24
Sep
08

On Air: Should religion be a reason not to fight for your country?

An American soldier has been granted conscientious objector status and honorable discharge from the army after he said he experienced a religious awakening in Iraq. Pfc. Michael Barnes said his Christian beliefs meant he could no longer continue to fight.

“I can no longer justify spending my short time in this world participating in or supporting war… I must try to save souls, not help take them,” he wrote in December 2006 when applying for conscientious objector status. The army originally refused to give him the status. This court judgement now over-rules that.

Are religious beliefs a valid reason not to fight for your country?

War history is peppered with people who refuse to fight because of their religion. Some were resisting against conscription, but if you’ve chosen to be a soldier, can you pick and choose the battles you want to fight along religious grounds?

Many soldiers who are practising Christians do think it’s acceptable to fight for their country. Are they wrong? The Bible says “thou shalt not kill”, so are Christians who believe in fighting for their country somehow less Christian?

In Britain a reservist was prosecuted for refusing to fight fellow Muslims in Iraq.

If you’re a practising member of a religion, do you think it’s wrong that people take up arms, or are you grateful to the soldiers who have fought to defend your country and your way of life? Can you be religious and a soldier at the same time?


171 Responses to “On Air: Should religion be a reason not to fight for your country?”


  1. September 24, 2008 at 14:47

    God what an amazing topic!

    It’s such a relief to see people actually using Christianity as a reason not to fight and instead push for peace rather than a reason to rally around a pro-war cause.

    Absolutely religion should be a reason not to ‘fight for your country’.

  2. 2 Jessica in NYC
    September 24, 2008 at 14:49

    This is tricky…

    I think, if one doesn’t want to serve in the military, one should not have to. However, when drafts are issued, how does a country pick between a person who does not want to serve on religious grounds and one who doesn’t believe the war is justified?

    Personally, I’d want neither guarding my back, if I were a willing solider in war.

  3. 3 steve
    September 24, 2008 at 14:50

    If they don’t want to fight, fine, but don’t expect others to fight in your place.

  4. September 24, 2008 at 14:51

    Christians who believe in fighting for their country somehow less Christian?

    Not at all, they just chose to try to justify their killings and the killings that others commit through their religion to make it seem acceptable…. You know, come to think of it…. Theres another group that does the same thing…..
    hhhmmmm…..

  5. 5 selena in Canada
    September 24, 2008 at 14:55

    If they don’t want to fight, fine, but don’t expect others to fight in your place.

    Does the same logic apply to the religious in Israel who refuse to fight?

  6. 6 1430a
    September 24, 2008 at 14:57

    hello everyone,
    i think it was never possible,is not possible and will never be possible.
    Its just this one ‘great’ soldier who i guess didn’t want to kill anymore innocent civilians or maybe too tired of shooting.I think religion is actually the reason why people are killing each other(not to mention any countries but you know who).People get violent over religion and I have myself experienced one such incident i was not involved).
    People say:’Well people must learn how to use religion to spread peace’.Whoever said it i must say the opposite is happening in this world.

    Thank you
    Abhinav

  7. 7 Robert
    September 24, 2008 at 15:00

    The of the ideals that all soliders in the western countries fight for is the right to choose your own path though life. To remove somebodies right to choose to fight is destroying the very thing they are supposed to be fighting for. How they come to that decision (religion or not) is secondary.

  8. 8 Julie P
    September 24, 2008 at 15:01

    There are people who have been able to get out of serving during times of war, like Vietnam and WWII as conscientious objectors. If memory serves me correctly, I think there were Quakers who did not serve during WWII for that reason.

  9. 9 Christopher
    September 24, 2008 at 15:01

    Frankly, I’m a little put off by this. If you join the military voluntarily, you know what you’re getting into, as the military, by its nature, is charged with a duty to defend its country or nation. This soldier was not a conscript – he was and is a volunteer. I don’t personally condone killing of any kind, in war or otherwise, so, by my own nature, I’m a conscientious objector. The difference is, I also did not join the military, did not become a soldier, and did not accept those duties and responsibilities.

    I’m fine with his Damascus Road conversion; consistent with that, with his discharge, and with his choice, I think he ought to be ordered to also return to the coffers all of the pay, benefits, and allowances he received from the time of his petition. If you don’t want the job, you ought not keep the benefits you received.

    Fair is fair.

  10. 10 jamily5
    September 24, 2008 at 15:02

    Maybe Ethics should be the reason that a person does not want to engage himself/herself in a war.
    I don’t believe that people should be made to fight if they believe it unethical or immoral: be it Muslim, Christian or absent of any religion at all.
    I was quite impressed with the open letter from Stan Goff.
    It is to be noted, however, that Gandhi did participate in a war. He did not fight, but was a medic and helped in the saving of all human life.

    This is difficult for me because, as I have mentioned before, my son has just joined the navy and has recently finished his basic training.
    My solace is that he is training to be a medic. Yet, I am under no illusions. I realize that he is supporting those who will kill and he will have and be encouraged to use a weapon, himself.
    I pray for God’s intervention in this.
    I know that my son has a desire to:
    1. have a respectable career
    2. defend when/where needed
    3. make a difference (positive difference and yes, he feels that joining will be positive — other men tell him so)
    4. grow into a great man
    These are not in order of importance to him.

  11. 11 Bob in Queensland
    September 24, 2008 at 15:06

    Being a conscientious objector has long been considered a valid reason for not fighting and that’s as it should be.

    However, in this case is it even true to say that fighting in Iraq is “fighting for your country”? I have yet to hear how the war in Iraq in any way increased the security of the USA–or even benefited American materially if that was the reason.

    Add to this the fact that the US army is, at present, volunteers not conscripts, and I don’t see much of any issue here.

  12. September 24, 2008 at 15:06

    If you join the military voluntarily, you know what you’re getting into, as the military, by its nature, is charged with a duty to defend its country or nation.

    I completely agree.

  13. 13 steve
    September 24, 2008 at 15:07

    @ Selena

    Yes. That’s why the religious right is very hated in israel. They want settlements but refuse to serve in the military, so the non religious risk their lives to protect them.

  14. September 24, 2008 at 15:07

    @ Bob:

    However, in this case is it even true to say that fighting in Iraq is “fighting for your country”? I have yet to hear how the war in Iraq in any way increased the security of the USA–or even benefited American materially if that was the reason.

    Im right there with ya on that one, hence the reason I put “fight for your country” in quotations lol

    Perhaps it would be better worded as “fighting on behalf of your country”? 😉

  15. 15 steve
    September 24, 2008 at 15:08

    @ Bob

    “However, in this case is it even true to say that fighting in Iraq is “fighting for your country”? I have yet to hear how the war in Iraq in any way increased the security of the USA–or even benefited American materially if that was the reason.”

    LOL. And the US entering WW1 was somehow fighting for America (yet you criticize the US for entering too late)?????????

  16. 16 Count Iblis
    September 24, 2008 at 15:12

    US soldiers are never deployed to fight for their country. The only possible military threat
    to the US can come from nuclear weapons. The US has nuclear weapons to deter any potential enemy
    from launching a nuclear attack and it has developed AMB weapons.

    Soldiers in the US army will always be deployed in wars that the US wants to fight for reasons
    other than defending the US.

  17. 17 Jennifer
    September 24, 2008 at 15:13

    I think before someone joins the military they need to ensure that they will be able to set aside their personal beliefs and carry out their responsibilities. We have recruiters that come to schools here just to talk to students about enlisting; they offer money for college and bonuses for enlisting. Those signing up tend to focus more on the fact that they will have a monetary bonus or receive money towards college and forget about what they have to give in return. More thought should be put into enlisting to ensure that it’s not a spur of the moment choice.

    I think it is possible to be religious and a soldier at the same time, but I am sure it would be difficult. At one time, I thought about enlisting but my mom was very upset. I have also never shot a gun and have no interest in doing so even at a “bad guy”.

    I am thankful to soldiers who do choose to enlist because they are protecting the freedom of alot of people-those who are thankful and ingrates.

  18. 18 Bob in Queensland
    September 24, 2008 at 15:15

    Let’s not start this again Steve. I’ve never even mentioned WWI in anything I’ve posted and certainly not criticised the USA for anything to do with that war.

    My point was much more that, if we concede a moral and patriotic requirement to defend your country, where should one draw that line at what constitutes “defending your country”?

  19. September 24, 2008 at 15:15

    I strongly support that soldiers shouldn’t be bounded from religious, ethnicity, language. Because in a single country we found different colored people, they can speak different languages, following different religions and they may beliefs to different things. Pluralism diversity is the main pillar of peace, harmony, development and sustainability of any region. So in this context those institute such as National army if influencing from language, religion and geographical division then obviously there will be seen fraction within the country among people which may create very difficult situation.

    Yes! I can be religious and a soldier at the same time. Profession and belief are totally different things. If we thing both are same and directly linked then there will be problem. If we follow professional ethics there is no place for belief. If we equally respect all religions and think there is only one God, be it Christ or Buddha, Shiva or Muhammad. Where is the problem? So, it all depends upon our thinking.

  20. 20 Robert
    September 24, 2008 at 15:20

    Hansha

    The problem is that sometimes professions and beliefs conflict. The profession of a solider is to kill for they’re country when called upon. The belief of Christians and Jews as writen in Exodus is “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. How do you get round the conflict?

  21. 21 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    September 24, 2008 at 15:21

    @ Brett,

    Good point in relation to using Christianity to promote peace! I agree!

    (Portions of this was posted on the Talking Points Page)

    Christ charged his followers (in the days of the early Church), who were later reminded by Peter (’The Rock’) that, they were to obey the laws of the country that they live in, even while they proclaim their belief in Him. That, coupled with the message of love, peace and brotherhood seem to be odds with any effort to fight (an unjust war).

