Over at Aunt B’s place, she discussed Terry Frank’s take on the Gospel of War. As everyone knows, Jesus commanded his disciples to “go forth and die in his name in defense of the state” in John 15:13. Everyone knows that if you are a martyr for the state, you show the greatest love there ever was….and you get 70 virgins in heaven. Oh wait, wrong martyr myth.
While many have acted valiantly and selflessly in the face of peril in war, this bible verse is no salve or justification for such sacrifice. It is certainly not a verse to hang your hat on in the way of life goals. It works well in the Army for making good soldiers, but not in Christianity for making good disciples.
As a person trying to do things to make this world a better place, it makes me very angry to read the glorification of violence and death in violence as something done out of love and endorsed by God. Loving your neighbor as yourself does not include trying to kill them in the first place. In a global sense, aren’t we all neighbors? Aren’t we all brothers and sisters? Seems to me that if you are going to love your neighbor as yourself, it is a prerequisite to try to not kill your neighbor. It makes the loving a little easier.
So, please (gently, non-violently, and in love) take your red, white, and blue wrapped bible and stick it.