached a woman that worked there. I told her what I was doing and gave her a flyer. Her response was that she would give the flyer to the minister, but she didn¹t know if he was against the war or not. This appalled me. The clergy in this country needs to take a stand for what is moral and right. The time for this is now, before another American or Iraqi dies needlessly.
Finally, I want to talk about a quote from Bush that I came across today. In response to a question about meeting with Cindy, he answered, ''Whether it be here or in Washington or anywhere else, there's somebody who has got something to say to the president, that's part of the job. And I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say. But I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life." What¹s important to know is that Bush said this while riding his bicycle in the middle of his five week vacation. Now, I think if Bush really wanted to come and meet Cindy, he could have skipped or shortened one bicycle ride. In fact, he could have ridden his bicycle down the road to meet us, accomplishing two things at once. The underlying question here is: What is Bush afraid of? People who have nothing to hide are not afraid of the truth.
Tim Goodrich is an Air Force combat veteran who helped with the intensified bombing leading up to the occupation of Iraq. After being honorable discharged, he traveled to Iraq as a civilian to see the human cost of war. Upon returning, he co-founded Iraq Veterans Against the War and continues working to bring the troops home.