Thursday, October 15, 2015

Does The LDS Church Have Anything To Say About War?

As I write this post, the United Nations estimates that up to 300,000 people have died in the ongoing Syrian civil war. Around 12 million people have been forced to flee Syria as refugees, making it one of the worst such crises of our generation, although not remotely the only one. Also right now there's a U.S.-backed war in Yemen going on, and ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, all conflicts in which the United States has played a direct role.

Syrian Refugees

Last week, Mormons around the world gathered to hear their leaders speak the putative word of the Lord at the church's semiannual General Conference. On Sunday morning, as I half-watched one of the speakers while skimming various faithful and snarky #ldsconf tweets on Twitter, I scrolled past a headline about a few dozen deaths in Syria. Maybe it was ISIS, maybe Assad, maybe America or Russia, but it was nothing particularly unusual. But it struck me, because I realized that nobody at conference seemed particularly interested in discussing Syria. Or Libya. Or Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Sudan, Nigeria, Ukraine, or any other part of the world facing widespread violence and repression right now. From an LDS perspective, those conflicts might as well not exist except as destinations for humanitarian relief.

In response I tweeted this: