Photo by Cheryl Coward
"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked."
Well, after meeting Hart and reading about him and what he has written, he sure seems to be living up to this creed. I sure wish more of his other fellow Christians would strive for this and leave violence for the extremists. Unfortunately, it seems we have met the enemy and he is us.
You may want to consider posting supportive comments about the Houston Chronicle's stroy on Winter Soldier.
War-torn vets speak out
Haunted by their wartime experiences, some Iraq veterans are are protesting
From the page: "Hart Viges walks the streets of Austin in a tunic and carries a sign that reads, "Jesus Against War." It's one of many ways, he says, that he must atone for his actions as an American soldier in Iraq.
Army Sgt. Ronn Cantu says lingering memories of killing a civilian in Iraq led him to start a chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War at his home -- Fort Hood.
And in Houston, Chris Hauff, an Iraq War vet who returned from combat two years ago, wrestles with the feeling that his best friend died in a misguided war.
"The idea that American soldiers are there to spread democracy and liberate the people is all smoke and mirrors," Hauff says.
After five years and more than 4,000 American deaths, hundreds of anti-war Iraq veterans and even some active-duty soldiers are speaking out in protest. Though they make up a relatively small percentage of all the soldiers who have served, certainly they speak from experience. They've had their boots on the ground."
I've had breakfast with Hart Viges. Great guy. God fearing Christian. Anti-war. Pro-peace. Just like Jesus of Nazareth. Imagine that.
Here's what Dave posted in the comment section:
"My thanks to the editors of the Houston Chronicle for allowing this story to run and to Claudia Feldman whose resolve and determination to report the story is exemplary.
As a veteran of the war in Viet Nam who went to that war with a firm belief in its necessity and honorable goals and returned in anger against my government for the lies that sent me, I can well relate to what the men and women of Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan face. To allow them to tell their story is, truly, "supporting the troops".
Some 10 years after the last US soldier left Viet Nam a survey was conducted regarding the views about that war among its veterans. The results suggested that, much like the nation as a whole for much of the war, those veterans were divided in their views; some still believing it a "noble cause" and others denouncing it as criminal aggression, futility, or error heaped upon error. The same will likely prove true ten years after the last US soldier leaves Iraq. But the division of opinion among veteran and civilian alike is no excuse for muffling the voice of these men and women who have each served with honor and continue to serve by standing up and telling the truth as they experienced and perceive it.
Bring the troops home now and care for them when they return.
Hill Country contact
Vietnam Veterans Against the War"
hoto by Cheryl Coward
Here's a clip of Hart during the Winter Soldier Event this spring: