Four Years in Iraq: Forgive Us Father For We Have Sinned

These words come from a Soldier who has fought in this battle. The news article reads:
Forgive Me Decal

Sgt. Mathew Gonzalez said his decal that reads “Lord please forgive me, I have committed sins for our freedom” is a message he created to show that as a Catholic he believes he did sin by killing someone in Iraq.

Today marks four years since our country declared war with Iraq. Noble men and women, innocent children, killed and being killed on both sides of this war. It’s no secret that I think this war is wrong. I think all war is wrong, I don’t believe it is ever the necessary or best option. However, my goal today isn’t to make a case for or against, I believe this is a moment and a time to lament the lose of the past four years. Lament the lose of soldiers, Iraqi and USA. Lament the deaths of children, elderly, Muslim, Christian, brothers and sisters.

  • US Troop Casualities – 3,205 US troops; 98% male. 90% non-officers; 78% active duty, 13% National Guard; 74% Caucasian, 10% African-American, 11% Latino. 19% killed by non-hostile causes. 54% of US casualties were under 25 years old. 68% were from the US Army
  • US Troops Wounded – 24,042, 20% of which are serious brain or spinal injuries (total excludes psychological injuries)
  • US Troops with Serious Mental Health Problems 30% of US troops develop serious mental health problems within 3 to 4 months of returning home
  • Iraqi Civilians Killed, Estimated – A UN issued report dated Sept 20, 2006 stating that Iraqi civilian casualities have been significantly under-reported. Casualties are reported at 50,000 to over 100,000, but may be much higher. Some informed estimates place Iraqi civilian casualities at over 600,000.

Please take sometime today to read the names of the men, women and children who have been killed in Iraq. These are not numbers, they are names, real people whose lives have been changed, impacted, and ended by this war. (Download the PDF, about 2.5mb)

7 thoughts on “Four Years in Iraq: Forgive Us Father For We Have Sinned”

  1. Ariah, Contrasts: Jesus said to love God with all your heart, mind and soul, your neighbors as yourself, love your enemies and do good to them that persecute you. God our Creator says obedience is better than sacrifice. He also says we are to help the poor, the orphans, the widows & in doing so would be helping Him. Another command is to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Hence our money goes to our government. Our government is established by Him. Governments fight wars. He spoke of wars and rumors of wars. Wars have not ceased since His short visit to earth. Saddam murdered thousands of men, women & children, his brothers & sons relished torturing people. That torture had no end under Saddam. The unarmed helpless people of Iraq that were tortured and murdered by Saddam are our neighbors. Our men and women soldiers sacrifice their safety to put an end to their torment and in doing so help them. Jesus sacrificed Himself to put an end to an eternity of torture of ourselves. We honor our soldiers. Above all else we honor God and His Son. God bless America. God forgive America for her many, many sins.

  2. Ariah…there is no specific message, but it does prompt me to wonder. Are we complaining about the war because of the numbers of casualties? Because it is immoral? Because it is illegal? Because we do not like Bush? What reasons are there ultimately?

    If casualties are the reason, then we need to rethink it..because a lot of people are dying for reasons that are much easier to stop than a war.

  3. It astounds me that Christians can defend the killings in Iraq. Did anyone read the list? Two year olds, infants. The same Christians will argue that no abortion is acceptable because it takes innocent lives. Were those Iraqi children not innocent? Does our “freedom” to worship consumerism and consume massive amounts of the world’s resources justify supporting the killing of innocents?

    A few days before the war started, I heard a sermon preached by a nun from Iraq whose order of nuns had been founded after the first war in Iraq. It had been founded to care for the orphan children, many of whom were missing arms and legs and had been physically and emotionally traumatized by the war. I have never before or since been so convicted by a sermon and the words of that woman have hung on my heart for four years. She was full of the Holy Spirit and the name of Jesus rolled off of her tongue with power. And she knew those victims of our lie-based war by name.

    And lets not forget when we speak about the atrocities that Saddam committed that he was a close ally of the U.S. in the 1980s and we supplied him with aid to fight the Iranians. What heroes we are, empowering a monster then playing the innocent avenger of the monster’s evils.

    And the car accident argument is just absurd. Since people are more likely to die in car accidents than to be murdered in this country, maybe we should stop wasting our time prosecuting murders. How’s that for logic?

    Now lets get back to the point. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed. My “freedom” isn’t worth their lives. The only blood-bought freedom that I want is the freedom offered by Christ. Not the freedom to do what I want or to have my country dominate others, but rather the freedom to die to myself and live in Christ’s reality.

  4. Ariah, At the onset of the war against terror in Iraq I had a friend who was very against war, sounded much like you, was the leader of a local church, usually known for taking a more liberal perspective. Then he received correspondence from a friend who worked amongst Christians in Iraq of a similar persuasion who expressed incredible gratitude to Christ as well as to my friend for being a part of what they saw as the answer to their years of prayers…having the US bringing military force to bear on injustice. My friend changed his mind. It would be interesting to know if the Iraqi people he knew have changed theirs now. I would tend to believe them.

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