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Won't Do War No More

War, huh, good God y’all, what is it good for – absolutely nothing.

This is a song from my childhood – and because it was in a recent movie my kids walk around the house singing it. Things get much weirder as we get older.

They think the song is funny, because the movie was a comedy, but for me it brings up memories of Vietnam and the era of war protesters. Since I was a kid I have vague memories of those days; protests on TV, images of the war, Nixon resigning, arguments at school (I was a loyal Republican in 5th grade). Today I have a better understanding of what went on. Several people I have met over the years served in Vietnam. Russ talked about terrifying helicopter rides, midnight rocket attacks and endless rain. The thing that impressed me the most from Russ was his powerful hatred of the Vietnamese. Twenty years removed and he still called them gooks. He was unashamed in his disgust for an entire people. If this is the result of war then I think that the song is true – what is it good for – absolutely nothing.

The Urantia Book says that war is part of the normal development of all worlds like ours. Nations form and seek security (576.8) and self preservation. I think that the writers of the book would defend the necessity of going to war as the United States did after attacked in 1941. However, the necessity of the current Iraq war is less clear and therefore it has raised questions concerning the legitimacy of this fight and the legitimacy of war altogether.

What is clear within The Urantia Book is the idea that war will disappear from the planet sometime in the future (630.1). In fact war must be abandoned if our civilization is to continue to advance (785.14). And so even though war is a necessary part of our planet’s development, humanity needs to find ways to eliminate it in order to advance to higher levels of civilization. War may not be good for nothing, but it will hold us back as we strive to develop a world culture that is more in line with the vision our Father in Heaven has for us.

That vision includes peace on earth, good will towards men. Does the book give us an idea as to how we can help bring this about? It sure does, and I think we readers can help these ideas work themselves into mainstream society. The Urantia Book says that the ideas that support the need for war need to be replaced by less violent strategies for resolving national conflicts (786.10). A recent example of this is economic boycotts. Though they too cause suffering, the damage to the innocent citizens of a country is not as great as all out warfare. In my mind lobbying for economic means for conflict resolution over military means is a step in the right direction. But The Urantia Book argues for a more radical development that readers should think seriously about promoting.

Universal government is the future of our world. The Urantia book says that war will not end until “unlimited national sovereignty” ends (1487.9). Individual states under a single world wide government is the key to bringing peace to our troubled world. The book uses the example of the formation of the United States. The original government of the independent thirteen colonies was a confederation which had little or no power to control the local states. This system was quickly abandoned as the thirteen states formed a strong national government while keeping the identity of the local states intact. The Urantia Book argues that this example can be expanded to the whole world (1489.4). I feel that readers of the book should be lobbying to change the minds of the people around us in an effort to make this a reality. We can be part of a small but crucial process of bringing peace to our troubled world.

Bringing peace will not be quick or easy (597.3). I don’t think I will live to see a peaceful world. The book says that the following steps also need to occur and it sounds like a daunting challenge: globalization of contacts, a common language and interracial living (597.4); increased knowledge of all cultures (597.5); growth of morals of ethics (597.6); political wisdom (598.1); continued spiritual growth (598.2). I don’t have any illusions that I will wake up one morning and everyone will be transformed. But I do believe that all of this will happen one day and that I can play a small part in God’s wonderful plan for our world.

What continues to amaze me is the repeated message that changing ourselves and our world for the better is in our hands. God has given us the responsibility, the opportunity and the resources to make miracles happen. God is certainly helping us with a cosmos of spiritual forces at work furthering the development of all people. And yet, God has placed the crucial elements of social and spiritual growth with you and me. God has ordained that we have the ability to change our world. And so I can do something to bring peace on earth – I can talk to the people around me about the concepts that The Urantia Book promotes. And slowly, person by person, with God’s help, things will change and the nations won’t make war no more.

God bless you,

William Whitehead

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