    What, though, is a ‘just war’? And, are religious reasons a sufficient basis on which to make such an objection? What might be ‘sufficient’ under such circumstances?

  22. 22 steve
    September 24, 2008 at 15:23

    @ Bob

    My point is that nobody criticizes the US for entering WW1, despite it having nothing to do with the US, the US was not at any risk by any of the warring european powers other than the Zimmerman Telegram stuff, but that was only due to concern the US might enter the war.

  23. 23 selena in Canada
    September 24, 2008 at 15:23

    @Robert

    The belief of Christians and Jews as writen in Exodus is “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. How do you get round the conflict?

    I guess you could get around it by reading the rest of the book which is full of war and mayhem sanctioned by God. 🙂

  24. 24 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    September 24, 2008 at 15:25

    @ Bob in Queensland,

    Excellent question! I am agreed that, whereas the concession can be made, the larger issue of how we determine such a concession is still very much left open. This is not to suggest that, I am in agreement with war. However, one has to be practical insofar as, the likely abuse (?) of such a position. After all, all sorts of injustices have been committed in the name of ‘peace’ and ‘security’ of a nation. Surely, the reverse is not the solution, is it?

  25. September 24, 2008 at 15:30

    @Robert!
    I just talked about a single country. But when it comes between the countries the first work of national soldiers is to save their country by any means.

  26. September 24, 2008 at 15:30

    I have yet to hear how the war in Iraq in any way increased the security of the USA–or even benefited American materially if that was the reason.

    Not even the oil, Bob – the Iraqis have signed contracts with the Chinese!

    As to the question – this soldier was a volunteer, not, as has been said, a conscript. As a volunteer you sign up and agree the terms.

    Disclaimer before anyone tells me I mentioned Hitler in that post:

    This has nothing to do with the last 1500 years of human history and is only about the opening post at hand, thanks.

  27. 27 Jens
    September 24, 2008 at 15:34

    let’s face it have there really been that many other wars, but either in the name of religion or resources.

    isn’t funny how the same believes can be used/abused for the dimetrically opposed position.

  28. 28 selena in Canada
    September 24, 2008 at 15:37

    The question is not as simple as it sounds.

    If I were asked to fight in a war, I would probably have to request conscientious objector status. That would have nothing to do with religion but I would have to extend the privilege to anyone who feels that war is never just, even the religious.

  29. 29 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    September 24, 2008 at 15:40

    I want to know, what might be considered a valid basis on which to object to fighting in a war?

    Today’s question reflects, in a way, last week’s about whether it is ever justified to kill civilians. Whereas, there can be no moral basis on which to do this, in my view, the act of fighting a war, necessarilly, implies that such a position does not apply. If, this position does not apply, then, it might be completely within the boundaries of ‘acceptable collateral damage’ (?) that this could happen.

    I imagine, therefore, that the same applies in the case of opting out of one’s agreement to defend one’s country, regardless of reasons given. If a country is at war, then, different rules apply. Possibly, all who have signed up to fight should?..Just a thought.

  30. 30 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    September 24, 2008 at 15:46

    @ Jens,

    Good point.

    @ selena in Canada,

    I agree totally! What privileges the religious position over and above any others? Truth is, though, if you sign on to benefit from being in the armed forces – skills learned, travel, education, etc., then, it seems a little disingenious to object at the point at which you are required to put some of those skills into action.

    The issue is not whether it is morally (?) correct to use religion, or not. Rather, it is whether, having used such a position one is exempt from sanctions given the foregoing.? Signing up for the army, in other words, comes with the condition of fighting in a war, whether for religious or other reasons. The extent to which one could make a case using religion as a likely defense suggests that any other morally considered position should/ could also apply.

  31. 31 1430a
    September 24, 2008 at 15:47

    by the way i forgot to write:
    in the 2 world war’s there were millions of soldiers involved.do you think none of them were religious?why couldnt they stop the world from war?why didnt they resign like the way this guy did?why didnt the fell fear when killing thousands of civilians?so why now???

  32. 32 Dan
    September 24, 2008 at 15:47

    The US Military is an all volunteer organization. One has to be so stupid as to not qualify to pass the tests if one does not understand going in that they will have to fight.
    Therefore if one joins later becoming a conscientious objector they are merely admitting to being a coward.

  33. 33 Shaun in Halifax
    September 24, 2008 at 16:04

    @ Bob and Brett.. and I guess Steve. Why not…

    I think you guys hit the nail on the head – a military should be used to defend a country’s sovereignty and to protect its people. Wars of aggression — or wars that have no basis (and it should now be beyond dispute that the closest Saddam’s more-or-less secular Sunni regime ever came to ‘negotiating’ with Shia Al Quaeda was in his torture chambers) — should not be fought.

    And it is nice to finally hear somebody NOT fight because of religion.

    And on a completely unrelated note: Steve, just out of curiosity what area of law do you practice?

  34. September 24, 2008 at 16:12

    @ Shaun:
    And it is nice to finally hear somebody NOT fight because of religion.
    I can only hope that one day a movement will be started within Christianity that will put a dent in the violence that is claimed to be in the name of God or as part of his plan.

  35. 35 Syed Hasan Turab
    September 24, 2008 at 16:14

    Fight itself is an unhuman behaviour of a person, group & nation, living in society.
    Establish a cause from any dimention may be understand emotional & mental condition being a fighter. Some people understand this psychology from the very begginning & keep them selves away from fighting forces in some cases fighter’s understand peace after experience of war. In this case though soldier understand the psychology little late but he is correct.
    I hope his visionary peacefull view of life will enlighted the whole universe, he deliver a positive message to remaining fellows of war society.

  36. 36 Michel Norman
    September 24, 2008 at 16:21

    Interesting question from Selina.

    Here what we call the national religious do participate fully in the burden of army service. I stress burden, i have 2 children in the army, who would both rather be at university, but you cannot always choose your neighbours.

    We have a problem here with the Ultra orthodox. When the country became independent in 1948 an exemption was granted because it was just after the holocaust and the yeshiva world had been destroyed. We now hove tens of thousands each year avoiding the draft, going on to have ten or so children, studying the holy books all of their lives while the secular are supposed to carry on financing them so its a little bit more complex than moral issues.

    It is also quite strange, my great uncle who came from a religious family fought at El-Alemain, and obviously had no problem with fighting the Nazi’s the same way as you could see at the UN last night, we are facing the 21st century equivalent.

    We are in a different situation from the UK if we don;t have an army we don’t have a country, and therefore the expectation is that everyone should share the burden.

  37. 37 Kofi Quansah
    September 24, 2008 at 16:24

    in the 2 world war’s there were millions of soldiers involved.do you think none of them were religious?

    Good point there 1430a. Can anyone tell me what would have happened if all the Allied forces had thought it immoral to kill the Nazis because they were religious?
    Whether you are religious or not, you kill if you are threatened.

  38. 38 selena in Canada
    September 24, 2008 at 16:28

    @Michael Norman

    Thank you for answering the question. It is a good subject to examine because, in my view, the ultra religious often are adamant that their country be protected yet are just as adamant that they (themselves) play no part in that protection.

    How do people feel about this dilemma?

  39. 39 Alexis Massey-Ryan
    September 24, 2008 at 16:35

    What! Religion being used as a reason NOT to fight?! What a good idea!

    Of course it seems to be only that they don’t want to kill people of their OWN religion, other people can be killed with ease apparently.

    Of course it begs the question, if these people don’t want to kill because their religion says so, then why did they join the ARMY in the first place?

  40. September 24, 2008 at 16:36

    Kofi –

    Can anyone tell me what would have happened if all the Allied forces had thought it immoral to kill the Nazis because they were religious?

    Me dear old dad fought in WWII, in several theatres of war from North Africa to the Far East. He wasn’t a religious man after the war – although he never spoke about those horrors he did say that if there is a God He would not allow that to happen.

    WWII was fought for a very different reason than Iraq or other wars. The whole world was involved by consensus even though some were imprisoned for being ‘Conscientious objectors’.

    If it wasn’t for dad and millions more like him the world we have today would be very different.

  41. 41 ExDee
    September 24, 2008 at 16:45

    So these soldiers in question were not conscripts? Well if you volunteer you sort of have an obligation to do what your job entails, which is TBH, to fight. These voluntary soldiers using religion as a reason to get out sounds a little suspish to me.

    Its important to remember that a soldier is still human as well as trained killing machines, its intresting that a lot of people forget the human side until something like this pops up. Soldiers don’t just appear out of nowhere, we start as human and come out the other side of basic training as something not quite the same.

    In a way I find it gladdening that someone is getting out and maybe using religion as an excuse is a good thing, maybe its a start of a new world (I know its not but we can but hope) where we’ve realised that war is now being used the same way that religion is (As a tool of control). However a professional part of me is dismayed that someone is using this as an excuse to quit early (Although how much time the person had left isn’t stated).

  42. 42 Joel Salomon
    September 24, 2008 at 16:47

     Correction to Madeline & Robert: The text of the commandment is “לא תרצח—Do not murder”, not “Do not kill”. And yes, Selena, the discussion of war, judicial executions, and self-defense elsewhere in the Bible does make it clear that those are not considered “murder”.

    @ Steve:
     Those called the “religious right” in Israel do, in fact, serve in the army. The group that (for the most part) avoids military service is called the haredi, or “Ultra-Orthodox”, though many in that group also serve. The religious “settlements” are for the most part populated by the “religious right”.

  43. 43 Steve/Oregon
    September 24, 2008 at 16:50

    “I think before someone joins the military they need to ensure that they will be able to set aside their personal beliefs and carry out their responsibilities.”

