Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Christian and War (Stan Warford)

Professor Stan Warford of Pepperdine University delivered this wonderful talk on how Christians of the past have viewed war, and why today's Christians should imitate their earliest forebears and avoid it at all costs:

The theme of this series is the application of the teachings of Jesus to contemporary social and political issues. A timely topic in view of the current war in Iraq is the attitude of the Christian toward war. The thesis of this presentation is that Jesus teaches simply and unequivocally that war is evil and that Christians should refrain from participation in it.

As an example of the importance of this issue, here is the story of Sgt. Curtis Greene, who served in Iraq.

Curtis Greene was angry about the war and frustrated with his wife Lisset for not understanding what it had been like there. Gone was the man smiling with her and the kids in family photos. "He was not the person I knew when he came back from Iraq."

One night he disappeared from their home outside Fort Riley, Kansas. Lisset and the kids went to stay at her father's house in Hernando County. When he called her to apologize for running out, he promised he would come home to Fort Riley. But he wasn't about to return to Iraq.

"I knew he was having dreams, nightmares," Lisset said. "He would wake up at night really sweaty."

Sgt. Greene told his stepfather that he had to kill a few people, and that the guilt was weighing on him. "Curtis seems to think that he was a murderer," his stepfather said. "Curtis was raised to respect life; in the military you’re taught to take it. I think he struggled with that."

On December 6, he showed up for work, his uniform pressed, his boots polished. He sang cadence. That night, he was found hanging in his barracks. Sgt. Curtis Greene, 331st Signal Company, was 25.

Curtis Greene’s suicide was not unusual. The suicide rate for Iraq war veterans is twice the rate of nonveterans. At the time of this writing, more Iraq veterans have died by taking their own lives than have been killed in battle.

Read the rest

No comments: