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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Pacifist, At Whose Cost?

Yesterday, my son, Todd, an officer in the United States Air Force posted the following on his Facebook wall: “Todd Afshar only regrets that he has but one life to lose for his country,” which was promptly commented on by a friend saying, “Cats have more lives to give. Learn jazz.”

Todd’s comment and the letter he had sent to his American grandparents (Todd’s grandfather served in the armed forces during WWII) reminded me of a conversation I once had with a Christian pacifist.

The pacifist’s brother had posted an anti-war article on his blog. His post was filled with a bunch of bumper sticker slogans such as, “War is not the answer!” “War, what is it good for?” mixed with Christ’s admonition of, “turning the other cheek ” and “loving your enemies.” I had no problem with much of what the man had to say, but what really got me was the title of the blog: “Which War Has Ever Helped Anyone?”

I respect pacifists, but I have a great problem with naïve Christians who get their biblical macros and micros mixed up.

In response to the brother’s question, I left a comment on his blog saying, “I don’t know! Maybe you should ask your question to the Jews who were freed from Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau and other Nazi concentration camps at the hands of those valiant American soldiers who shed their blood willingly to free the world from the tyranny of an evil man named Hitler.”

The writer quickly replied to me by quoting Christ’s admonition and that somehow we could have reconciled with Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese Empire if the US had not overreacted toward those animals.

This is what I replied:

So, according to your understanding of what Jesus said, after bombing Pearl Harbor and killing several thousand American soldiers, we should have told the Japanese, ‘In response to Christ’s mandate, we are not only going to ignore what you have done, but we also offer you San Francisco to bomb.

I think, just like so many other Christians, the above writer couldn’t separate Christ’s micro principles from his macro principles. To make my point even more clear to the author, I went on to challenge him with the following question:

Suppose a man breaks into your house and rapes your wife. In keeping with Christ’s mandate and wanting to turn the other cheek, would you offer the rapist your daughter also?

Unfortunately, our friend was quite upset at my question and assumed that I was calling him an unfit father, which, by no means was my intention. I was only trying to show the brother how faulty his reasoning was. If you can’t apply Christ’s mandates to an everyday personal situation (a micro principle) — which, I believe, was Christ’s true intention in the previously mentioned mandates — how naïve are you to think it could be applied to all international dealings of various nations particularly in defending the innocent against blood-sucking parasites who are a billion times worse than the imaginary rapist?

As I said, I have no problem with pacifists, but please remember that your act of pacifism comes with a price — the blood of our military men and women. The same price people like my son are willing to pay at any moment they are called upon so you can continue to exercise the luxury of being a pacifist in the comfort and security of your country.

One final warning to my pacifist friends: If and when the Muslims take over a Western nation, among the first people they’ll execute will be the pacifists. If you weren’t willing to fight for your own faith and country, you will certainly not fight for theirs. So, really, you’re nothing by a liability to them.