    Jennifer you hit the nail on the head with this one. There are tons of duties/jobs in the U.S. Army that do not require killing. If this soldier chooses not to carry his weapon we always need “potato peelers”. The simple fact of the matter this soldier enlisted to be a soldier he signed a contract and should be held to that contract.

    This was a question I was plauged by when i entered the service and eventually led me to my athiest belief. (too many contradictions in the bible) Numerous differnt religous leaders tried to explain to me why it was ok to kill when god had blatently said “thou shall not kill” and the told me, “the leaders put into place were put there by god” which i know opens a whole different arguement as to wether or not god or the devil etc etc i know.
    Basically he chose to be a United States soldier signed a contract and wether he likes it or not he has an obligation to live up too.

  44. 44 selena in Canada
    September 24, 2008 at 16:54

    @Joel

    Thank you for your reply.

    And yes, Selena, the discussion of war, judicial executions, and self-defense elsewhere in the Bible does make it clear that those are not considered “murder”

    And the difference between killing and murder is….?

  45. 45 gary
    September 24, 2008 at 17:02

    Since major religions consider life as preamble to and preparation for immortality, worldly existence must be held inferior. Since major religions believe human creation occurred as a divine gift, so everyone must share its benefits (As human beings, we may not take away that which we did not give in the first place.). Consideration of these points leads to a simple conclusion: Souls are more important than bodies. Or more to point of this religious discussion: ANY soul is worth more than ANY body. Since war is angry, its participants act in anger. Some live and some die; but in each, life and death has become the same, a diversion from the ultimate goal. Thus, religion SHOULD BE a reason for any believer not to fight for ANY country.
    g

  46. 46 roebert
    September 24, 2008 at 17:07

    If you are truly religious, in a spiritual rather than only an institutional sense, only you yourself will know when it is right for you yourself to fight for anything. So it’s a very personal question, with no pat answers.

    Fighting for your country, however, is usually high-level bunkum whether you’re religious or not. Those who fight for their country, unless their country is under direct threat at close hand and needs to be defended, are always dupes for the politicos to use in the old, old game.

    Still, it’s a confused question, the whole question of war. Perhaps you should only be willing to fight if you know without a doubt that war is really the last resort in a particular case. And that’s far from being the case in Iraq.

    The guy who bailed out for religious reasons; perhaps he’d be dead tomorrow if he hadn’t done that today. And dead for what good reason?

  47. September 24, 2008 at 17:09

    Hi everyone,

    I’m with Jessica in NYC — people who are religious shouldn’t be given preferential treatment over people who philosophically and rationally cannot justify war. Frankly, I’d hope people had made that choice before enlisting. It’s a cop out to say you don’t want to kill people after you’ve signed up. We have seen people who sign up and who figure it out after the fact that war is too horrific of a business to support. If people are allowed to opt out — and I have no idea how the military would regulate that — they should all be given a way out whether they are religious or not.

  48. 48 Jens
    September 24, 2008 at 17:10

    hey,

    let’s be honest only atheist are capable of having an honest war…..

    i am here to take your land or oil, in the name of…………………………self-enrichment. how come, the republican have this loony right religiouse support then? i mean they are in it for money….and not god, coz i remember vaguely something about jesus and money and temples

  49. September 24, 2008 at 17:15

    Religion should be the reason there is no country to fight for in the first place.

    If you were asked to kill another person in war even though they are the same exact religion as you, would you do it? If yes, then you value country over your God? IF no, can people decide not to fulfill their obligations as a soldier if they feel they might have to?

    If your religious leader asked you to kill another person even though they were from the same country as you, would you do it? If no, are you not risking eternal damnation? Your faith allows that your religious leaders get their commands from “a higher power”.

    This is a pivital key to understanding the cultural canyon that exists between M-Sa capitalist /sunday morning Christians, and extremist Muslims. Oddly enough these two groups are the most vocal voices in favor of killing each other.

  50. September 24, 2008 at 17:16

    Would Jesus have fought if he were drafted?

  51. September 24, 2008 at 17:16

    Should religion be a reason not to fight for your country?

    I think that rleigion should be one of the legitimate reasons to be considered a conscientious objecter. I think that it is unethical to force a Buddhist to fight in a war (in the case of a draft) or to demand that an enlisted Hindu, Muslim, or Sikh fight against his co-religionists in a country like India.

  52. 52 Okah Silas
    September 24, 2008 at 17:17

    This is one subject I think the entire world needs to consider.I strongly assert that any human policy or laws that object to the biding of a trained conscience should be abolish.No Godly person will spill a human blood[sacred in God`s eyes] and remain a happy person.When a man is forced against his free will,his very nature and his noble beliefs,you have only succeeded in sending another Wilhelm Kusserow to the Guillotine.

    Silas Okah [Warri,NIGERIA]

  53. 53 Steve/Oregon
    September 24, 2008 at 17:18

    @ maria how can you say someone who promises to do something in this case fight when they are told to should be given a way out…

    Should men and women be given a way out of marriage if they feel philisophically wrong with being with one person, or how about a person who feels it is philisophically wrong to pay bills etc etc. Philisophically beliefs are null and void once you sign a contract.

    Though I do believe soldiers should be given the option of a new job where they are not on the front lines

  54. 54 Jens
    September 24, 2008 at 17:31

    Pink,

    why? let’s say all this god stuff does not exist. why shoul one be able to claim objection to fight a war on the basis of any esblished religion whatever their god. but i who belives in the tooth-fairy, or evolution or the big spaghetti monster have no such right…..

    i am an athesist ans such belive that if there is a cionscription there is no difference between believers and non-believers, since there is no god.

    HOWEVER, i do not believe in wars. (b)violence is only poor substitue for intelligence.

  55. 55 archibald in oregon
    September 24, 2008 at 17:32

    Religion is and has been the root cause of so much suffering globally, that it is amazing to me that anyone subscribes to a “god”. It is also unfathomable at this point in history, for anyone to be ignorant of what “military service” implies, (ie. killing and lots of it). Still, it is sad that someone must justify a decision “not ” to kill, when the goal as portrayed by many military leaders is to establish peace and promote prosperity
    That said, you make your bed, you sleep in it, the linens are gonna cost you…….It will be a great day when, we all can enjoy this vast planet and not have to justify killing or not killing anyone for it.

  56. 56 Anthony
    September 24, 2008 at 17:37

    If there is no “God/flying spegetti monster” then whats the problem with killing to get ahead, whether it be you, your family, or your country who gets ahead?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  57. 57 Steve/Oregon
    September 24, 2008 at 17:39

    @ archbald: Lol that will never happen and until there is some form of population control atleast war kills of some people

    @ anthony: Amen brotha (high five)

  58. 58 Dennis@OCC
    September 24, 2008 at 17:41

    This is TRICKY! If you have religious beliefs that could interfer with your religion..Then you should not sign up for the military.

    I am talking about in the United States of America

    Dennis

  59. 59 Robert
    September 24, 2008 at 17:43

    Steve

    Philosophical beliefs are not null and void once pen is put to paper. Men and women do have a way out of marriage if they feel philosophically wrong about being with one person, it is called divorce.

    Although I strongly believe that those who wish not to fight should not be forced too I also believe that you have to stand up to your responsibilities that you agree to hold. As such a penalty should be attached should you have a change of heart about going to the front line. Such a penalty might be having to buy your way out of the contract (as I believe the UK soldiers can do) or perhaps serving out the rest of the contract you have with the army in an civilian admin job (with no housing benefits and lower pay).

  60. September 24, 2008 at 17:46

    Hi gang ! :-)… 1stly my warm greetings go to Mr Barnes… And I do fully support and applaud his decision… The war on Iraq was merely an act of aggression, not an act of defence… American soldiers aren’t defending the American people in Iraq, period… Anyway, it would be really interesting to talk to Mr Barnes live on air on WHYS… I am really eager to discover what has ached his moral conscience that much… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  61. 61 Jennifer
    September 24, 2008 at 17:53

    @ Steve in Oregon

    I have friends and family who are soldiers. They have a hard time sitting aside their personal beliefs and carrying out their responsibilities. It is definitely easier said than done.

  62. 62 Shaun in Halifax
    September 24, 2008 at 17:56

    @ selena

    The difference between killing and murder is that murder is what humans do to each other for sport, fun, or power; killing is what animals do to survive.

  63. 63 Anthony
    September 24, 2008 at 17:57

    @ Jens

    So what’s wrong with killing, especially for land or oil??? You’re an atheist, so were just animals, and once dead, no pain, no suffering, plus who cares because they never really mattered, No one will remember or care about you 100 years after you die.

    OK, so country A is at war with country B. country A destroys country B. No one left from country B. Country A prospers. Survival of the fittest, right? So what’s wrong with that???

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  64. September 24, 2008 at 18:01

    A couple of problems with this is that the US military is now a volunteer force. Nobody forces you to go in. Another problem is that in this case the military investigated and didn’t feel the individual was sufficiently but then a civilian court overturned the military’s decision.

    Religion can be an excuse used to get someone out a situation. The military thought this was what was going on. Besides, there’s nothing to prevent him from “saving souls” while still on active duty.

  65. 65 archibald in oregon
    September 24, 2008 at 18:06

    @ Anthony and Steve/oregon
    “If there is no “God/flying spegetti monster” then whats the problem with killing to get ahead, whether it be you, your family, or your country who gets ahead?”
    Another “high five” for ignorance. If getting ahead means total destruction of the world around you then what is the point. Religion is not the glue that keeps us all from annihilation, in fact it may be quite the opposite.

