A sermon for Wine Before Breakfast on Isaiah 2.1-5
by Amy Fisher
A couple of weeks ago, a short piece ran in Macleans under the title, “Turning swords into ploughshares.” It told the story of a police chief in the one of most crime-ridden states in India, who had made what seemed to be a revolutionary decision: to meltdown more that 60,000 confiscated weapons and fashion everyday tools from the repurposed metal. “We don’t keep the dead bodies of criminals,” he reasoned, “why should we keep their guns?”
That seemed logical enough. So logical, in fact, you wonder why it’s even news: why shouldn’t something awful be redeemed? Why shouldn’t something not just useless but dangerous be reassigned some practical use?
But when I asked my brother, a policeman in Kingston, what happens to the weapons confiscated in that city, he laughed at the silliness of my question: obviously they get destroyed. But how, I pressed to know. And the answer seemed to me more laughable than the question: the weapons – guns and whatever metal implement a criminal might see fit to use or a police officer see fit to confiscate – is sent to a local cement company.
It turns out that guns, when burned to ash, have enough mineral value to replace other raw materials in the production of clinker, the mixture of ground and cooked rocks which eventually becomes cement.
This is laughable. Because it’s literally the opposite of what Isaiah on about: instead of weapons refashioned into farming tools, these days and around here, weapons become something we use to seal up the earth so it can never be farmed again! Read the rest of this entry »