shit evil post I have no words to describe showed up on my Facebook feed this morning:
And I am angry beyond words.
It isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. And it probably won’t be the last.
Here’s a more accurate picture:
That is what a human body looks like after being nuked.
Imagine, for just a moment, that this man is someone you love. Can you do it? I can. It is too easy for me. Way too easy.
I’m grasping to find the words for the horror and anger and despair I feel that anyone could ever claim that this is right. Ever. For any reason. We are taking about human lives here. We are talking about people I love.
I know that the people who like and share such despicable and cowardly “solutions” don’t care. Maybe someone will listen to my little story.
See, the legacies of nuclear weapons are close to me. I’ve seen many sides of this. My grandparents worked at The Lab. The tiny bit of money I inherited that I’m using to go to school? It came from my grandma. Who was a mathematician in Los Alamos. Her and grandpa were both a bit too young to have been there in the 1940’s; they were Cold War era researchers. Some of grandpa’s work is now declassified and available online. I grew up putting my hands on replicas of Little Man and Fat Boy at the Bradbury Science Museum every time I went to visit my grandparents. At one point the museum was remodeled and it was discovered that one of the bombs wasn’t a replica after all. I spent my childhood with my hands touching an A-Bomb. I’ve seen the Trinity Site. I’ve lived under the airspace used for training flights for bombers. I follow the news in my local paper on local waste disposal facilities.
I also spent much of my childhood in a town (Durango, CO) where uranium tailings had been left piled in mounds by the river. Where uranium waste was used as fill dirt in residential neighborhood roads, under schools, around the city swimming pool. Every day on my way to school I went past a mountain of uranium waste. There wasn’t even a tarp over it. When the wind blew it dusted the town in radioactive waste. By middle school I knew kids dying of rare leukemia. In high school we were all lent Geiger counters to go check our school grounds for radiation. It wasn’t hard to find.
There is nothing pretty about nuking anybody. Ever. For any reason. And there is nothing pretty about living in the shadow of nuclear war, nothing pretty about the American towns poisoned by our greed for power, nothing pretty about causing such unimaginable suffering. There is nothing pretty about turning human beings into puddles of radiation burns.
I am trying so hard to learn to love my enemies. I know Jesus, who taught this thing about loving God, neighbors, and enemies, would never advocate dropping any kind of bomb on anybody. But today I have no idea how to love someone who tries to claim turning continents into sheets of glass is pretty. I know hate and anger will only poison me. But right now, “friends” who liked that awful meme, people I’ve heard say this over the last year, I have something to tell you: You are talking about my friends. And when you threaten my friends you threaten me.
I stand with the world. My God crosses the borders of nations and the boundaries of religions. My God is not confined to one Holy Book. My God created all human beings “in His own image.”
I stand for peace because I know what going to war does to people. I know what building nukes does to people. We will all be losers.
Let me be really honest. I am ashamed to be associated with people who support such violence and evil. I am ashamed that I have heard those words before and kept silent so that this is the first time I write about it. I struggle to find the words to say what must be said here. I feel very small and powerless and weak. My words are but a tiny whisper against a hurricane of hate and evil.
I leave you with one of history’s most haunting pictures. This is a shadow of a human being burned into a wall in Hiroshima. And my heart breaks into a million pieces to think that anyone would ever do this to another person. And those million pieces become a billion pieces to think that it could be someone I love.
She doesn’t look like molten glass to me.