    “Lol that will never happen and until there is some form of population control at least war kills of some people”
    I agree population is a major hindrance to prosperity, but if you have had children then that argument is completely invalid. If you are not open to something new then you will forever see your options as finite. LOL (laughing originality lacking)

  66. 66 Jens
    September 24, 2008 at 18:06

    Tony,

    did we not argue about this just in the recent past?????

    and is this not what is kind of happening in many wars?

  67. 67 ezekiel
    September 24, 2008 at 18:06

    i believe that those who hide under the facade of religion to offer pretex in other to avoide national duties are no different from those who commite crimes under the same reason. Religion, afterall, is about doing what is right even if it means giving to ceaser what belongs to him.
    ezekiel from kaduna nigeria

    +23408059160857 (cal me)

  68. 68 Steve/Oregon
    September 24, 2008 at 18:07

    @Robert: you make a valid point this is basically what I have been trying to get at don’t let them out of there contract put them in a nondeployable position with a reduction.

    @Jennifer I am now a retired soldier so i know plenty of men and women who had these issues… as a leader of soldiers when one of them would tell me they had issues I had a long talk with them and explained they signed the contract and must live up to there word. Whether they liked it or not, because there would be a point where they would have to protect there fellow soldiers. If the issue continued we moved them to the S-1 room (personnel) and got someone in that would honor there commitment. Some were sad to go some were happy my point is they still lived up to there contract without crying “I cant cause “god” don’t want me too!’ its an excuse to get out of a hard job.

  69. 69 Dan
    September 24, 2008 at 18:08

    THE BIBLE SAID “THOU SHALT NOT MURDER”

  70. 70 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    September 24, 2008 at 18:10

    Christians who believe in fighting for their country somehow less Christian?

    To answer you’re question using the Bible as a reference?

    “thou shalt not kill”
    The Kill here is for individuals killing one another. Like what happen in Finland yesterday. This is not a war situation.

    Ecclesiastes 3-8 (the last part) it states “a time of war, and a time of peace.”
    So, NO these brave men and women of faith are NOT less Christian because they are fighting. However I also believe that people who do not want to fight because of their faith should NOT be seens as less patriotic. At a point it has be becaome a personal chose and we need to respect that.

    Thank you,
    Thea

  71. 71 Kenny In Florida
    September 24, 2008 at 18:12

    If you don’t want to have to kill people, don’t join the military, duh! Its that simple.

  72. September 24, 2008 at 18:14

    “If you join the military voluntarily, you know what you’re getting into” I wonder how true this cliche really is; it seems that a lot of soldiers say they never dreamed it was like it is on the front line. I don’t think because I’ve watched movies or the news that I have any idea what being there is actually like. If someone has a change of heart so strong that they cannot continue being a soldier, whether it’s religion, ethics or sanity they should be allowed to leave.

  73. 73 Steve/Oregon
    September 24, 2008 at 18:15

    @Archibald: I am not saying religion keeps people from destroying everything. I know religon is responisble for more Wars than anything else. What i was saying if Bush had said to me I want to go to Iraq cause that man “tried to kill my father.” (not saying Saddam didt) or “I think the U.S. is dependant on forgien oil so I think we should take theres.”
    I would have had no problem going there the fact that “supposedly” he felt there were weapons of mass distruction would have been justifyable also if the intellgence hadn’t been manipulated.

    Oh and I have no childern and have had a vasectomy to ensure i do not add to the overpopulation problem. I am open to a oldy but a goody of an idea I take this becuase i am bigger/stronger/smarter than you. Its called survival ot the fittest. and we have removed it which is prolly why so many peacnics are till out there……unfortunately

  74. 74 Kenny In Florida
    September 24, 2008 at 18:17

    @ Dan
    You are forgetting that many people hold no weight to the bible, I mean, the dang thing says the world was created in 7 days, not to mention the billions of people who believe in other religions. Do you think that an Islamic person chooses not to kill because the bible says so?

  75. 75 Anthony
    September 24, 2008 at 18:17

    @ Jens & archibald

    Yes, we sure did, and I never got a good answer, all I got was “I don’t need a god to tell me not to kill.”. I just wish I could get a reason why NOT to kill or murder in situations like that. No one has a good answer to this question:

    “If you could kill someone, with no family that no one cares about, take $100,000.00 that they had, and you KNEW for a fact that you would never get caught, would you kill them.”

    If there is no “God/Flying spaghetti monster”, then what’s the problem? If you can’t do that, and you’re an atheist, I feel you’re just weak, survival of the fittest and all that.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  76. September 24, 2008 at 18:17

    Jens,

    Let us say this god stuff doesn’t exist. (I happen to believe it doesn’t). Christmas vacation, bonuses, and celebrations should absolved across any government entity. The reference to “God” should be removed from our currency. Crosses should all be removed from anyplace there is a government funded cemetery. The pledge should have God removed from it. Nowhere should be posted “God Bless America” be displayed on public funded grounds. The government making these “conscriptions” need to stop sending mixed messages. It should be in bold print on the contract then. “It is not the persuasion of the United States to as anybody to fight for God and Country. The United States recognizes no existence of ‘God’”

    I think you may find it even more difficult to get people to sign up if you completely disassociate military service from “God”. It turns out “blind and unquestioning acceptance” is a skill set that fits well with a good soldier.

  77. 77 Matthias Johanssen
    September 24, 2008 at 18:20

    Hi, I live in Germany and I am handicaped.
    So I never had to serve in the german Army.
    I am a believing christian. In general I think it’s ok
    for a believer to serve in the army. I am just listening to the present phone conversation. As the man who was callig said there are certain thinks that you may be facing. So a christian must think it all over very carefuly before he decides to join the army.

    Best wishes from Hamburg, Matthias

  78. September 24, 2008 at 18:22

    I believe people should be able to bow out of a deployment at any time. They should be forced to submit a reason for refusal and pay back any training directly related to training received for that effort. His superiors should be able to assess his usefulness for further employment, and have the right to discharge him if they feel he is of no further use.

    But never should you be forced to kill people that you do not feel are your enemy. 18 to 25 year old boys can often change their mind. War changes reality.

  79. 79 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    September 24, 2008 at 18:22

    @ Dan,
    I just looked it up and the King James states “thou shalt not kill”. Other translations say murder.

  80. 80 steve
    September 24, 2008 at 18:22

    Your guest seems to equate the US forces to dooing what the terrorist are doing. I suppose the US on patrols is equivalent to mass car bombings?

    He is choosing to ignore what the terrorists do, focuses on the US and what it did in a handufl of situations, all in his attempt to get out of his obligation that he willingly signed up to. Sounds like a coward trying to save his skin.

  81. 81 Vicky
    September 24, 2008 at 18:23

    People who “fight for their country” are often duped by corrupt people who have less than noble agendas for fomenting wars.Then they come back broken, mentally damaged only to find that they have been forgotten by the country that sent them to fight.

    Many Christians do things that are un-Christian and yes this makes them less than Christian. Or false Christians. War is not for Christians. The Bible says “Vengeance is mine. I shall repay.” That’s God speaking. Christians are supposed to be peaceable with all men and love their enemies not become killing machines for corrupt governments. What happened to that?

    I am a religious objector to the military and wars in general and I would not fight and kill others because Jesus Christ did not do such a thing nor did he endorse this behavior for his followers.

  82. 82 Adam in Canada
    September 24, 2008 at 18:24

    If religion is an adequate reason for going to war, should it not also be an adequate reason for leaving?

  83. 83 Kris / New Mexico
    September 24, 2008 at 18:26

    I believe that Disciples of Jesus (Christians) are called to live radically. As I look at my life, learning from Jesus’ example, I cannot justify taking the life of another person (including during war). We are called to love others, our enemies included. A Christian must hold themselves accountable first to God, then to his/her country. If someone begins their spiritual walk with Jesus, they must be allowed to not go against their beliefs. Some may believe that war furthers the better good of the county. However, I believe that Jesus would say that perusing His teachings first, actually serves the better interest of all, including the country.

  84. 84 anais
    September 24, 2008 at 18:27

    A vast portion of people enlist in service for economic reasons. It is one of the few places of employment in the United States that provide a pension, affordable health care, etc, after 20 years of service, subsidized education.

    I grant that people cannot “schedule their epiphanies”. However, when they do conscientiously object, they should be required to refund every penny they have taken from their employ with armed services since they are being paid, ultimately, to obey orders and potentially engage in risk. If they break their contract, the state should be financially compensated since all of the payment by the state was for not.

  85. 85 Kenny In Florida
    September 24, 2008 at 18:27

    @ Adam in Canada,
    good point, but that just makes too much sense for most governments.

  86. September 24, 2008 at 18:28

    Better late than never. Realising that war is not the way you want to live is becoming human again.
    Forget about fighting for your country. Whose country was Michael fighting for in Iraq anyway? Not his own, that’s for sure!

  87. 87 Anne
    September 24, 2008 at 18:29

    Julie,

    You are correct. Members of the Historic Peace Churches; Amish, Mennonite, Brethren and Quakers were conscientious objectors during WWII and Vietnam. During WWII, many were a part of the Civilian Public Service and worked in mental hospitals, fighting fires, etc. as alternative service. This tradition of respecting the religious beliefs of people to not fight in war should absolutely continue.

  88. 88 jamily5
    September 24, 2008 at 18:29

    Hi Jim,
    I did think the same thing.
    Since my son is in the navy and I am quite against war, we have had this discussion many times.
    He has made a commitment and plans to keep it.
    But, he is training to be a corpsman. — for the marines.
    So, I am aware of where he will probably go, what he will probably do, what kind of mentality that he will probably be faced with day after day and so on. If he does not like it, though, he can do something else such as construction, postal work etc.
    And, I am not sure about the asfab scores (the military test) but, I think that people can switch branches: the army can switch to navy.
    But, I could be wrong there.
    My Uncle did switch from Navy to Army, but he had to be an e6 before he switched And, Dwight:
    Jesus Chastized Peter for cutting off a soldier’s ear when he was being crucified.
    So, that gives me my answer: besides the many calls to peace by him.

  89. September 24, 2008 at 18:32

    After listening to, and participating in, this subject, I think probably the single main item that determines a person’s answer to this particular question is how they percieve religion. I personally think most religion is a lot bunk, and with that in mind, don’t really think it can be a legitimate reason to get out of anything.

  90. 90 Tom D Ford
    September 24, 2008 at 18:32

    “Should religion be a reason not to fight for your country?”

    Nobody is fighting for the US in Iraq, they’re fighting for control of Iraqi Oil for the benefit of Big Oil Corporations.

    But that aside, I am sure that somewhere in the Bible is an addendum to the Thou Shalt Not Kill Commandment giving the OK for killing for Oil that belongs to someone else.

  91. 91 selena in Canada
    September 24, 2008 at 18:33

    @Anne

    This tradition of respecting the religious beliefs of people to not fight in war should absolutely continue.

    I am not religious but I don’t believe in war, for any reason. What would you do with me?

  92. 92 Jens
    September 24, 2008 at 18:35

    Tony,

    i gave you more that that.

    it makes no sense going along killing others for their money, because we rely on one another to be able to perform as a society. what use is it to me having all the gold, if i have to do everything for myself. what use is it to me going to kill the neighbor only to end-up in a war with his clan/tribe that can get me killed….. just some simple ideas as to why it does not pay to kill your associates. in certain cirumsatnces it makes sense to go and kill the other tribe, BUT WE ARE ALREADY DOING THAT WITH OR WITHOUT GOD…..and have done so since we climbed of the trees….

  93. September 24, 2008 at 18:37

    Volunteer Army!!! We have millions of home loans and bankruptcy made to Americans that voluntarily took them even thought they had no chance at affording them!! How do you expect high school children to make well informed decisions about taking free money and education?

  94. 94 Jens
    September 24, 2008 at 18:38

    Dwight,

    yep, unfortunatly. it is easier to guide a blind mass to its slaughter……

  95. 95 John from Cleveland
    September 24, 2008 at 18:40

    It seems unfair that religion should come into the picture. Why should a Christian with a conscience be allowed to quit fighting, but a secular humanist not allowed the same right?

  96. 96 Michel Norman
    September 24, 2008 at 18:41

    If we are quoting the bible on this issue, I would like to mention a quote that my commanding officer read out to us at my swearing in ceremony in the Israeli army. It is something that was etched in stone on the Lebanon Israel border, which was called the good fence before Hizbollah took over. Good because it was where the Israeli army provided medical care for the citizens of South Lebanon even though the countries were technically at war.

    He told us that for now we have to fight to defend ourselves but one day the day will come that was foreseen by Isiah – and that is what we all fight for

    “and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more”

  97. 97 John in Salem
    September 24, 2008 at 18:42

    I don’t have a problem with someone changing their mind after they’ve joined so long as they pay back the money for any training they were given.

    And if your religion prohibits you from killing then pray that no one ever shoots at you, because if you can you will probably shoot back. The survival instinct doesn’t care about your theology.

  98. September 24, 2008 at 18:42

    The individual paratrooper with the accent has a serious problem that comes with the honor of serving a nation.
    Religion is not an excuse not to serve your nation. If that were the case the nation of Israel would have already disappeared.

    When we enroll in the army is understood that eventually we will have to fight to defend our life and your nation’s freedom.
    In the Old Testament the religious people have to fight continually against evil people. The extremist fanatics use their religion to commit acts of terrorism around the world.

    The paratrooper that abandoned his responsibility in the name of religion is a coward. The Arm Forces have no room for war activist and a nation hater.

  99. 99 Anthony
    September 24, 2008 at 18:43

    @ Jens

    Once again, you never answered my question. I’ve been looking up “morals without religion” in my search engine, and find horrible examples. It’s kinda comical, since the writers are sooo against religion, yet it has influenced them so much to follow religious rules, and can’t find a logical reason why not to kill/steal/etc.

    I knew a woman who hoarded all her money (while working at citibank), hated everything, and gave nothing back to anyone. She had her money converted into a cashiers check and buried with her. You’re telling me, as an athiest, she wouldn’t be better off being killed or robbed in the first place??? Come on.

    I’ll drop it now, since you, not no one else, not even while searching online, can give a good reason. I’ll prob bring it back up in the future for fun though 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  100. 100 Tom D Ford
    September 24, 2008 at 18:44

    Interesting that government supports Religion when it’s “God Bless America and let’s go to war for Oil” but is anti-Religion when a person brings up the Ten Commandments and the Jesus teachings.

  101. 101 Susan
    September 24, 2008 at 18:44

    If everyone decided not to fight for their country or to use violence to solve their problems where would we be? Perhaps we would be living in peace with our neighbours, instead of at war or threatening to fight wars.

  102. 102 Trent West
    September 24, 2008 at 18:48

    Here is my problem – if we all have religious, moral, etc that does not allow us to be in a war; Who protects and defend our countries?

  103. September 24, 2008 at 18:48

    33 Shaun in Halifax September 24, 2008 at 4:04 pm
    Shaun, al Qaeda c’est Sunni et non Shia.

    42 Joel Salomon September 24, 2008 at 4:47 pm
    “לא תרצח—Do not murder”, not “Do not kill”.

    There is something that I am curious about. I have heard that in Jewish law, this mitzvah only applies to Jewish people, and that a Jewish person is free to kill non-Jewish people. I am 99.99% certain that this is a lie based on prejudice, but I am wondering if anyone has a cited quote handy from the Talmud or another Jewish scholarly source that would prove the lie on this one. If I am wrong (0.01%), I am still interested in a cited quote.

  104. 104 Jens
    September 24, 2008 at 18:48

    tony,

    you have to admitt that we have to cooperate to achieve, with or without god. well that women was jsut plain stupid…. i would have used my money to go heli-skiing in alaska or scuba diving in the polonesian islands.

    but the it is her porogative to do what she wants to do, even if it is stupid beyond belive (and i mean thinking of it). heck, maybe god told her to do so…..

  105. September 24, 2008 at 18:49

    When you join the military you are not joining the boy scouts. You are trained to do a job without complaint. That job is war! If you find a change in your life during your time in service, dont be a coward, do your time and then get out.

    Rick in the US

  106. 106 Dan
    September 24, 2008 at 18:49

    @Kenny in Florida
    When Madeline cited the Bible she quoted it wrong.
    I do not know if any Muslim reads the Bible but they read their Koran and that condones murder and all sorts of heinous acts as we have seen the practical examples acted out each day.

  107. September 24, 2008 at 18:49

    Christians can take part in just wars.

    Igor in Ukraine

  108. 108 Jens
    September 24, 2008 at 18:49

    trent West,

    on the other hand, who would attack us…..two sides of the sword spring to mind?

  109. September 24, 2008 at 18:50

    I was a conscientious objector during the vietnam war, but did not come to my beliefs after i was already in the army. if you sign up to be in the military, you should understand that you will be going to war. It is what armies do. I do not believe this man’s conversion. If he really had a true honest religious conversion, he should be happy to go to prison for his convictions. All true CHRISTIANS would be willing to do that for their faith! A reading of the New Testament scriptures will reveal the truth of this. If he is just as afraid of prison as he is of Iraq then he is just being selfish and not living his faith!

    Eric Melbourne Beach, Florida

  110. 110 Jennifer
    September 24, 2008 at 18:52

    @ Trent

    You make a really good point! I think that’s why it is so very important that soldiers think before they enlist. It’s not easy to really realize the extreme responsibility you have once you enlist. It’s not just a responsibility to yourself but those you are with and your country!

  111. September 24, 2008 at 18:52

    A soldier who develops religious convictions against war faces a tough decision: putting country first or god first. The Christian New Testament tells believers to submit to god’s laws when the two come into conflict.

    When a soldier decides he/she can no longer serve in combat, deciding to put god first, the New Testament has something to say about that,
    too: In First Peter it says suffering and enduring punishment for doing right is a good thing, following in Christ’s example.

    I’m a Christian pacifist– I support one’s decision against combat. But one has to expect to live with the consequences when one breaks the laws of one’s country.

    Alan
    Portland, Oregon, USA

  112. September 24, 2008 at 18:53

    After being given an honorary discharge from the military for the change of religious beliefs. Was there still compenstation after being discharged? (GI bill, etc.)

    Dan
    Cleveland, Ohio

  113. September 24, 2008 at 18:53

    Genuinely interesting topic.

    I too, am an atheist philosophically, but I have studied religion, especially Christianity all my life. What CO’s typically miss are the parts of the NT where Jesus was supposed to have said, “Render to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s.” The “Kingdom” was to be of spirit, not the material body or world. The other often missed lines attributed to Jesus concern him claiming to “Bringing a sword” and setting up son to fight father, brother to fight brother, for his sake, etc. Then there is the often neglected passage where Jesus asks his followers if they brought their swords, expecting a fight, that did occur, according to the “scriptures.”

    A good film on the subject is the old Gregory Peck movie “Sargeant York” where this very philosophical struggle is portrayed and answered. Apparently, the real Alvin York made sure that the film was accurate.

    Of course, this sets up a struggle between the attitudes of passivity as portrayed in “The Beatitudes” and the more martial passages in the Bible. Judaism and Islam are at least a little more honest in making it clear when it is “holy” to fight for ones faith and land. Christianity in this way is a thought virus that has always caused hypocrisy and contradictions between church teachings and actions, whether it be Catholic or Protestant.

