But where do you think our fine country fell in the list? In the top 15 countries, we find 'civilized' places like Japan, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, and Germany. Australia falls 25th. Italy & France are next to each other, at 33 and 34. Further down the list, we get to less-reputable countries. Libya & Cuba are 58 & 59. China, with all their human rights violations, is 60. Croatia is at 67, Syria at 77. Bosnia and Hercegovina fell at 75. Serbia & Cambodia are 84 & 85. Saudi Arabia is 90. Iran is 97. Lebanon & Pakistan are 114 & 115. The bottom 4 are Russia, Israel, Sudan, and Iraq.
So, knowing that, where does the US fall? Are we up with the other European countries, in the top 35? Do we fall near China, with a large population? Certainly our Christian nation doesn't rank below those in the Mideast, like Syria & Saudi Arabia! Or perhaps we do... Check out the list. If you're having trouble finding the US, we're at 97, one spot up from our best friend Iran.
I see many reasons for the US's position. Yes, we are involved in a war and spend a huge amount on our military. Looking at the factors measured, however, this is not the only reason. Our domestic policies also do not match up with those of a peace-loving nation. We have a high crime rate, and lots of people in prison. We don't trust visitors from other countries. We have a lot of police officers. Practically anyone can get a hold of a gun. Do we really love peace?
"Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from deceitful speech.
He must turn from evil and do good;
he must seek peace and pursue it.
-1 Pet 3:10-11
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.
-1 Timothy 2:22-23
not to mention the gospel of peace, peace as a fruit of the spirit, our God of peace, the peace of Christ, and "Blessed are the peacemakers". There are lots more.
Our leaders (and many, many Christians!) say we are a Christian nation. What does the world see? How do we represent our 'God of peace' and the 'Peace that passes all understanding'? What are we teaching the next generation?