Bombs, Coffee and Cobalt

I was going to blog this week about drinking coffee; I just decided to be a coffee drinker because I am spending a ton of time in coffee shops because I don't have an office. I decided that I should drink coffee and so I am! I had a blog prepared to discuss how being empowered by the Holy Spirit relates to coffee. I will have to save that for another day because there is something else I feel like we should discuss.

On social media I witnessed a lot of anxiety about the world around us, there seems to be a very real concern about nuclear war. So I feel compelled to talk about something political, but first I am going to share my views on faith and politics (very briefly). As Christians, we have a strange balance with the government in that we are to both engage the government without indulging the temptation of trying to be the government. Quite simply, Jesus was tempted to take control of everything, yet his kingdom is not (yet) of this world (John 18:36). Yet we are called to act subversively to help build that kingdom while waiting on Jesus to fulfill it. Much of Mark is about Jesus warning the Jews that if they continue on their path of warfare with Rome, they would be destroyed. He was right, and they were destroyed.  We also respect the political authority as we are told to do in Romans 13, but we can't be afraid to critique it (or even oppose it if necessary) and we can't take it over and we can't run away from it. Whew! Another way to put it is that we are called to be political without being partisan, to focus on serving Jesus the King. This is not about being a Republican or a Democrat, but about being a follower of Jesus.

My political statement for the day:  I believe we are called to have a consistent pro-life ethic. This is incredibly important because much of what I see in the world and in the news is death and destruction. We are called to protect the unborn, we are called to protect children, we are called to oppose war except in extreme cases (although there has always been a non-violent stream of Christianity), we are called to not use the death penalty (United Methodist stand against the death penalty), we are called to help young pregnant women who are considering abortion and help them spiritually and financially so they will choose another path. If we are pro-life we also have to care about the stuff we buy and how it is made. For example (thank you Tambra for posting an article about this) search cobalt mines. Cobalt is used in lithium batteries and is mined in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo. This should be a boon to their economy and help people rise out of poverty. Unfortunately, the mines are using children as laborers and cobalt is very detrimental to people's health. We must send a message to the companies that we buy from that that is not ok! A pro-life ethic means we stand up to those who abuse children.

We also need to send a message that, as Christians, it is unacceptable to use or threaten to use our nuclear weapons. This article tells us that even a small nuclear war would make the world uninhabitable. So why does the US have 6800? Russia 7000? Nuclear war isn't even the last resort, it would be the last choice we ever make. Add to that the millions of innocent men, women, and children who would be killed in even a limited nuclear engagement. We need to stand up and let our politicians know that nuclear weapons are not even a negotiation tool. They are way too dangerous for that.

I believe that Christ is calling us to a clear, complete, pro-life ethic. Jesus tells us "I came so that they could have life, and have it to the fullest (John 10:10)." We need to stand on the side of life, because this life, every life, is precious to our Lord. And talking about that is much more important than talking about drinking coffee for the first time.