    When will a consciencious objector fight? Is defense excepted? Is personal defense excepted? Will a Jehova’s Witness hide behind the skirt of a Christian who feels it is permissive to defend one’s house? Must atheists defend them all?

    In a perfect world, there would be no reason for war or strife and everyone would be happy. Stengler’s “Fall of the West” is once again being reviewed amid new questions about the Faustian nature of Western Culture. We imagine that we can achieve a utopia, but in our hearts we know it isn’t possible. So we are reminded of Plato’s quote; “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”

    Mark LaRue

  114. September 24, 2008 at 18:53

    The individual paratrooper with the accent has a serious problem that comes with the honor of serving a nation. Religion is not an excuse not to serve your nation. If that were the case the nation of Israel would have already disappeared.

    When we enroll in the army is understood that eventually we will have to fight to defend our life and your nation’s freedom. In the Old Testament the religious people have to fight continually against evil people. The extremist fanatics use their religion to commit acts of terrorism around the world.

    The paratrooper that abandoned his responsibility in the name of religion is a coward. The Arm Forces have no room for war activist and a nation hater.

    Solomon
    Salt Lake City
    USA

  115. September 24, 2008 at 18:54

    Here is what is being missed. In the US, If you are a leader and if your cause is just, your intentions are clear, your objectives are outline, and honesty with the people is the only policy, this will be a moot point. You will find Americans willing to rise up and fight till the bitter end for such a cause. If you falter from that rigid description above, then you will see people turn their faith and reflections inward, and that will have negative effects on recruitment and objections.

  116. 116 Dan
    September 24, 2008 at 18:54

    So when this fool joined the Military all he wanted to do was suck up all the financial advantages but risk nothing. If he was a true Contentious Objector he would have volunteered to be a medic.
    However he revealed his real agenda by declaring the war illegal, railing about Bush, telling us that the military is only composed of poor minorities etc…etc.
    He is DISHONEST as he is not a lawyer and has no basis to declare the war illegal. He has no studies to support his nonsense about the makeup of the Military.
    I believe he is a FRAUD.

  117. September 24, 2008 at 18:54

    I think once an army takes an unethical approach to war, an individual taking a stance against that is fighting for their country, since it’s very destructive to ‘help’ a country by invading them and then seem indiscriminate in who is killed next. One just needs to take the more complete view of what’s going on.

    It’s ludicrous how religion can be used by American fundamentalists on the right to exempt a pharmacist from filling a ‘day after pill’ prescription, even though that professional knew perfectly well before they took the training that it would be asked of them; or to deny choice when it would involve a foetus because they consider it akin to the murder of a grown person, but would want keep the the death penalty as a penal ‘choice’. This military person did not know that violence would be used against the unarmed with such disregard. Unlike the pharmacy profession, it seems like each specific war would need to be experienced to be understood.

    Laurie, member of WCPN Cleveland; from Westlake, Ohio

  118. September 24, 2008 at 18:56

    Colonel Wilson gets it exactly wrong.

    US National Guard troops sign up with one expectation: occasional use not to exceed a tour.

    The US military command has breached that expectation repeatedly, forcing our solders to gone on deployments. Even forcing them to remain in the military beyond their enlistment.

  119. 119 Mindy, Portland Oregon USA
    September 24, 2008 at 18:57

    What is most important is the integrity of the individual. This man made a commitment and it is his moral responsibility to fulfill his commitment. At the same time, bravo for the inspired spiritual awakening this fellow had while in a war zone.

  120. 120 steve
    September 24, 2008 at 18:57

    Why should people be allowed to change their minds after they voluntarily signed up? If there had been a draft, then I would completely understand this argument. But this people changing their mind is like the caller you had on the show about the mortgage crisis. He stated that he owed more than what his house was worth, so he decided he didn’t want to pay his mortgage anymore. He wanted out of something he willingly got himself into. I don’t see the difference. You have an obligation you willingly signed up for. So long as you were drafted, you do it. I don’t know how someone could live with themselves after doing sometihng like this, because if you leave, someone will have to go in your place.

  121. 121 Vicky
    September 24, 2008 at 18:57

    Religion, like anything else (politics, money, whatever) can be used for any reason. Some people have sincere convictions that come from religious or moral principles and use this as the basis for the decisions they make. Others use religion in a cynical way to get what they want from other people; See: Bush administration.

    That said, if a soldier doesn’t want to fight because he has developed a serious religious (or ethical) conviction that no longer allows him to fight in a war, he shouldn’t have to fight and considering the many horrors that they see and participate in when fighting wars, their convictions should not be questioned. The world would be a better place if people didn’t fight anyway.

  122. 122 Mindy, Portland Oregon USA
    September 24, 2008 at 18:58

    I was referring in my post to his commitment to fight…

  123. 123 Kenny In Florida
    September 24, 2008 at 18:59

    @ Dan
    Point well taken and I completely agree with you, however, my point is many people do not care that the bible says “thou shall not kill” or however ever it is truly quoted because they do not follow Christianity, Catholicism or any other number of religions who base their beliefs on the bible. It just seems a far stretch to say you shouldn’t do it because the bible says so.

  124. September 24, 2008 at 18:59

    It would be ideal if every single soldier were awakened… and went home. All wars cancelled immediately. What a bliss… Yes, everybody has a right not to go to war. Hana Z, Prague

  125. September 24, 2008 at 19:00

    You say, ’What if everyone did it?’ Good idea! If everyone did it, there’d be no more fighting….! As Gurdjieff said, ’…they’re all asleep. If they wake up, they’ll throw away their guns and go home !’

    Banks, Amsterdam

  126. 126 Anne
    September 24, 2008 at 19:07

    Selena in Canada,

    I would support you and your convictions. A religious basis for the convictions or not is not an issue. A true and deeply held conviction is the issue. Which you have.

  127. 127 Tom D Ford
    September 24, 2008 at 19:09

    I’m with Dennis Kucinich, who advocates for a US Department of Peace to contrast our Department of War.

    Then let people sign up to serve in the cause for Peace instead of War. That would be a great opportunity for real service to our country instead of our current military constantly fighting wars for Oil.

  128. 128 Dan
    September 24, 2008 at 19:13

    @Kenny in Florida
    We are in agreement

  129. 129 Sam
    September 24, 2008 at 19:16

    First of all, if you are not a Christian, do not try to tell Christians what “the Bible says” or what “Jesus’ teachings” are. You can only comment from the fundamentally flawed perspective of an outsider and your comments will be ignored and dismissed.

    At the same time, any Christian would be insulted if this man is only using Christianity to get out of the army insincerely. There’s only one way to tell. If this guy spends the rest of life “trying to save souls” then fine. But if he doesn’t, I say throw him right back on the front lines.

  130. 130 selena in Canada
    September 24, 2008 at 19:19

    @Sam

    I am not a Christian but it seems to me that if a man went willingly to his death rather than fight for his life, that should send a strong message to those who call themselves his followers.

    It seems to me that, with Jesus, there would have been no front line to begin with.

  131. 131 Jens
    September 24, 2008 at 19:20

    sam,

    so knowelage of the bible is only possible if you believe in god??????

    well then don’t comment on science since you lot believe the world is 6000 years old. agreed, you are clueless about anything scientific because you believe in god

  132. 132 Jens
    September 24, 2008 at 19:21

    tom,

    it is conveniently called the department of defense and the department of homeland security

  133. 133 Tom D Ford
    September 24, 2008 at 19:24

    Nobody who joins the military knows what they’re getting into, draftee or volunteer.

    They might think they know or they might have been painted some pretty mental picture by a recruiter, but nobody knows until they actually experience war.

    Maybe it should be like buying a car, they could take a test drive through training and their first battle and then be asked for a full commitment or to decide to leave.

  134. 134 Kenny In Florida
    September 24, 2008 at 19:25

    @ Dan
    If you have the time, or any other blogger that may have the time, you [Dan] use the word Muslim in opposition to my wording of Islamists. If I can remember from my world religion class at university, using the word Muslim was, i guess you could say, incorrect. Is their a difference between Islamists and Muslim? Is it proper to call someone a Muslim rather than an Islamists. I don’t mean to open a whole new can of worms but could someone give me a brief explanation?

  135. 135 Tom D Ford
    September 24, 2008 at 19:33

    There are very few soldiers who actually fight for the freedom of US citizens, most US Military are involved in fighting for the interests of Global Corporations.

    Search out Marine Brigadier General Smedly Butler and his essay “War Is A Racket” if you want to learn what is really going on and about what is being fought for and by whom.

  136. September 24, 2008 at 19:38

    44 selena in Canada September 24, 2008 at 4:54 pm
    And the difference between killing and murder is?

    For the Muslim, defined in the Qur’an 5:32 (or 31).

    79 Thea Winter – Indianapolis IN, USA September 24, 2008 at 6:22 pm
    @ Dan, I just looked it up and the King James states “thou shalt not kill”.

    This is something that frustrates me about Christians. The original text of the Old Testament was in Hebrew, Aramaic, Chaldean, and other Semitic languages. The New Testament was largely in Greek. Of course, Prophet Jesus spoke Aramaic. The King James Version of the Bible in in English. It is not the original Bible, the zenith Bible, or the epitome of all Bibles. It is among the first translations. It is not even the first translation. And the copy that people hold in their hands today does not use the exact same words or spelling as the 1611 original King James Version. I really wish that “orginal” KJV-only folks would get over it already.

    The truest meaning of the wording of the Bible will be ascertained not through a study of any English (or Latin, or German, or any) translation, but from the wording of the original text. Therefore, my props to Joel Salomon to pointing out the Hebrew text of one of the 613 mitzvot and explaining the meaning from the standpoint of the Hebrew language. As for how one should interpret “murder,” there should be many fine commentaries on the Scriptures. In Judaism, there is the Talmud – are, all of them. In Christianity, there are so many. My personal bias is to cross-reference in a self-explanatory method.

