Warmongering vs. the Sanctity of Life
Churches all across America observed Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on January 24. Literature was passed out on the evils of abortion. Sermons were preached on the sin of abortion. The 1973 Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe v. Wade was denounced. The immorality of being a doctor who performs abortions was proclaimed. The horrors of partial-birth abortion were explained. Testimonies were read of women who regretted having abortions and doctors who felt guilty in having performed them. Prayers were made on behalf of women contemplating having an abortion. Gruesome pictures of abortions gone awry were shown. Calls were made for a constitutional amendment banning abortion. Planned Parenthood was singled out for special condemnation. Yet, nary a word was said about the ongoing slaughter of innocents that is funded by the U.S. government.
Although I sympathize with the pro-life cause, believing with Ron Paul that "a fetus is a human life deserving of legal protection, and that the right to life is the foundation of any moral society," I must point out that many pro-lifers are hypocrites with a warped view of what it means to be pro-life.
Absent from most churches on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday was any reference to the slaughter of tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans in unjust, unconstitutional, immoral wars instigated by the United States. U.S. soldiers have now been fighting in Iraq for seven years. They have been fighting in Afghanistan even longer. Countless numbers of Iraqis and Afghans have been killed by American bombs and bullets in senseless wars of imperialism and occupation. Thousands of U.S. soldiers died in vain thanks to the lies of the Bush administration. Hundreds more have died under the Obama administration thanks to the president's failure to bring the troops home from Iraq as promised and the escalation of the war in Afghanistan. Do U.S. soldiers have a right not to have to give their life in vain?
It is never moral to kill someone and destroy his property unless one is acting in self-defense. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are anything but self-defense. The United States invaded sovereign countries thousands of miles away that had not attacked us. Before the United States invaded Afghanistan, not one American had been killed by an Afghan. And before the United States invaded Iraq, not one American had been killed by an Iraqi since the previous time we invaded Iraq. But have not Afghans and Iraqis killed, injured, or maimed thousands of U.S. soldiers? Of course they have. The sobering truth is that Americans would do the same thing to foreign troops that invaded our soil. We can call the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq regime change, spreading democracy, nation building, or even retaliation for the 9/11 attacks, but we certainly cannot call them wars of self-defense.
The idea is ludicrous, of course, that the invasion, occupation, and destruction of Afghanistan and Iraq were in retaliation for, or even a legitimate response to, the 9/11 attacks. None of the hijackers were from those countries. In fact, most of the hijackers were from our ally, Saudi Arabia. And as Ron Paul has pointed out over and over again, the departure of the United States from the noninterventionist foreign policy of the Founding Fathers in not interfering militarily, financially, or covertly in the internal affairs of other nations is an important reason 9/11 occurred. It is an arrogant, aggressive, interventionist U.S. foreign policy that serves to recruit terrorists and increase the hatred of foreigners toward the United States. The majority of Osama bin Laden's venom is directed at the West for aggression, oppression, and exploitation of Muslim lands and peoples, not because he, like President Bush driveled, "hates our freedoms."
Over twice as many U.S. soldiers have now been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq than people were killed in the 9/11 attacks. About 250 times as many Afghans and Iraqis have now died than people who died on 9/11. Yet, pro-lifers who support these wars consider an American doctor in a white coat a murderer if he kills an unborn baby, but an American soldier in a uniform a hero if he kills a foreigner.
It is time for pro-lifers to start being consistent. War is the greatest destroyer of religion, morality, and decency. War is the greatest destroyer of families and young lives. Foreigners who are no threat to this country should have the same right to life as babies in the wombs of American mothers. The right to life of U.S. soldiers should not so needlessly be put in jeopardy. May the next Sanctity of Human Life Sunday recognize the right to life of all people, American and foreign, child and adult.
This originally appeared at Campaign for Liberty.
January 26, 2010
Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] writes from Pensacola, FL. He is the author of Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State and The Revolution that Wasn't. His newest book is Rethinking the Good War. Visit his website.
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