Sunday, December 14
We Americans Talk of 'Peace on Earth,' But Our Actions Speak Louder
Bruce Mulkey, Common Dreams, December 13, 2003

Now we are in the season of Christmas. Celebrations are being held, carols are being sung and prayers are being prayed (not to mention consumers going amok and Atkins dieters falling off the wagon). And in this season many of us honor the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.

I have heard those who proclaim that this is a nation founded on Christian principles. I have heard President Bush assert that Jesus is his favorite philosopher. But when we look at where our government, in our names, puts its attention and a massive portion of its resources— [...more]

—can we really claim to uphold the tenets of the Prince of Peace?

Some have said that you can determine your priorities by looking at your checkbook ledger. So let’s look at a few of the stubs in our nation’s 2002 checkbook courtesy of the Office of Management and Budget.

Military spending: $319 billion
Education: $77 billion
Transportation: $55 billion
Environment: $27 billion
HIV/AIDS: $14.7 billion
Peace Corps: $277 million

It’s projected that total military spending from 2000 through the end of 2008 will amount to $3.2 trillion. A trillion here, a trillion there. Pretty soon we’re talking about real money, even by government standards.

As much as we talk of “peace on earth,” our actions make our words ring hollow. If we were really serious about creating peace in our time, wouldn’t we be putting a more substantial portion of our resources toward that end? As long as we put our focus on kicking our real or imagined adversaries’ butts rather than reconciliation,

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