Thursday, April 27, 2006

Compound on the Tigris

Brandishing the Bible to comment on an event is risky business. Almost anyone who grew up anywhere within earshot of a preacher can tell you that the Good Book is full of contradictory statements and culturally-conditioned passages that do not always transfer well to modern Western civilization (that last word used advisedly). One can easily both condone and condemn the same act by quoting Biblical passages that have exactly opposite meanings. And then there is the time-honored practice of keeping individuals and even entire peoples in a proper state of subjection by strategically quoting chapter and verse.

But sometimes a verse just fits.

I was reading Charles Hanley's story that's been making the rounds of the Internet and even this week'
s Newsweek. A massive compound is being constructed on the Tigris in Baghdad..."The embassy complex - 21 buildings on 104 acres, according to a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee report....Original cost estimates ranged over $1 billion.... It will have its own water wells, electricity plant and wastewaster-treatment facility systems to allow 100 percent independence from city
utilities." (...and what utilities would they be referring to, I wonder?)

I couldn't help repeating to myself these verses of Psalm 127:

Unless the LORD build the house, they labor in vain who build. Unless the LORD guard the city, in vain does the guard keep watch.

So...who is building that big house on the banks of the Tigris?


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