Friday, April 07, 2006

Suffering in a Fallen World

UNICEF estimate that the number of children killed since 1990 (a 2006 report) is 1.6 million. The estimated rise in under five mortality rate during a "typical" five year war is 13 percent.

From Sierra Leone: Nanfa was only six years old when the rebels attacked her town. She fled into the bush. That first night, she curled up between a rock and a tree to sleep. She was missing for a week.

When Nanfa finally found her parents, her mother said,
"How could you go to sleep next to a rock? Weren't you afraid?"

Nanfa said
"You always taught us to pray before going to bed, so that night I prayed, "Papa God here I am."


Source : report from the Committee to Study War and Peace

1 comment:

Semaphore for Politicarp said...

Yes, but Celal, I have to add what I wrote to Bruce Wearne and Jack van Meggelen on Thinknet's listerve , the entire collision course of the world now between the democracies and the tyrannies, between the have-nots and the haves, between all the political-economic faultlines–even much that is considered and is racism–turns on certain demographic realities that have the peasantry and the post-peasant progeny reproducing atrates that made sense before modern medicine. Medicine and public health systems even desperately poor countries are enuff to change the rates of infant mortality, while the peasant-customs of reproduction prevail but do not fit the new conditions of the improverished.

As an example, we have very h+ birthrates in the Muslim countries that keep on producing a superabundance of offspring (dwelling just on the males) who survive infancy and childhood to become young adults without education, without economic infrastructure, without jobs, but plenty of testosterone and libidic basic-humanbiotic energy, that makes them in too many cases susceptible to the forces of Islamofacism. I deeply appreciate the efforts you take to get your reading fellow Christians not lump the overwhelming majority of Muslims with the Islamfascism that must be stopped–but without breaking faith with our Muslim neighbours anywhere! Still, the matters are not entirely ideological, but I beg press to anyone who will listen the stark demographic and reproductive realities that obtain and will obtain.

The cultural forces that can manipulate the situation do so. And the conditions of war are thereby set. Outside the Muslim world too. I'm not sure what have been the religiocultural dynamics in Sierre Leone (where the report you cite comes from), but that blak African country had recently been the site of one of the cruelest forms of recruitment of teenagers, even prepubescents, as child soldiers.

To know this is to live in sadness that no activism can solve, not even that of UNICEF, sorry to say. The whole world is in a deep crisis of a human reproductive pattern that doesn't fit the loss of topsoil, the ongoing disappearance of the peasantry with its h+ birthrates and h+ infant mortality that made previous close-to-nature human reproductive patterns intelligible in its own way. In Western countries, after the whole age of industrialism and now what some call post-industrialism, the birthrates are falling. This makes a certain amount of immigration very much welcome, to take care of our old-stock aging populations. But this creates in the short term, tensions in the societies of the West which will remain until the incomers have significantly displaced the old-stock in the professions, the arts, the industries and businesses, and in politics.

But on the broader world-scene, many countries are choked by populations for whom infrastructure has not kept up, while the peasant way of life has and continues to die out along with the diminishment of fertile topsoil. In the case of certain places in the Middle East, the destruction of the top soil is already ages long. A reformational scholar told me years back that already in the days of the earthly pilgrimage of our Lord Jesus Christ who indeed "went into the desert", Palestine was deeply affected by the destruction of its primordial top soil. It was in many places already an ecological disaster. That's just one example. But the larger pattern being cited here means that many countries casting about for ways to govern and direct the restless population of h+ly active youth and the population segment of their elders who would direct them into some cause or just determine the path of the action they crave, instead of expending their combat-ready energies entirely on internal movements and factions, instead to locate, identify, and even create external enemies. They need enemies, for their own internal country-wide reasons.

To police this situation is impossible, but necessary as long and as much as possible.

It's a grim analysis, I know. Yet as Christians we must live in hope. Papa God here we are!

Yours, Albert