Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Spitting in the Wilderness

John the Baptist was a "voice crying in the wilderness," telling soldiers to "do violence to no man" (Luke 3:14).

Doug Newman quotes a veteran who came home from Vietnam and was greeted by spitting and obscenities. Newman says,

If any opponents of the War on Terror are greeting returning troops in such a detestable fashion, I hereby issue the following demand, for whatever it might be worth: CEASE AND DESIST IMMEDIATELY! I am a retired Naval Reservist and I steadfastly maintain that the majority of those in uniform genuinely believe that they are doing a good work on our behalf.

"Genuinely believe" is an important issue. There is massive self-deception happening here. They know it's wrong to steal and kill, but they have deceived themselves into believing that it's OK because they're with "the government."

Certainly it is true that spitting on them will not likely be persuasive. But at least the spitters are trying to convince soldiers that their actions are not appreciated. We should repudiate such unpersuasive tactics, but we must adopt the spitters' strategy. We must convince soldiers that they are not admired and respected for fighting an unconstitutional and counterproductive "War on Terror" -- a war that threatens "Liberty Under God" rather than protecting it.

In fact, we need to adopt this strategy for all government employees. We must open their eyes to the fact that using extortion is not a morally legitimate way to get a paycheck. We must get them to see that violence is not the way to solve social problems.

Spitting and shouting obscenities is a counterproductive tactic. It only makes government workers feel like they are protecting the nation from "anarchists." Taking up arms against tyrants is also an illegitimate tactic (even though this was the tactic advocated and employed by America's Founding Fathers).

There are many legitimate tactics that can be used in the overall strategy of reducing the size government by convincing politicians and soldiers that they are not appreciated, respected, or admired for their actions, and should resign immediately. Politicians and soldiers should not feel that they will be admired or rewarded by their peers -- just like someone who joins an organized crime syndicate should know he will lose the respect of all decent Americans.

Write a letter to a politician and tell him that he is not admired, and should work to abolish the very office he holds. Be respectful. Personal attacks will not be persuasive. It's not about him as much as his office. Write to media as well.

Speaking out like this may get you condemned to the social "wilderness." Better to be in the wilderness because you're speaking the truth, than to be ostracized because your tactics are inherently offensive, obnoxious, and unpersuasive.

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