  137. September 24, 2008 at 19:42

    54 Jens September 24, 2008 at 5:31 pm
    HOWEVER, i do not believe in wars. (b)violence is only poor substitue for intelligence.

    That is why it is called consciensious objection and not religious objection. Even if we didn’t have Quakers who are unwilling to war at all or Hindus who would not want to kill their co-religionists (and what of the Russian who does not want to fight against his co-nationals?), there would still exist ethical and moral values; and these need to be recognised and affirmed.

  138. 138 Michael
    September 24, 2008 at 19:58

    I went to a Catholic University that had an admirable ROTC program. In this program the University attempts to instill an ethical and moral approach to leadership in these future military officers. Primary to this is an understanding of the Catholic teaching on avoiding war.

    This is why both popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI have spoken out against the war in Iraq. And also why many Catholic members of the military find themselves in a moral dilemma.

    I think this teaching is edifying . . .

    All citizens and governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war.
    Governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed.

    Conditions of moral legitimacy of the use of military force or “just war” are as follows:

    The damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

    All other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;

    There must be serious prospects of success;

    The use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated, that is, the response must be proportionate to the attack.

  139. 139 Tom D Ford
    September 24, 2008 at 20:02

    @ Jens September 24, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    “hey,

    let’s be honest only atheist are capable of having an honest war…..

    i am here to take your land or oil, in the name of…………………………self-enrichment. …”

    That’s right.

  140. 140 Tom D Ford
    September 24, 2008 at 20:14

    It is interesting how many people place Contracts above God, in this thread.

    He signed a Contract, so he has to obey that Contract instead of his God.

    It’s bare bones “Godless Capitalism”!

  141. 141 steve
    September 24, 2008 at 20:17

    @ Tom

    Um, God made lots of contracts with people. Covenant, the word used in the bible, is a contract.

  142. 142 Tom D Ford
    September 24, 2008 at 20:36

    @ Jens

    It used to be called The War Department.

    They didn’t shade the truth with that name, they were honest.

  143. 143 Thomas Murray
    September 24, 2008 at 20:47

    Absolutely should strong religious beliefs be a reason for deferment from military service. We’ve had conscientious objector status as long as I can remember. It is, however, difficult to get.

    As to the sixth commandment, many interpret it as “Thou shall not murder.”

    As to whether or not war is considered murder (most wars are) is up to the conscience of the individual. How one acts on it must be honored by one’s government as part of the social contract.

    Louisville, Kentucky, US.

  144. 144 Michael
    September 24, 2008 at 21:14

    Re: the 5th Commandment “You shall not kill” (Exodus 20:13)

    The Catholic teaching on the sacredness of all human life comes not just from this one verse but from a thoughtful reading of both Hebrew and Christian Scriptures including . . .

    “Do not slay the innocent and righteous” (Exodus 23:7)

    “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, “You shall not kill: and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.” But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.” (Matthew 5:21-22) . . . Going further on in Matthew, Jesus adds hatred and vengeance and proscribes turning the other cheek and loving your enemies.

    Although there are many different Christian sects and denominations with various interpretations and teachings, the Catholic teaching applies to over 1 billion of the nearly 2 billion Christians in the world.

  145. 145 Jens
    September 24, 2008 at 21:36

    tom,

    i know at least they were honest.

    the defence minister is nothing bt the war minister.

    that is why i hate euphanismes, they shade reality

  146. September 24, 2008 at 21:45

    The army is one apparatus in the hands of the state and can usually be used and abused.
    So if you venture there, be ready to be abused. Period!

  147. 147 Chris in Ohio
    September 24, 2008 at 23:37

    For those that want to argue that the soldiers in the United States military somehow forfeit an ability to conscientiously object because their service is voluntary, please consider the following situation.

    Suppose that a person volunteered during a time of conflict believing that they were being sent to fight a just war. Further suppose that, while serving in the combat zone, they came to a realization that the original justification for the conflict was falsified or that their country was prosecuting the war in an unethical way. Shouldn’t that volunteer still have the right to conscientiously object?

    Let us not forget that many volunteers in the United States are fresh out of high school and I feel it unfair to expect that they may have a full understanding of their countries reasons for war or what actions fighting a war might entail.

    I am suggesting that it can be the case that a volunteer later has a revelation that their service in immoral or unethical. I don’t believe that all conscientious objectors are coward or shirkers.

  148. 148 selena in Canada
    September 24, 2008 at 23:40

    @Chris

    Well said!

  149. 149 Jennifer
    September 24, 2008 at 23:43

    @ Chris

    You made some excellent points. When I considered joining the army, I was very interested in the help for school. The more I thought about it coupled with my mom giving me nightmarish tid-bits the more I realized I was not cut out for it. It’s sad that the recruiters target highschoolers and even in some cases college students. They came to my college and gave away all kinds of free stuff if you would listen to their presentation.

    I don’t think it can be stressed enough that a person really needs to think about their choice before they make it. Of course, nothing compares to the harsh reality of being there but if they think about the what ifs it can reduce the drastic spur of the moment decision. An obligation is an obligation and it shouldn’t be shrugged off so lightly.

  150. 150 Peter
    September 25, 2008 at 00:14

    This generation certainly wins all my disgust for pure lilly livered cowardice.I cannot for the life of me believe these are the cretins Churchill, Roosevelt,Charles DeGaulle and all the men in the foxholes fought and died to bring forth.

    Today I live in relative peace in Nigeria off the blood and sacrifice of those men and women and feel like tearing at my hair to hear that their offspring – my saviours’ seed (who by the way in their masses have abandoned the faith they carried over the seas to my people) are now hiding under the cloak of that same faith to refuse duty to their country – no matter how wrong they think their country to be.Notice how no one on this blog has the guts to say half of what I say here.Nearly all are falling over themselves to renounce duty in uniform.Gosh,your enemies must be popping champaigns as they read.

    I am galled and simply maddened that this is the generation I may have to rely on to save my own children from the gathering forces of evil at this same moment planning to upend modern civilization in order to by and by to latch unto me and my children.

  151. 151 Michael
    September 25, 2008 at 01:16

    @ Peter

    I am a bit confused by your statements above.

    It sounds like you are comparing the war in Iraq to WWII, two wars that are quite different from each other.

    It also sounds like you are implying that the “relative peace” in Nigeria was a direct result of WWII. Maybe I am mistaken, but I thought at the time of WWII, Nigeria was a commonwealth of the UK and fairly peaceably obtained its independence long after WWII. As for the ensuing “relative peace”, It seems that there have been a fluctuation between democratic government and military coups from the 60’s to the present. Most recently, a democratic government plagued by corruption, ethnic and religious violence.

    The current generation of soldiers is mostly the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the the soldiers of WWII. And I certainly wouldn’t lump them all into the classification of “pure lilly livered cowardice”. Nor would I call someone who stands up for justice in war a coward. In fact, it is the courageous one who will demand that the ideals of justice be abided by even in the midst of chaos and warfare. This is not always the avoidance of doing one’s duty, but the fight to do one’s duty with honor and dignity by avoiding war when possible and then proceeding with justice when necessary.

  152. September 25, 2008 at 03:02

    Religion is a valid excuse for removal from combative service, but there should still be service if called upon. There is a duty to fulfill as a citizen in every country, and it should be fulfilled in some respect. I say mandatory service whether it be war or peace related. Mandatory service in any civil capacity would instill a greater sense of pride in ones country.

  153. 153 John
    September 25, 2008 at 03:06

    Many people arent persuaded that the Bible communicates Gods (the maker,creator,life giver ect) thinking and feelings personally I am.

    The Bible relates the rise and fall of world powers until the time would come when God the creator of this beautiful planet we inhabit would settle all contoversies. Isaiah 34:1-4 .

    Come up close, YOU nations, to hear; and YOU national groups, pay attention. Let the earth and that which fills it listen, the productive land and all its produce. 2 For Jehovah has indignation against all the nations, and rage against all their army. He must devote them to destruction; he must give them to the slaughter. 3 And their slain ones will be thrown out; and as for their carcasses, their stink will ascend; and the mountains must melt because of their blood. 4 And all those of the army of the heavens must rot away. And the heavens must be rolled up, just like a book scroll; and their army will all shrivel away, just as the leafage shrivels off the vine and like a shriveled [fig] off the fig tree.

    I believe there is no justification for killing even if my own life was threatened. My own humanity has convinced me of this nevertheless Jesus set an outstanding example of humanity an example encumbant on all intelligent creation to follow yesif everybody lived by the precepts he taught and practised there would be no war or violence.

    But we have to live in the ‘real world’ I hear people say. Yes the real world is full of war and violence and of many people are killing for their religion. Fortuately for me I believe God is able to make a distiction between the upright and the wicked .

  154. 154 Peter
    September 25, 2008 at 03:20

    @ Michael,

    Any response that would address your worries fully would take too much space.But let me attempt something.If Hitler was gassing Jews for being racially inferior (untermensch) I can only imagine what he would have done to black skinned folks like me had he won the war.My country being part of the Commonwealth would not have changed that if his wermacht had steamrolled over Great Britain and the US.The same US and the UK withstood the next enemy of freedom the USSR and fairly determined that my nation chose to be democratic – give or take the corruption and military coups you speak of.If the USSR had won the cold war,darling,the picture would have been far grimmer for folks like me.

