Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Faith of Our Fathers (Laurence Vance)

Laurence Vance on Christians and their thoughts on the scourge of war throughout the centuries:

There has prevailed in some circles since the beginning of the war in Iraq the idea that a conservative should support war and militarism. To dissent is to not be a true conservative, or even worse, to be one of those nasty liberals, or worse still, to be un-American or anti-American.

The idea is bogus, of course. When a Democrat like Bill Clinton was president, 80 percent of House Republicans voted against the Clinton-ordered bombings in the former Yugoslavia. If the "liberal" Al Gore had been elected president instead of the "conservative" George Bush, and if the "liberal" President Gore had ordered the invasion of Iraq, is there any doubt that most of the "conservatives" in Congress would have opposed him?

With the exception of Ron Paul (and perhaps a handful of others who are not as consistent), the members of Congress of both parties have no principles other than supporting their party, expanding their power, glorying in their position, and getting reelected. This lack of moral principles is true of the typical self-proclaimed conservative layman. If Bush announced today on the Limbaugh and Hannity radio shows that the invasion of Iraq was a terrible mistake, and that he was ordering all U.S. forces to cease fighting and begin withdrawing, the same "conservatives" who supported the war in Iraq for five years in order to defend our freedoms and keep us safe from terrorism would suddenly turn into opponents of the war. Any "liberals" who wanted to continue the war effort would be denounced as un-American for wanting U.S. soldiers to remain in harm’s way.

This idea that a conservative should support war and militarism is, unfortunately, held by a good number of conservative Christians as well. And perhaps even more strongly because of the religious element. When the typical conservative Christian sees liberal Christians deny the authority of Scripture and the bodily resurrection of Christ while expressing support for abortion and the ordaining of homosexuals, but also oppose war and militarism, he draws the false conclusion that it is liberal (bad) to oppose war and militarism but conservative (good) to support them.

Read the rest (highly recommended because of the marvelous quotes Vance includes!)

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