Thoughts on War

There are several things that end up being recurring issues in my life.  One of them is war and a Christian’s role in it.

Today I have had to think about this twice.  This afternoon a friend shot me an email with this link.  It is from the American Family Association,one of these “Christian” organizations, calling for us to restore the rich heritage of the Medal of Honor by giving it to people who kill lots of people, not save people.

Then this morning, I talked to my friend Gwen.  When I saw her coming up I could tell that she had something on her mind.  She looked tired, her eyes were red and she seemed distracted.  I asked her what was going on and she said, “I just found out that they are sending my brother to Afghanistan.”

She was obviously sad.  Understandably.  Then she said something interesting.  “My brother is a dad and a husband and is so good.  Why could God not send another brother who isn’t around?”

I don’t know if I have a point here…  I am just saying that no matter how you slice it, war is a bad thing.  I am sure no one would argue with that.


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About coleyoakum

My name is Coleman Yoakum. I am formerly a student at Harding University. Today you can find me in Detroit Michigan doing what I can to expand the Kingdom of God and preparing to start an intentional community in Pontiac. I enjoy reading, writing, photography, music and politics. I am sure that all of these things will find their way to this blog from time to time. Twitter: coleyoakum Facebook: Coleman Yoakum Email: Flickr:

3 responses to “Thoughts on War”

  1. Nelson Shake says :

    The last time Alan and I were in the same city we were talking about history and how it’s interesting that no war (with perhaps the exception of facets of WWII) has ever had a completely good side and one that is seemingly evil in totality. When I consider this, I say the same as you: I don’t know if I have a point here, other than how does one identify and label a “just cause” for unleashing the artillery? Seems impossible to me.

    • coleyoakum says :

      Several things
      1) I was in Nashville and when I heard that you were there too I longed to see you. Perhaps next time. Those 12 hours I was there were too short.

      2) I agree. There is, I suppose, a theoretical war that is just. But I think that killing is injust. So I struggle with even imagining a war with just cause that is carried out justly. I think is is very easy to have your ends negated by your means. Sure, perhaps stopping Sadaam was a “just” course of action, but at the expense for 100k civilians? I don’t feel like that’s right either… These are the things that rob me of my sleep and give headaches.

      • Nelson Shake says :

        All of this reminds me of when I read Fletcher’s Situation Ethics this summer. He kept coming back to Truman’s decision to drop the bomb. It’s an ethics nightmare. I don’t know that I agree with all or even a good portion of what Fletcher’s propositions, but I came away with the firm realization of my own that there is no such thing as a completely good action. I sometimes wonder if that would be a hard concept for “The Greatest Generation” to swallow.

        We definitely must meet up next time you’re in Nashville. Just give me a shout. Coffee’s on me.

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