“Christianity and War”

I’ve long been perplexed by the view so many American Christians share on war. Killing foreigners just never seems to bother them, especially if these foreigners are not Christians, themselves. This view already puts them in Jesus’ doghouse, but then there’s their hypocrisy to deal with. Namely, their virulent pro-life stance. “Pro-life” means just what it says: preserving the sanctity of human life. Except to these folks, they narrow it down to unborn American babies. Innocent civilians on the other side of the world who happen to have the misfortune of getting in the way of a bullet or bomb be damned.

Today I ran across an article on the libertarian Lew Rockwell site, of all places. It was written by Laurence M. Vance and I think it makes a number of strong points. Here are some snippets, but please check out the whole thing:

I write extensively about the biblical, economic, and political fallacies of religious people, and especially on the topic of Christianity and war. This is a subject where ignorance abounds in both pulpit and pew, and most of it willful ignorance. This is a subject that exposes Bible scholars as Bible illiterates. This is a subject that turns Christians into disgraceful apologists of the state, its leaders, its military, and its wars. This is a subject that reveals pro-life Christians to be two-faced supporters of wholesale murder.

[...]

But modern-day Christianity is in a sad state. There is an unholy desire on the part of a great many Christians to legitimize killing in war. There persists the idea among too many Christians that mass killing in war is acceptable, but the killing of one’s neighbor violates the sixth commandment’s prohibition against killing.

[...]

Many Christians have a warped view of what it means to be pro-life. Why is it that foreigners don’t have the same right to life as unborn American babies? There should be no difference between being for abortion and for war. Both result in the death of innocents. Both are unnecessary. Both cause psychological harm to the one who signs a consent form or fires a weapon. Why is it that to many Christians an American doctor in a white coat is considered a murderer if he kills an unborn baby, but an American soldier in a uniform is considered a hero if he kills an adult?

There’s a lot more where that came from. Read the whole thing.

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