Moral Outrage
Whew! God help us!

Christianity and War

In his latest book, Christianity and War, Laurence Vance, a Christian writer, collects 79 essays on military and foreign policy and declares:

“Christians who condone the warfare state and its nebulous crusades against ‘evil’ have been duped. There is nothing ‘Christian’ about the state’s aggressive militarism, its senseless wars, its interventions into the affairs of other countries, and its expanding empire.”

Vance notes, “The fact that a government claims ‘a war is just’ is irrelevant, for American history is replete with examples of American presidents who have exaggerated, misinformed, misrepresented, and lied to deceive the American people into supporting wars that they would not have supported if they had known the facts.” George W. Bush, Lyndon Johnson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson all make the list. So do Abraham Lincoln and James Polk.

Vance chastises Christians who fall for the age-old tactic of government using religion to whip up war fever. He writes: “Many supporters of the senseless war in Iraq are high on religion. Add a religious element to a war and the faithful will come out in droves in support of it. In the case of the current war in Iraq this is easy to do. Because the United States is supposedly a ‘Christian nation,’ the war can be turned into a modern-day crusade since Iraq is a ‘Muslim’ nation.”

Vance refuses to compromise his rhetoric when talking about the United States or the U.S. military. His tone is like the proverbial fingernail across a chalkboard: a typical conservative Christian will want to cover his or her ears and run screaming from the room.

“From a Christian perspective there is only one way to describe U.S. foreign policy: It is evil. It was evil before the United States invaded Iraq, and it would still be evil if the United States withdrew all of its forces from Iraq tomorrow. It is because of our foreign policy that the U.S. military has become–through its wars, interventions, and occupations–the greatest force for evil in the world. U.S. foreign policy sows discord among nations, stirs up strife where none existed, intensifies the hatred that many foreigners around the world have for Americans and each other, and creates terrorists faster than we can kill them.”

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3 Responses to “Christianity and War”

  1. I live in the Mideast, and it is great to see an American Christian seeing things like they really are

  2. Yes, Vance’s book and the stance he adopts is not all that popular in Christian circles but there is certainly alot of truth touched on therein.

    Instead of the standard “Blessed are the peacemakers ….” ( Mat.5:9 ), far too many American Evangelical Christians have reversed it to this national motto: “Blessed are the warmakers, and they shall stomp every nation they figure is an enemy of God and America.”

    Regardless of the actual number of Christians who may think this way, it’s sad that so many do support the most unchristian thing imaginable — war — under the illusion that it’s God’s will and God’s way.

  3. […] We [under South African apartheid] had obvious evils to engage; you [in America] have to unwrap your culture from years of red, white and blue myth. […]


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