    Then as for lumping the war in Iraq with WWII,I’ll be honest with you the naivity as demonstrated by western nations when they imagine AlQaeda is a myth is mortifying.You even refuse to see that it would – by and by – have linked arms with Saddam to undo your high societies.If Bush had held back, by today some plot might have been cooking that would’ve made Sept 11th, 7/7 or Bali look like child’s play.Bush did what the rest of you are too cowardly to contemplate.He stoked a fire in their midst,drew them into it and burnt them.Its a perfectly simple military concept – which,by the way your nations have employed over time to keep you where you are today.Have you not seen that there hasnt been any other major attack on the west since?

    Ah,but its far easier to call Bush names and imagine that he started a criminal war.Even if there were no WMDs(though I believe there were)it was in his place to plan against the worst by anticipating their existence.Had these been on any of those flights that struck NY,casualties would have been mindboggling.By the way,those things can be manufactured in a van and as for hiding them, might have been transported far away while the world warbled songs at the UN with France conducting.

    But you couldnt possibly see any of these,Michael, because you feebly think everyone out there is as you are.Well,sorry to burst your bubble but you have real enemies and they hate your guts so much you woiuldnt believe it.Little that you can do to change that.Believe me,you will have to fight them someday or they will most assuredly wipe you out.In these days of nukes and biological weapons imagine their power.Moreso imagine what they can do to you – and I in the long run – if you think that carrying weapons in self defence is wrong.That is why I owe no apologies for calling so-called conscientious objectors lilly-livered cowards and undeserving offsprings of the greatest generation that ever lived.

  155. 155 Michael
    September 25, 2008 at 05:40

    @ Peter

    I certainly don’t think that everyone out there is as I am. I did not disparage you or anyone else when I tried to engage in discourse with you. I even wrote that I may be mistaken in my view to demonstrate my openness to hearing more about what you have to say.

    I have traveled and lived outside the USA, and have found it quite edifying. I seek my news from domestic and foreign sources and am quite interested in understanding people with different perspectives.

    I have been coming to this site and trying to understand how some folks see things differently than I see them, not to convince them that my views are right, nor to be disparaged for having a different, yet open-minded view.

  156. 156 archibald in oregon
    September 25, 2008 at 06:46

    “If there is no “God/Flying spaghetti monster”, then what’s the problem? If you can’t do that, and you’re an atheist, I feel you’re just weak, survival of the fittest and all that.”

    “Oh and I have no childern and have had a vasectomy to ensure i do not add to the overpopulation problem. I am open to a oldy but a goody of an idea I take this becuase i am bigger/stronger/smarter than you. Its called survival ot the fittest. and we have removed it which is prolly why so many peacnics are till out there……unfortunately”

    @steve/oregon and anthony
    This is quite sad; opposing the concept of god and killing, supporting a peaceful position and/or basic rational thought is so frightening that the only solution you can come up with is to lightly suggest that I and any person of this same mind is inferior and should be eliminated, ultimately. How charming and truly patriotic, you make your country proud. Good thing you had a vasectomy. We do not need more ignorance, we need understanding and compassion……..Without it this planet will not be fit for anyone to survive, no matter how, “bigger/stronger/smarter”, you are. We will all be dead……….Now , that is a truly great legacy even god would be proud of…………

  157. 157 Peter
    September 25, 2008 at 07:34

    @ Michael,

    Hey, Im sorry sounding so harsh.I tend to get very emotional hearing so many wrong views touted as either truth or the majority opinion. I realise I am a bit selfish in my protectionist defense of the west in that its my skin Im worried about.It really hasnt escaped me that the west virtually solely has upheld all the freedoms on this globe (no matter that its no longer chic to admit this) and that rank after rank of enemies have taken turns to have a swipe at it under different guises.Their objective seems to be bringing an end to the dominance of light and good over darkness and evil.There was Slavery,Nazism,Fascism,Communism,and lately Islamofascism.Their plan is to get rid of America and instantly have the rest of us at their mercy.That means me.They will ravage and pillage us freely with no America on the scene.They will dictate my religious beliefs,my dress code,refuse the liberty to speak my mind,ban dancing and every form of what they term decadent enjoyment.The democratic freedoms will die and whatever little I enjoy in my nation today(regardless whether it is offered in pretence)will be withdrawn pretty sharpish.

    So I reckon I have a vested interest in the survival of the United States of America and to some limited extent Great Britain. America – far as Im concerned – appears to be the only nation on this earth that even cares to sell its freedoms to others.The rest couldnt care a toss.The French only are interested in reclaiming number one spot culturally in the world.

    Above all, my real rage is that your enemies have chosen to infiltrate you from within with ideas that weaken and disparage you.Ideas such as pacifism even in the face of external and internal threat.That is how the dodo went, you remember?And I am not particular keen on self destruction, so I kick against these things and sometimes lash out so badly I offend people like you and frequently BBC with my politically incorrect opinions. I really apologise but above all implore you the west to do a quick rethink before its too late.

  158. 158 Michael
    September 25, 2008 at 08:43

    @ Peter

    apology accepted, thanks

    I admire your passion and your self-awareness.

    I don’t mind the “politically incorrect opinions” . . . often they are helpful to really get to see and really understand the breadth of a particular topic.

    I just think people are more likely to really consider opposing opinions and engage in discourse when the tone is a little less “harsh”.

  159. 159 PAUL YEMBE - CAMEROON
    September 25, 2008 at 09:36

    I commend Michael Barnes for his honorable discharge from his duties.
    You deserve more than a Reward Sir! A lesson to our politicians of those who know the true reality of Life and Death, Hell and Heaven – an example of the senseless distruction of human lives. May God be with you. I am sure your life will never be the same again.

  160. 160 Zainab
    September 25, 2008 at 10:55

    Salam all,
    Are religious beliefs a valid reason not to fight for your country?

    Yes sure, religious beliefs are valid and strong reasons. One cannot fight or do anything he believes to be wrong or against what he believes in. We in Iraq have faced this problem during the Iraqi-Iranian war and the first gulf war. It’s all only a matter of forcing people to act against what they want by their government.

    As about Michael Barnes: he is a very honest person, cuz he admits it he can’t do what’s he believe to be wrong.

    yours truly,
    Zainab from Iraq

  161. 161 Bryan
    September 25, 2008 at 11:16

    Peter, what a breath of fresh air you bring to this debate. I agree with everything you say. The propagandists of the far left ‘liberal’ brigade with their acceptance of radical Islam and other sick ideologies like communism have done and continue to do a tremendous amount of damage to the West.

    We are not all the same and we do not all have the same agenda. I fear that when the West finally wakes up and realises that, it will be too late and its hard-won freedoms will have been eaten away from within.

  162. September 25, 2008 at 13:17

    I am glad that religion is being used as a basis for peace instead of war.

  163. 163 Brenda in Florida
    September 25, 2008 at 16:50

    I normally do not respond to these blogs, but found this one to be most interesting. I am responding to the article about the young man in Alaska who has been honorably discharged from his service based on religious convictions.

    The young man did go to fight for his country, but then he had a God filled revelation and was honest about it. It wasn’t that he chose not to go and used religion as his excuse.

  164. 164 John LaGrua/New York
    September 25, 2008 at 19:30

    One’s conscience must be the guide to action.We have always respected the right to assert Conscientious Objection to military combat status ,some have served in non-combat roles but others have been allowed to opt out entirely.Dire circumstances might require serious limits .A soldier torn by serious moral doubts would be ineffctive and a danger to his comrades.

  165. 165 Samuel Beddow, MPLS, MN
    September 25, 2008 at 20:02

    Christianity hasn’t been christian since the Council of Nicea, so what’s with all the bickering, anyway?
    If the war isn’t a total war, and the country itself isn’t being mobilized, then there shouldn’t be a draft in the first place. In such a case, those who don’t want to take the lives of others, withdrawn as they tend to be from the ones who suffer their blind patriotism to the ultimate degree (and no less), should not have to do so.
    From the realist standpoint, even, most of the U.S. operations assume “shadowy networks” of mongrel hordes exist around every corner and in every seemingly docile domicile, whereby thousands of confused and innocent civilians have died and will continue to die the more we conscript on the basis of obligation to cause(lessness).

  166. 166 Emile Barre
    September 27, 2008 at 12:19

    The most important verse in the Bible is Isaiah 45:7 which states that God is on the side of Good and Evil. It does not matter whether a soldier fights of does not fight only which side wins.

  167. 167 Mannil Mathai ABRAHAM
    September 27, 2008 at 18:48

    Killing human beings , no doubt, is terrorism. When bombs in India kill, the whole world raises voice against terrorism. Why the killings in India of the poor Dalits or the butalities in India towards the Dalits is not called terrorism and why the whole world keeps quite ?

    Mannil Mathai Abraham
    Indian from United Arab Emirates

  168. 168 Michele
    September 28, 2008 at 19:54

    In general, I don’t think that religion should be a reason not to fight for one’s country. Perhaps, we should make a distinction between wars of aggression and wars of defense, but often it is not so simple to ascertain what kind of war it is. The fact is, there were and still asre so many stupid wars around. Just think of the two world wars and of the war against Irak.
    Michele.

  169. 169 Michele
    September 28, 2008 at 19:57

    In general, I don’t think that religion should be a reason not to fight for one’s country. Perhaps, we should make a distinction between wars of aggression and wars of defense, but often it is not so simple to ascertain what kind of war it is. The fact is, there were and still are so many stupid wars around. Just think of the two world wars and other more recent wars.
    Michele.

  170. 170 Ogola Benard
    September 29, 2008 at 06:04

    There is no wrong Christian! Christians defend as known to me but they dont plant blasts. However, why fight? Some countries on the guise of what ever is just personal, family and traditional vendetta.

  171. 171 Michele
    September 29, 2008 at 10:00

    The only fight that I know, in name of religion, is the battle against my temptations and evil desires. I make sure you, it’s a hard battle.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: