Are You a Christian Warmonger?
by Laurence M. Vance
by Laurence M. Vance
It is appalling that many defenders of the war in Iraq are Christians; it is even worse when they appeal to Scripture to excuse or justify a senseless war that has now resulted in the deaths of over 1,500 Americans and the wounding of countless thousands more.
When the president of the Ayn Rand Institute, Yaron Brook, appeared last December on The O'Reilly Factor and called for "harsher military measures in Iraq," it was disheartening to hear him advocate that the U.S. military should "be a lot more brutal," "bring this war to the civilians," and "turn Fallujah into dust." As reprehensible as these statements are, they come as no surprise since Brook is guided by Objectivism and not Christianity.
But the sad fact is that some Christian warmongers are just as militant. They consider this war to be a Christian crusade against Islam and view the thousands of dead Iraqi civilians as collateral damage. Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX), when speaking on February 19 at Suncreek United Methodist Church in Allen, Texas, related to the congregation how he told President Bush: "Syria is the problem. Syria is where those weapons of mass destruction are, in my view. You know, I can fly an F-15, put two nukes on 'em and I'll make one pass. We won't have to worry about Syria anymore." Although Johnson later claimed to be joking, it is strange that "the crowd roared with applause" instead of with laughter.
Other Christians are passive Christian warmongers. Although they don't actively participate in the war in Iraq, cherish the thought of dead Iraqis, or "joke" about nuking Muslims, they excuse, dismiss, make apologies for, and defend the war (and sometimes even the torture of prisoners and the killing of civilians) with such profound scriptural and logical assertions as "we should always obey the government," "Bush is a Christian so we should follow his leadership," or "doesn't the Bible say there is Ďa time of war.'"
The following test is designed for Christians of any stripe to determine to what degree, if any, that they are a Christian warmonger. These statements are based on things I have read or been told by Christians seeking to excuse or justify the war in Iraq in order to defend President Bush. The statements are not in any particular order. Each statement is designed to be answered with either "true" or "false." A "true" answer receives 1 point and a "false" answer receives no points. Add up your points and consult the scale at the bottom to obtain the results.
- The commandment "Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13) never applies to killing in war.
- We should follow President Bush's leadership because he is a Christian.
- Torturing Iraqi prisoners to obtain information is okay if it saves the life of one American.
- The command to "submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake" (1 Peter 2:13) means that we should kill foreigners in their country if the government says to do so.
- U.S. intervention in the Middle East is necessary to protect Israel from the Arabs.
- Muslim civilians killed by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan are just collateral damage.
- A preemptive war against Iraq is nothing to be concerned about because the Bible says there is "a time of war" (Ecclesiastes 3:8).
- It is okay to kill Muslims in Iraq because the terrorists who kill Jews are Muslims.
- Since the Bible says that "the powers that be are ordained of God" (Romans 13:1), we should always obey the government when it comes to war.
- U.S. wars and interventions abroad are ultimately a good thing because they pave the way for the spread of the gospel.
- The command to "obey magistrates" (Titus 3:1) means that it is not immoral to drop bombs on foreign countries if the government says it should be done.
- The U.S. should take vengeance on Muslims because of the September 11th attacks.
- A perpetual war against the Muslim world in order to fight terrorism is just because "The LORD is a man of war" (Exodus 15:3).
- Christians can wholeheartedly participate in their government's wars since God commanded the Jews in the Old Testament to go to war.
- Christians can proudly serve in the military in any capacity.
- Christians can proudly serve in the CIA in any capacity.
- The command to "obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29) does not apply to refusing to kill for the state in a war.
- God approves of the war in Iraq because Islam is a false religion.
- Muslims in the Middle East hate Americans because of their Christianity, their freedoms, and their democratic values.
- Christians in Iraq are better off now than they were under Saddam Hussein.
1 _____ 2 _____ 3 _____ 4 _____ 5 _____
6 _____ 7 _____ 8 _____ 9 _____ 10 _____
11 _____ 12 _____ 13 _____ 14 _____ 15 _____
16 _____ 17 _____ 18 _____ 19 _____ 20 _____
If you scored:
0You are truly a man of peace.
1—4You are not a Christian warmonger, but you may want to reevaluate some of your beliefs.
5—8You are on your way to becoming a Christian warmonger, but there is still hope for you; repent.
9—12 You are a Christian warmonger; turn from the error of your ways.
13—16You are a militant Christian warmonger; get right with God.
April 7, 2005
Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] is a freelance writer and an adjunct instructor in accounting and economics at Pensacola Junior College in Pensacola, FL. His new book is Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State. Visit his website.
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