A Pacifist’s Dilemma on Veterans’ Day

I wrote this post in 2010, and it seemed appropriate to re-post this weekend.

* * *

I hate war. But I do not hate soldiers.

I believe engaging in armed combat goes against the teachings of Jesus. But I respect the fact that war veterans have made incredible sacrifices for causes they believed to be noble.

I am generally in favor of cutting military spending. But I think we should increase spending on medical and psychological care for veterans. The high rates of mental illness, divorce, and suicide among military veterans causes me deep sorrow.

My first-grader came home from school earlier this week with a little newspaper that featured an Iraq war veteran who had lost his leg. She told me he was a hero because he killed the bad guys. “How do you know,” I asked, “who the bad guys are? Remember what Jesus said.”

“Love your enemies?”

Is there a way, on this day, for me to honor the spirit of sacrifice but not the acts of destruction; to give thanks for the selfless nature of our veterans without condoning the violence they committed; to advocate for better treatment of soldiers without supporting the work of the military industrial complex?

I believe the best way to honor all veterans is to make sure there are as few new veterans as possible.

About these ads
Categories: Ponderings | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

Post navigation

5 thoughts on “A Pacifist’s Dilemma on Veterans’ Day

  1. Connie Shelley

    The dilemma. I have learned a lot from my retired military husband (turned pacifist) about what motivated him to enlist during Viet Nam and what his faith community was at that time. Another way to honor our vets is to hear and honor their story.

  2. Jeni Umble

    You said this so well! Thanks for re-posting. I concur 100%.

  3. Laura Weaver

    This is excellent; I’ll pass it on to members of our small liberal worship community.

  4. As a once Marine, now pacifist, http://www.amazon.com/Christian-Pacifism-Fruit-Narrow-ebook/dp/B005RIKH62/ref=la_B001KMODGY_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1353098770&sr=1-4
    I understand your dilemma. We have lost the memory of what was once Armistice Day, the celebration of the end of the Great War which has the wonderful story of the Christmas truce.

    I just began a resource page on pacifism yesterday

    http://christianpacifismblog.wordpress.com/

    Blessings and Semper Fi for the Kingdom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,153 other followers

%d bloggers like this: