12
Sep
08

Election 2008: The Stakes – Our Troops

Normally, I try not to get too much into politics around here. But with this year’s presidential election and all that has been done wrong in the country for the past eight years, this is a pivotal time. Time once again for me to share with my Christian brothers and sisters (both those who agree with me, those who don’t and those who are on the fence), why the Republican ticket is not only bad for our country but not doing much to serve God’s will either.

See also:

Sept. 7 Post – Election 2008: The Stakes – Experience

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God doesn’t sanction wars these days. Frankly, the ones he did sanction back in Old Testament days were part of a necessary process of showing that the Hebrews were his chosen people, and getting the path laid for Jesus to arrive and begin the real process of healing the breach between humanity and God.

Unfortunately, we’ve been reminded now, thanks to Sarah Palin’s comments and stories about the views some of her pastors hold (yes, they held a pastor against Obama; they deserve the same treatment), that there are actually people who think we’re fighting God’s war over there in Iraq and Afghanistan. Funny, I wasn’t aware that God needed protecting. Are the militantly radical Muslims going to blow up something in Heaven?

God’s assistance and directives to the Hebrews were about setting a place for them on the map, spiritually, physically, politically and otherwise. Even those wars didn’t do anything to help God; they were about advancing His plans and helping the Hebrews get started. The conservative Christian contingent in this country is right that we’re in a war related to God, but that’s a spiritual war against Satan. It has nothing to do with warring against other countries. Sure, we should defend ourselves, but our continued presence in Iraq in particular has nothing to do with defence and everything to do with powermongering and greed.

God wants us to wage a war against sin in our own lives and against ignorance and misinformation about Jesus as we reach out to people day-to-day and show the light and love of Christ. But that’s not what the GOP is ramming down our throats. And McCain has said if we’re in Iraq another 100 years, so be it! Yes, I know he was using hyperbole and that even he isn’t that crazy with unresolved anger issues. But the fact that he isn’t willing to see that we’ve already stayed too long and done too much damage is frightening. I’m not saying we have to pull out all at once and right away, but it’s time to stop acting like our huge presence there is a good thing.

I recall that one of the speakers on the night of the GOP convention when McCain accepted the nomination (I forget who it was) was ridiculing Barack Obama for wanting to get out of Iraq in the near future. He actually said that Obama was disrespecting the work of the troops by wanting to leave. He said that honoring the troops meant we had to stay until the job was done.

First, what job are we trying to finish? Making Iraq stable? That’s up to Iraqis. Eliminating terrorism? Anyone who thinks we as a country has the power to do that is insane. So, there is no goal anymore now that we’ve deposed Sadam Hussein. Instead, we’re making excuses to stick around and continue to plunge our nation farther into debt to finance the conflict.

Second, how is keeping troops there honoring them? Our armed forces are already stretched too thin and have been forced to serve too many tours of duty. Without a real plan and a real goal, we hurt them by continuing to be in Iraq and by people in the GOP saber-rattling to say that we need to target Iran next and maybe Russia, too. Our troops don’t want to be used up like old whores. They want to see their families.

Before you actively co-sign on to more war and military excess by shouting “hurrah!” at our current and possibly future forays, or before you passively do so by electing an angry man who still calls Asians gooks and his sidekick who is already showing no diplomatic ability in her words about Russia and Georgia, remember who they send overseas to fight these battles. Your sons and daughters. Your friends. People you care about or who matter to people you care about.

The folks in the military signed up to defend our nation, not to be used as pawns for political gamesmanship, international grandstanding and corporate interests.

And don’t talk to me about bringing back the draft. That will give more warm bodies to abuse, and more incentive to stay places we don’t belong and to go into new places and conflicts we shouldn’t be tackling. Moreover, remember that the politicians won’t be sending their kids off to war for the most part. Way, way more often than not, their kids and other close family will either be safely practicing law, business, medicine or politics—or if they are getting some military credentials they won’t be in harm’s way.

There is nothing respectful or loving in the way our country has used its troops over the past two presidential terms and nothing Christian about it. We are killing and psychologically damaging our own people for nonsense, and we need someone in office who at least wants to try to put an end to it, not someone who blithely wants to soldier on with the same-ole, same-old.

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2 Responses to “Election 2008: The Stakes – Our Troops”


  1. September 12, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    You know… there is this thing somewhere in romans, where Paul tells Christians under Nero to submit to the government, because God has placed the authority over them. I guess I get that… the Roman persecution of Christianity was instrumental in the spread of the gospel, and there are now statues, and other Christian thumbprints all over Italy so , evidently, Jesus had the last laugh, (though I don’t think the whole Papal monarchy thing is the closest we can get to “thy kingdom come”)but it just seems strange. Was the Revolutionary War a sin? What about smuggling Bibles? is that okay? Is God in charge of this election? or is electing our president a stewardship issue? Where does divine abdication begin? Is sovereignty and freewill truly a paradox, or have we simply not figured out where the line is? Does the bible tell?

  2. 2 Deacon Blue
    September 13, 2008 at 12:27 am

    I think what Paul was getting at was kind of twofold.

    First, we generally speaking aren’t supposed to be overtly lawbreaking and thus obeying our governments is usually important. But the persecution issue probably didn’t bother Paul or many of the early church folks much because they expected to be persecuted and Jesus told them they’d be persecuted. There are times when people need to rise up against their government for the good of all or the good of certain persecuted elements in the society, but our faith should not be the determinant. Our own persecution as Christians doesn’t give us the right to rebel against our own governments throughout history. At least not overtly. I mean, we are told by Jesus not to be ashamed of him before men, so even if you live in a nation where Christianity is not allowed or is heavily persecuted, you don’t just sit on your butt if there is an opportunity to reach out to someone or spread the gospel.

    Second, the Bible tells us that all the leaders are in God’s hand and He can turn their wills as He chooses. This doesn’t mean that God approves of all leaders, though, of course. So perhaps what Paul was getting at there is not so much that God put these leaders over us, but that it’s ultimately for them to answer to God for their evils and not to us.

    We also cannot ignore the point that the epistles were written with a certain time and place as the background. Neither Paul nor any of the writers could have envisioned a political landscape like the one we see in our world today. The structure of leadership back then, largely heriditary and regal, was what folks were dealing with. The Bible’s essential truths still speak to us today, but it isn’t always a precise handbook. Many governments today have no spiritual element to them at all, and it is hard to argue that they are anything but the tools of evil men in an increasingly damaged world.


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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

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