Is It Time for Christians to Abandon the Military?

War is hell. Audie Murphy (1925–1971), one of the most famous and decorated American combat soldiers of World War II, said as much in his book To Hell and Back. While considered a war “hero” and recipient of the Medal of Honor, Murphy was deeply affected by his time in the military:

“His first wife, Wanda Hendrix, stated that he once held her at gunpoint. She witnessed her husband being moved to tears by newsreel footage of German war orphans, guilt-ridden that his war actions might have been the cause of their having no parents.”

We just “celebrated” Abraham Lincoln’s delivery of the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln is considered to be our nation’s greatest president by liberals and conservatives alike even though he presided over America’s most destructive war.

Historians believe the combined Union and Confederate death toll was around 750,000. The number could be higher if we had Confederate war records, most of which “vanished with their defeat.” Thomas Fleming writes in his new book on the Civil War, A Disease of the Public Mind:

 “This much is certain: more soldiers died in the four year struggle than the nation lost in all her previous and future wars combined.”

Fleming makes a startling comparison:

 “What makes these numbers especially horrendous is the fact that America’s population in 1861 was about 31 million. In 2012, U.S. population is about 313 million. If a similar conflict demanded the same sacrifice from our young men and women today, the number of dead might total over 10 million.”

We have been a nation at war.

I am not a pacifist. I believe in a strong and ready military. There are evil people in the world who may want to do us harm. We need to be prepared for any such aggression. War should always be a last resort. We should do everything not to engage in war. The long term effects of war go beyond the body count.

I firmly believe that Christians should have taken an active role in averting war. Christian Europe and Christian America went to war. This never should have happened. The same is true of the Civil War. Millions of Christians should have peacefully put pressure on civil officials to keep the peace.

Now our military is getting more secular. Atheists are putting pressure on military leaders to stop Christian clergy from being Christians. Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes is a Christian chaplain currently serving in the U.S. Air Force. Reyes recently wrote “No Atheists in Foxholes: Chaplains Gave All in World War II” and posted it on his website.

“This common saying is attributed to a Catholic priest in World War II, made famous when President Dwight D. Eisenhower said during a 1954 speech: ‘I am delighted that our veterans are sponsoring a movement to increase our awareness of God in our daily lives. In battle, they learned a great truth that there are no atheists in the foxholes.’”

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) protested the “anti-secular diatribe” Reyes’ article was removed:

“MRFF’s letter says that by Reyes’s ‘use of the bigoted, religious supremacist phrase, “no atheists in foxholes,” he defiles the dignity of service members.’ They accuse him of violating military regulations.”

Maybe it’s time that we turn the military over to the atheists since war is the logical extension of evolution — the survival of the fittest. Let them take the blame for “nature, red in tooth and claw.”

They can take as their “gospel” a few lines from the film Man of Steel. “You are weak, son of El. Unsure of yourself,” fellow-Kryptonian Faora says, as she pummels Kal-El. “The fact that you possess a sense of morality and we do not gives us an evolutionary advantage.”

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