Following Jesus easier than following orders

This story doesn’t sound like it could be the first time you’ve heard it:

A U.S. soldier who said his Christian beliefs compelled him to love his enemies, not kill them, has been granted conscientious objector status and honorably discharged, a civil liberties group said on Tuesday.

Capt. Peter Brown — who served in Iraq for more than a year and was a graduate of the elite U.S. military academy West Point — said in a statement issued by the New York Civil Liberties Union that he was relieved the Army had recognized his beliefs made it impossible for him to serve.

“In following Jesus’ example, I could not have fired my weapon at another human being, even if he were shooting at me,” said Brown, who plans to continue seminary classes he began by correspondence while in Iraq.

The case proves two things.

One, that the ACLU fervently believes in the adage “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” (or else they’re not out to hound Christians as much as some claim)

Two, if this were what true Christianity truly compelled us to do, then Islam damn well deserves to prevail.

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8 responses to “Following Jesus easier than following orders

  1. I didn’t think the day would ever come, but I actually agree with the ACLU this time. Liberal anti-war agenda aside, the ACLU was right to defend a person’s freedom of conscience. As a Christian, I frankly wouldn’t want to ever kill anyone either, and that’s of course one in a long list of reasons why I’m not in the military. One could make the argument, by somehow reading Capt. Brown’s mind, that he’s actually just tired of fighting in Iraq, and that his religious objection is just a convenient excuse to get out, but until soldiers start playing the pacifist card in droves, I think we ought to give such people the benefit of the doubt, following proper inquiry of course. I personally believe that Christianity condones war for the just defense of liberty, religion, and family, but I can appreciate, at least logically, that it is something terrible that most would rather avoid. The real question, perhaps, is whether the war in Iraq fits the description of a “just defense of liberty, religion, and family”; the fact of the matter is that the threat terrorists pose is not wholly overt, so it’s somewhat hard to judge. That said, I do think that terrorism ought to be addressed proactively, by force as well as by diplomatic means (I don’t mean sitting around a campfire with the terrorists singing kumbaya though).

  2. Suprisingly, the ACLU has done here what it does in many of it’s anti-Christian cases. I’ve always wondered why they didn’t stand up in cases like this, they would if the person were Muslim.

    If the ACLU truly believes half of what they say, they should stand up for Christians more. Instead, they attack Christians.

    It’s refreshing to see a change.

  3. ‘The real question, perhaps, is whether the war in Iraq fits the description of a “just defense of liberty, religion, and family”’

    You’re kidding, right? I simply can’t see how anyone can deny that for the Iraqi security forces battling insurgents/jihadists and the coalition forces fighting by their side it is EXACTLY those things.

    I mean good grief. These people were brutally oppressed by the previous regime. They had few freedoms to speak of religious or otherwise. They lost family members or even whole neighborhoods through acts of reprisal. After centuries of this sort of thing going on they at last have some measure of freedom they never had before protected by a constitution of their own choosing. If the efforts of these patriots putting their lives on the line on a daily basis to fight against the various forces trying to bring down this new seed of a free society do not count as a “just defense of liberty, religion, and family” then what on earth does??

    I agreed with the rest of your comment but *argh*. Darn you guys for bringing out hydralisk’s serious side! That is just the kind of statement that does it.

  4. Ha ha, I knew there was a serious side beneath all the satire! I’ll admit that I’m somewhat of an Iraq War agnostic: I don’t think it was necessarily the best idea for us to go there in the first place (perhaps it was, perhaps it wasn’t, I’m not sure), but after having invested and promised so much there, we absolutely cannot abandon the Iraqis before they are ready to stand on their own. Mostly what I’m unclear about was whether our decision to go into Iraq and oust Saddam was a “just defense of liberty, religion, and family” or an act of aggression for other reasons. I should also add that when I speak of “defense”, I mean defense of American liberty, religion, and family; certainly the argument could be made (and I think you just did) that we could also go into Iraq to defend the liberty, religion, and families of the Iraqi people.

    Most likely, my war agnosticism is the result of several things:
    1) relative ignorance of the facts in Iraq and of the decision-making which led up to the war
    2) the pervasive anti-war bias in the media and society in general
    3) my personal dislike for the use of military force, or any form compulsion for that matter

    I think many Americans fall in the same boat. Thus, what we ought to do to discard our agnosticism is seek out the truth, and compare it to our own values, re-evaluating and adapting them as necessary. For me, that is a work in progress.

  5. Honest reply, Zugman. And I think you are exactly right about many Americans being in the same boat for those reasons. Because Iraq and the War on Terror really area complex issues–don’t believe anyone who says they aren’t–agnosticism is the proper position until you’ve researched and reasoned out things on your own.

  6. One thing I would recommend dropping (if you are carrying it) is the quest for a single ‘magic’ reason or justification. Firstly because war is seldom entered into for any one reason, and secondly because the consequences, good or bad, reach well beyond those originally intended by the parties involved. It is the consequences that ultimately matter, yes?

  7. Shouldn’t he refund the money we spent on his West Point education?

  8. Exactly. What do these daisy-sniffers think the military is about when they join up–puppy dogs and rainbows? The purpose of the military is to break things and kill people. Give me a frickin’ break.
    And as a Christian, I resent the hell out of people using Christ as an excuse for cowardice. Jesus was tough as nails, revisionist history notwithstanding. He pissed people off so bad that they crucified Him–He wasn’t scared of anything.
    I guess the gentle Captain can skip back home and live his weak-ass life under the shelter provided him by real men who wish to defend what is good in the world.
    Iraq is our chosen field of battle against an army of soulless vermin. That field of battle is preferable to, say, New York City. But of course cowards and traitors don’t bother themselves with such considerations.

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