Friday, June 05, 2009

Would Jesus Celebrate D-Day?

By "celebrate," I mean honor those who chose to land on the beach at Normandy and elsewhere along the coast of France 65 years ago, June 6, 1944; honor those who chose to fight rather than those who may have chosen to be "conscientious objectors" or "evaders" or go "AWOL" rather than fight.

Everyone agrees that if we took Jesus' ethical teachings seriously (e.g., "Love your enemies," "go the second mile," "give to him who asks"), we'd all be a "bunch of pacifists." I'd like to suggest that the world be a better place today if we Americans had been a "bunch of pacifists" and hadn't gotten involved in a single war in the last 200 years.

I don't think Jesus would celebrate D-Day, so I don't think people who call themselves "Christians" should either. I don't think we should honor those who chose to fight, though we should mourn their loss and help those they left behind.

Imagine an immature teenager who sees one of those "extreme" television shows featuring "incredible" stupid stunts. He then tries the stunt at home and dies. We mourn the loss, and console his family. Do we honor his choice? No.

But we are told that those who died -- and knew they would die -- on D-Day died for a higher, nobler cause.

What was "the cause?"

Well, "the Allies" won the war, we are told.
So what did "the Allies" win?
One of "the Allies" were the communists.
The communists walked away with Eastern Europe.

The Allied "Big Three," deciding the fate of
a billion people at the Soviet Embassy in
Tehran, Iran, in late 1943. "Uncle Joe" Stalin
is on the left, in case you didn't know that.
FDR appears to be leaning to the left,
in case you were deceived by
his campaign rhetoric.

Perhaps the nobility of the cause involves fighting against something bad more than fighting for something good.

Ask the "man on the street" who we fought in World War II and you'll hear "Hitler."

Were the people on the East side of the Berlin Wall better off under Stalin than they would have been under Hitler? Was Communism so much better for Eastern Europe than Nazism or Fascism so that you would be willing to kill another human being -- or be killed -- for the difference?

Not me.

Communism was the winner in Asia too.
Was China better off under Mao Tse Tung than it would have been under "Japanese Fascism?" Is the answer to that question so morally clear that you're willing to kill or die for it? Willing to use nuclear bombs in the attempted murder of half a million civilians?

Communism killed 60 million human beings in China after we "won" World War II against Japan.

Who did we fight in World War I?
What was the issue?
Most Americans don't know.
I couldn't explain it to you.

Germany was the loser, I know that.
Russia went communist.
Many historians believe the Treaty of Versailles made the rise of Hitler inevitable.

World War I appears to have been a truly senseless war -- except from the perspective of expanding big "progressive" government.

So World War I made the world safe for World War II, and together these wars made the world safe for fascism, socialism, communism, progressivism, or whatever you want to call the cult of the omnipotent state -- the clear winnner in the wars of the 20th century.

America's Founding Fathers warned about "standing armies." They described our foreign policy in these words:

The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible."
— Washington, Farewell Address (1796) [Washington’s emphasis]

I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government, and consequently [one] which ought to shape its administration,…peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.
— Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801)

Would anybody who signed the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution have served in World War I or World War II? Would they have approved of its design, its constitutionality, or its results? Should someone living under Bush-Obama be willing to kill another human being rather than live under Hitler? What's the difference? Would the choice have seemed as obvious to America's Founding Fathers (who would have been appalled at either one)?

Is it really so "impractical" and "unrealistic" to take Jesus seriously?

We should beat our swords into plowshares.

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