August 02, 2005

Horse 380 - Nation shall speak peace unto nation

Micah 4:3
He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

We shall beat our swords into plowshares.

One of the most famous sculptures of modern times stands in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York. There a powerfully built man is depicted beating a sword into a plowshare. It was sculpted by the Russian artist Ergenly Vuchetich and was dedicated in 1960. On the base are words, slightly altered from Isaiah 2:4 "We shall beat our swords into plowshares."

The thing that strikes me most about this in particular statue isn't what it is but the conditions under which it was created. The USSR was still very heavily communist and in the midst of The Cold War with the USA. It seems strange that a Russian of all people should cast a statue outside the UN headquarters, an organisation of which the Soviets were not members nor had any intent of joining at that time. It's even more ironic that the most powerful weapon ever created instilled fear into those who possessed it. The nuclear boogeyman quite ironically caused a peace far greater than the leaders would have allowed.

Nation shall speak peace unto nation

The BBC is a truly British institution, and I believe, their motto ,"Nation shall speak peace unto nation",is not merely rhetoric. The BBC , above all other media corporations seeks, not only to entertain and inform, but also to use the media for what it can best do for humanity, to educate.
No other British channel reaches so far beyond its shores. BBC websites are staggering in breadth and quality and how can we view this institution as conservative when, every day, it makes such very noble and extensive use of Internet technology to keep, not only its own people informed, but also the rest of the world?

Many people around the world rely on the BBC to provide their news via the World Service, news that is going on around the world without bias when under many circumstances their own governments try to control the state's media outlets. The Beeb because it's so large has to do its best to remain neutral under all circumstances through fear that any involvement could see loss of life of its own employees. Often it is via the BBC that many people around the world, learn English and it is for this reason more than any other that Received Pronunciation rather than American English is slowly becoming the standard.

Isaiah 2:1-3 is repeated in Micah 4:1-3; I'm quite sure that neither Isaiah nor Micah would have envisaged the world of the 21st century. I do know that both the founders of the UN and the governors of the BBC knew what they were doing when they borrowed these words though, peace is neither something that can be manufactured or won - it's usually the result of a surrender by one side after their sick and tired of hostilities.

The UN represents the world's wish to stop fighting each other, and the BBC for me represents the ideals to entertain and inform. Both in their own way are noble causes.

So what does this actually have to do with those passages in Isaiah and Micah? Well I don't know either, but perhaps a better scholar than I can find some link somewhere.

4 comments:

Jules said...

I saw that statue in NYC and thought that it was really cool.
Shh, your Anglophlia is showing through again.

Katja said...

If you ask me, the BBC and the UN both do not fear God nor honor Him; they are all about MAN power. Any Joe Schmoe can snatch verses from the Bible. Nevertheless, I do support the BBC and I applaud any noble efforts of the UN.

As far as artists and their actions go, we're always hard to figure out so don't bother.

Furthermore, I have read that many Russians under the iron curtain were just everyday people and didn't care about politics and wanted to be friends with America and others.

Rollo said...

The back of the US $1 bill has both the symbol of the Illuminanti, the title "Novus Ordo Seclorum" or out of the Latin - New World Order and the legend "In God We Trust".
It's all highly conflicting and the subject of many a conspiracy theory - again I think there's more to this than I'm aware of.

Derik said...

i think that there's very few organisations that "fear God" i think that only about 10% of people that actually claim to be christian go to church as well

sure anyone can snatch bible passages but if you didn't care then why bother?

ps: i don't like the UN or the BBC. the UN is useless and the BBC is too British