Thursday, April 16, 2009

where's the respect, man?

Despite thousands of years of individual, tribal, and international bloodshed, the last century managed to produce the most horrific wars ever seen. For instance, World War I was hailed as the war to end all wars. But within less than two decades, the "defeated" enemy had rallied and was on the offensive again, bigger and bitterer than ever, and humankind had to suffer World War I part II. And who at this early stage can tell how deep the impact and far-reaching consequences of the War on Terrorism will be for all humanity.
Chalke and Mann, the lost message of Jesus, p. 127

I sometimes wonder how such people as this must feel when they run into military veterans, especially since Chalke (and perhaps Mann) is himself British. Does he see the veteran as a hero to his nation, someone who helped keep his nation from falling to the Nazis? Or does he feel unclean when around them, and in his heart would rather have been raised speaking German and raising his right arm to whomever would now be his fuhrer over having to acknowledge one who violated his dearly held principle of pacifism?

This isn't some kind of silly question, but a real one. He enjoys great freedoms because he lives in a society where those freedoms were preserved by military people, people who fought and defended, people who killed in battle and were killed. Does he honor the people who gave those freedoms for him, or does he use those freedoms to spread sentiments against those who gave those freedoms to him?

Of course, this doesn't address the ways he tries to address the issue biblically, such as his attempts were. I think I will refer the reader to the C.S. Lewis essay "Why I am not a Pacifist" for a well-thought rebuttal to Chalke's and Mann's position.

All we know is that whenever aggression is met with aggression, the beast of violence is fed and grows stronger.

Do we know that? What proofs do we have of that?

Can we really say that if we let the aggressors have their own ways, the world would be a better place? Should the people of Britain and Russia have simply laid down their arms, and let Nazi Germany take them over? Should China and all of Southeast Asia have simply resigned themselves to Japanese rule? Should South Korea have not fought against Communism from the north? Should Israel have let the Muslims run them into the sea the day after their nation was formed?

As a not-a-pacifists, my answer to those questions would be a strong "No!!". For Chalke and Mann, I fear it would be the opposite.

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