This slogan/bumper sticker has become popular among anti-war folk, including some Quakers. There's something appealing about it, but I've never been able to "rest easy" with the idea.
This came up for me today, when I was buying my Mom a Mother's Day card. The clerk said her kids were all older, and they sometimes forget Mother's Day. She looked sad. Then she mentioned her son was a soldier in Iraq, just went back for his second tour. I asked her if he was "out of harm's way" (as if that's really possible in Iraq). She said no, in his first tour he was a gunner on a Humvee, now he was on foot patrol. She didn't say what city. She said she was very worried. I said I hoped he came home safe. Then I took a risk and told her that although I was against the war, I still hoped he would be safe and that I would "hold him in my thoughts", which seemed very inadequate.
I've been wondering about this encounter. I didn't feel I could say that I would "hold her son in the Light", although I wanted to. The struggle for me, as a Quaker and human being is, how do I hold someone in the Light whose job it is to kill. Am I then part of the killing machine our "leaders" have unleashed in Iraq? Or should I say that I will hold him in the Light and all the Iraqis as well. That sounds good to me, but holding someone in the Light is not something to lightly toss around. I'm wrestling with this. I really do want her son home safe. I meant that. I don't want him to kill anyone. I don't want him to be there at all. I believe there is that of God in him and in all people. If I hold one person in the Light, is this a way of holding all human's in the Light. I'll have to let this simmer for a bit and see what comes up for me.
This is why I'm not comfortable with "Honor the Warrior, but Not the War"