“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” ~ James 1:8
John McCain, like all politicians, is a double-minded man. Although some of his supporters believe one thing, and some of his supporters believe something else; McCain stands firmly with his supporters. But even worse than this duplicity is the fact that McCain is also a double-minded warmonger. Back in October of 2001, McCain wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal in which he defended President Bush’s planned perpetual war against terrorism: War is a miserable business. The lives of a nation’s finest patriots are sacrificed. Innocent people suffer and die. Commerce is disrupted, economies are damaged. Strategic interests shielded by years of patient statecraft are endangered as the exigencies of war and diplomacy conflict. However heady the appeal of a call to arms, however just the cause, we should still shed a tear for all that will be lost when war claims its wages from us. Shed a tear, and then get on with the business of killing our enemies as quickly as we can, and as ruthlessly as we must. Apparently, no one liked his article more than he did, for in a speech on March 26 of this year at the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles, McCain recycled some lines from his article of seven years ago: I detest war. It might not be the worst thing to befall human beings, but it is wretched beyond all description. When nations seek to resolve their differences by force of arms, a million tragedies ensue. The lives of a nation’s finest patriots are sacrificed. Innocent people suffer and die. Commerce is disrupted; economies are damaged; strategic interests shielded by years of patient statecraft are endangered as the exigencies of war and diplomacy conflict. Not the valor with which it is fought nor the nobility of the cause it serves, can glorify war. Whatever gains are secured, it is loss the veteran remembers most keenly. Only a fool or a fraud sentimentalizes the merciless reality of war. However heady the appeal of a call to arms, however just the cause, we should still shed a tear for all that is lost when war claims its wages from us. McCain is a double-minded warmonger. According to McCain’s article, war is a miserable business with horrific consequences for U.S. soldiers, innocents, commerce, and U.S. interests, but we should nevertheless quickly and ruthlessly be about the business of killing the latest enemy manufactured, provoked, or exaggerated by the U.S. government. But McCain’s speech is likewise a double-minded one. For someone who detests war and its million tragedies, McCain is one of the most radical warmongers of the Republican warmongers in Congress who continue to defend Bush’s failed policy in Iraq and seek to escalate the war on terror. In fact, I can’t imagine how McCain could be much more of a warmonger if he didn’t detest war and its million tragedies. Although McCain recently claimed that if elected, he will have won the war in Iraq and brought home most of the troops by 2013, he has also said that it would be fine with him if U.S. troops stayed in Iraq for a 100 years, that U.S. troops “could be in Iraq for u2018a thousand years’ or u2018a million years,’ as far as he was concerned,” and that he “will never set a date for withdrawal.” No wonder McCain recently remarked that it’s “not too important” when U.S. forces leave Iraq. McCain is a double-minded warmonger. But even worse than this is the fact that some Christians — too many Christians — are also double-minded warmongers. The paradoxes are legion. Although Christians are told to “follow peace with all men” (Hebrews 12:14), the Christian warmonger also thinks that Muslims or anyone labeled as an enemy by the U.S. government is not included. Although Christians are told “Thou shalt not kill” (Romans 13:9), the Christian warmonger also thinks that the prohibition doesn’t apply if one is wearing a uniform of the U.S. armed forces. Although Christians are told to “recompense to no man evil for evil” (Romans 12:17), the Christian warmonger also thinks that the United States should perpetually retaliate for 9/11 against any individual that it labels a terrorist or any country that is accused of supporting terrorists or doesn’t support U.S. efforts in the war on terror. Although Christians are told to “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29), the Christian warmonger also thinks that killing for the state in any foreign country that the U.S. government sends its troops to is a patriotic duty. Although Christians are told to “ever follow that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:15), the Christian warmonger also thinks that the evil being perpetrated upon Iraq by U.S. troops should be supported since it is better to fight them “over there” instead of “over here.” Although Christians are told “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7), the Christian warmonger also thinks that the United States is in no way culpable for the blowback it experienced when the Twin Towers were taken out. Although Christians are told to not be a partaker of “evil deeds” (2 John 11), the Christian warmonger also thinks that serving in the U.S. military is a noble thing for a Christian young person. Although these things are bad enough, perhaps the most double-minded thing that Christians will ever do will occur this November when multitudes of Christians will hold their noses and vote for a bloodthirsty warmonger like John McCain because he is a Republican and not one of those evil Democrats. But if Christians would take off their Republican glasses for just a moment they would see that McCain and Obama are but peas in the same pod as Clinton. May God deliver us from warmongers — and especially double-minded, Christian, Republican warmongers.