I Support The Troops But…

I support the troops but I don’t support the war. Is that possible? Is it logical to say we support the people but not their mission? Does it communicate “we love you but we think the work you do is pointless and your hardships and death are in vain”? What does that mean to you–I support the troops but not the war? I’d also love to hear from some servicemen and women on their interpretation of the phrase. Is it morale boosting or busting?

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12 responses to this post.

  1. I hear you and totally get you.

    The troops didn’t start the war – they are bound by obligation to the armed forces to go. So I support their efforts. But I don’t support the political decisions that put them there.

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  2. I love our troops too but the problem is going to war is forced on them.I had a conversation with a few war veterans and was surprised to know that they all hate war.The Major I was talking to, said that it is difficult to see people who are so close to you, dying.The worst part is they have to kill people they don’t even know.

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  3. One can support the troops while not supporting the war. However, that requires a principled objection and moderated rhetoric- something many on the left seem unable to engage in.

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  4. A bigger question for me is… if you are a Jesus-follower, when is it ever okay to be pro-war? At the risk of being provocative (isn’t that what blogs are for?) what part of “love your enemies” makes allowances for you to kill them, along with thousands of innocents who are living amongst them? (now for really provocative – Have Christians been quilty of making an idol out of this thing called America, sacrificing some of Jesus’ teachings to protect it? Hmmm.

    This is really a sticky issue. The Quakers are well-known, and respected, for being “militantly” passivist. Turn the other cheek. And that’s much easier to do in a war like this where it is becoming so obvious that our 9/11 passions probably led us to “kick a dog” named Iraq.

    But what about WWII? Do we remain passivist and allow the holocaust? When is it okay to fight back after someone bombs Pearl Harbor or flies planes into buildings? When would Jesus hand you an AK-47 and say, “It’s okay. Take ’em out.” ????

    I really don’t know, but I think Christians should struggle more with it than just falling in line a Right Wing political agenda.

    Wow, Joni. You go from runny noses to why war.

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  5. Tom, that has always been an interesting question throughout church history. The majority position for almost 2,000 years supported the idea of a “just war.”

    You must remember that Christ made a distinction between his personal teachings and one’s obligations to the state. Paul makes the distinction even clearer in his writings. As individuals we are to love our enemies, pray for them that persecute us, etc. However, as citizens of the state (who leader is appointed by God) we should be good citizens, this no doubt includes showing up when called to war. There remains reasons for principled objections to individual wars, but we as Christians should be ready to bear the brunt of our punishment for taking such a stance.

    Much of this problem stems from Christians ignoring the OT. It is clear that Jesus is the same God as Yahweh of the OT (He states us much for us). And Yahweh was not shy about sending Israel to war for numerous reasons. So I have no doubt God supports military action to end things like the holocaust.

    You are right though that we should struggle with it, because if we aren’t struggling at some point with it, it means we haven’t thought the subject through. Ultimately though, we come to a conclusion. I have adopted the majority position of the “just war.” Now that being said I don’t support the war in Iraq, but I do think it is a just war.

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  6. Yes, Tom, I’m very complex.

    And I’m not thinking why war necessarily but how does the attitude of publicly disagreeing with the war affect the morale of the troops. It is easier to fight/defend if you are on board with the mission. Granted the soldiers don’t have a choice once they’ve joined up-they have to do their job. I wonder what the mental struggle is -aside from the obvious- to keep yourself focused. I’d love to hear Mark Mende’s thoughts having been through the first Gulf War.

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  7. And eventually you will, once I have time to formulate them…

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  8. Tom,

    Jesus would never have handed us an AK-47. That’s primarily a Russian/Third world weapon.

    I’m sure he would have commissioned us to use an American made weapon, probably an M16 at the VERY least, with all of the new fangled weaponry available to us now.

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  9. Doug – Jesus lived his whole life on the continent of Asia – same as the AK-47. I’m stickin’ by it. Not sure he would have had access to American firepower.

    Joni – I absolutely think you can support the troops even if you disapprove of the war. We can always care for people, even if we don’t agree with what they are being asked/forced to do.

    totaltransformation – The O.T. has some pretty weird stuff in it if you’re going to start applying it to your life… God was not shy about allowing for multiple wives, animal sacrifices, and you can’t wear clothing of two different fabrics so, no nylons, ladies. I know that Scripture says we have an obligation to our government, but Christianity also has a history of social disobedience, too… i.e. ending slavery, child labor, etc. Jesus was the fulfillment of the law, the O.T. Again, either He would tell you to pull the trigger or he wouldn’t.

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  10. I don’t agree, as you probably would have guessed. ;{>

    We love & miss you all, BTW.

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  11. Oh geez… A Cardinals fan and a pacifist???

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  12. I feel the same way. This war has not been the success that we were led to believe in the beginning. I support our troops and their sacrifices and I’m proud of them for putting their lives on the line to protect our freedom, yet I believe they are under poor leadership, and therefore are not being as effective in this “war on terrorism” as they could be.

    I’ve gotta start keeping up with your blog better! Good stuff!

    Reply

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