Theologian and former Republican legislator Rev. Steve Hickey was alerted Sunday to prep for his long-awaited double-lung transplant, only to get a call six hours later saying, False alarm—bad lungs, no can do.
Yet he still has the breath and spirit (remember: respire and inspire share etymology) to advocate for a new holiday, War Folly Day:
So far I’ve started a Facebook page and registered it officially as a national and international holiday. Next I’ll figure out how to broadcast it far and wide and garnish international support. I need any and all help. This is NOT just another peace or pacifism day, this is a day when we insist on the truth for our soldiers by highlighting the farce and fiasco that is modern perpetual war; the real human cost, the unaccountable war spending (so little of which is truly for any sort of national defense), the delusion that these military actions result in a world with fewer bad guys or that have much if anything at all to do with preserving freedom, the insanity of bombing and building a country back up, exposing the financiers of war, the political hawks, the oligarchy and war games, the war industry and defense contracts – and so much more.
Especially after Afghanistan, can we all agree it is okay to ask of the powers that be: Is this present skirmish worth the life of my son or daughter? We do our soldiers no service when we go along with almost a hypnotic and blind (support) patriotism every time the war frenzy starts up again [Steve Hickey, “Why an International War Folly Day 8/8?” Ways & Means, 2021.11.24].
Reverend Hickey proposes August 8—8/8—for this thoughtful holiday, given the symbolism he sees in the figure 8, the infinity sign, and the endless cycle of state violence begetting violence. However, given his note that we’ve bumped Columbus Day for Indigenous People’s Day, I would suggest it might be more fitting to repurpose one of our multiple celebrations of military might. Perhaps Veterans Day, chilly and gloomy November 11, as the world slides from autumnal decay to wintry darkness, would best befit a national contemplation of the folly and destruction we wreak on ourselves and our fellow humans.
Remember (and if you’re looking for a conversation starter at the turkey table today, after you implore your deity to send Steve Hickey some lungs, here you go): the best way to support the troops is not to send them off to war.