Pubdate: Sat, 28 May 2011 Source: Haliburton County Echo, The (CN ON) Copyright: 2011sOSPREY Media Group Inc. Contact: http://www.haliburtonecho.ca/feedback1/LetterToEditor.aspx Website: http://www.haliburtonecho.ca/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/3972 Author: Gene Monin, Pastor, City Bible Church, Sault Ste. Marie DO OUR CHOICES HURT SOMEONE IN A FAR OFF COUNTRY? "I hate the gatherings of those who do evil, and I refuse to join in with the wicked." (Psalm 26.5) In May, more than 10,000 people marched from Cuernavaca to Mexico City to protest the thousands of killings in Mexico's drug war with the cartels. They protested about the more than 35,000 people killed, hundreds of kidnappings, and the failure of a military solution that has been going on for more than six years. Massive corruption of law enforcement has added to the problem. In the speeches, the problem was laid on all who create demand for drugs, not only the drug cartels. They make a connection that everyone who uses illegal drugs, either recreationally or by addiction, is fuelling the killing. The demand of North Americans creates the huge monies that change hands. These monies also push the smuggling of guns in the reverse direction from the U.S. into Mexico to the drug cartels. The speakers said there is blood on everyone's hands who keeps this business thriving. If you have ever used drugs, are you in some part responsible for the violence in Mexico? The carnage is spilling northward. The demand produces the supply. A college student wrote that it drove him crazy that friends who organized boycotts of different companies for their perceived antisocial corporate acts would also use illegal drugs, such as marijuana. They saw that supporting corporations by buying their products helps fund activities of which they disapprove. Yet they could not see how their drug use funded the violence surrounding the drug trade. A Chilean teenager said he was an occasional user of marijuana and other drugs, and thought it was just a normal thing to do. Then he saw a video showing how drug dealers in Peru would kill Chilean people and put drugs in their bodies. So when the bodies were returned to Chile the drugs were smuggled in. He really felt he had blood on his hands. He asked, "Do we, as drug consumers, have a part in that? I definitely think we do. I stopped my consumption from that day, and I explained it to my friends and whoever I could." North Americans enjoy their cheap clothes and appliances, and forget the very young people who work in modern-day slavery to feed their whims. Do we care how our purchases are manufactured? Jesus does. The thought that a bunch of teenagers getting high after school truly had blood on their hands sounds absurd. We understand our contribution yet are unwilling to change our behaviour. How does one person change anything? This is where Jesus comes in because we are our brother's and sister's keeper. Everyone makes his or her own choices in life, but if those choices hurt others then we need to stand back and think. Jesus changes us one person at a time and in doing so, the world changes. Illegal drugs are a sin that comes slowly into our lives. First we are curious, then a friend introduces us to it, then we slowly get hooked, like a fish and a lure. Once the hook sets in the fish's mouth, it is caught and cannot get free. The first defence is in the verse of the Psalm above, when our mothers taught each of us to avoid certain kids who could get us into trouble. You never had a mother or father? Then ask God for the gift of discerning dangerous situations and people. It has saved me from trouble hundreds of times. We have a duty to help others and protect them from danger. If what I do in North America is harming someone thousands of miles away, then I must cease. We all know how we must guard the environment. If there is anything I am doing that will harm someone anywhere, I, as a follower of Jesus, must stop. If I am addicted, I must pray for divine help, plus use all the agencies and treatments that are available. If I tread anywhere, it must be like footsteps in the sand, which are washed away by the tides. This awareness is natural if one puts Jesus first. I must serve others and not put my needs and wants first. If we keep our eyes on Jesus every moment, we can do it together. "The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6.8) - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.