CNS photo/Octavio DuranThis museum representation of a nuclear bombing shows burned skin peeling and hanging from hands Aug. 6 at the Peace Museum in Hiroshima, Japan.

CNS photo/Octavio Duran
This museum representation of a nuclear bombing shows burned skin peeling and hanging from hands Aug. 6 at the Peace Museum in Hiroshima, Japan.

We can argue that being a good Christian is all about getting to the next life and attaining salvation. Yet, Jesus clearly focused on how we treat each other in this life.

For some reason, after all the time that has passed since Jesus was born and lived, we still think in terms of “me first” and everyone else after. It is still a part of life that it is OK for me to step on someone else’s toes in order for me to get ahead. This is the culture of class, competition and ultimately war.

I can remember the shock on my parents’ faces when it was announced in 1945 that the U.S. had dropped the first atomic bomb. While I was very young at the time and did not understand what it meant, the look on my parents’ faces told me clearly something was very wrong. What followed were years of cold war with countries ramping up nuclear arsenals so large that the thought of using  them sent shivers up one’s spine, and still does.

The Christian message is about Jesus caring for others, not destroying them. He lived his life feeding, healing and communicating with the not-so-proper and the outcast, and the message he left us was to love God above all things and love our neighbor as we love ourselves. It is such a simple principle but so difficult to live in a culture that fosters entitlement, social class, competition and that having enough is never enough.

Dennis McCartin
Central Point