Picture of Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller. He is the author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, and Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith.

Kirk Cameron Parenting: Boys Need To Learn How To Use Weapons Of Destruction

In another installment of parenting according to Kirk Cameron, we find a tragic view of violence and destruction– something that certainly seems appropriate to discuss on this Memorial Day, as we remember those who have died in the service of their country. While Kirk’s post was from last month, it’s a glaring example of the kind of old, broken thinking that as Jesus followers, I hope we will run from:

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Yes, you read that right. It says:

“This is a weapon of destruction. Young men need to learn its power and how to use it properly to promote peace.”

Before I point out how dangerous that last sentence is, I feel the need to give a shout out to some vets out there (and to some who are no longer with us) who were slighted by the gender discrimination in his post.

Young men need to learn its power?

So, I get it– I’m a guy who writes about nonviolence. A lot. But, I’m also a military retiree– one who was proud to have served alongside some of the most competent Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines one can find: females. I’ve even done my fair share of deployments, as well as time in hostile fire zones, and I will always look back on my female comrades with every bit as much admiration and respect as my male counterparts. So, just that small gender reference in his statement shows he doesn’t actually know much about using these “weapons of destruction”, because women make up some of the finest ranks of our nation’s armed forces.

That said, back to why stuff like this temps me to smash my face into the screen some days:

Are weapons of destruction tools that achieve peace as Kirk claims?

No. Of course not. But, let me tell you of what weapons of destruction can do for you:

They can make your enemies so dead they can’t fight back anymore. Get enough of these dead enemies, and you might even achieve what appears to be an “absence of conflict” because they’re too dead to retaliate.

But, that’s not peace.

Even worse, this technique doesn’t always achieve such a faux peace– sometimes, it actually creates more enemies. Case in point, our current drone program. With every wedding party we blow up, it’s almost guaranteed that we just created a handful of newly minted “terrorists”. I can’t say that I blame them; if a remote controlled drone blew up my daughter as she played outside our house (something we call a “bug splat” when we kill children like her in the Middle East) I’d be pretty pissed. Probably pissed enough to devote the rest of my life to killing whoever was behind the robotic bomb who killed her.

The best case scenario is always the faux peace that comes when you kill enough enemies– say, like that time we killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki; and the worst case scenario is that you enter into a never ending cycle of mutual retaliation until there’s no such thing as good guys and bad guys– just bad guys who keep justifying their violence as a quest to “promote peace”, as Cameron calls it.

This, my friends, is not peace. Certainly, it’s not peace if stuff like God, Jesus, the Bible– you know, Christian stuff– is the measuring stick we’re using.

The most used term for “peace” we see used in scripture is the Hebrew term, shalom. In Hebrew, shalom is a pretty complex term that covers a lot of territory, showing us how complex real peace can be– something far more than the faux peace achieved by simply having a lot of dead enemies. As P.B Yoder points out in Shalom : the Bible’s word for salvation, justice, and peace (1987) the Bible itself includes in the definition of “peace”: “people or things being as they should be” (Gen 37:14), entire situations being “right” (2 Kings 5:21,22), and “positive and good relations with others” (1 Kings 5:12).

Do weapons of destruction cause people to be as they should be?

I can’t imagine it caused the thousands upon thousands who died of radiation sickness in Japan to be “as they should be”.

Do weapons of destruction cause entire situations to be right?

No, which is why I can’t bear to turn on the evening news and see a country where another mass shooting doesn’t even phase us because it’s so common.

Do weapons of destruction create positive and good relations with others?

Let’s ask the people of Afghanistan on this one– but spoiler alert– the answer is: hell no.

The power of weapons of destruction don’t achieve any of this. Which means, if we’re using the actual biblical definition of “peace” (shalom), we can safely say that teaching our young men to use weapons of destruction will not achieve it. The best it can achieve is a lot of dead or angry enemies, and that’s not a holistic view of peace. It’s certainly not a biblical view of peace.

In fact, it isn’t peace at all.

On this Memorial Day, I’d invite you to set aside the fake, plastic version of peace that culture offers us, and embrace a more holistic view of peace as found in scripture– one that cannot be achieved using weapons of destruction.

In fact, it can only be achieved without them.

But, I do agree with Kirk on one point– weapons of destruction gripped in the wrong hands would be tragic. I’d hate to see a scenario where a violent empire consistently killed innocent civilians half a world away using remote controlled planes from Nevada.


Picture of Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and earned his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller.

He is the author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, and Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus.

It's not the end of the world, but it's pretty #@&% close. Trump's America & Franklin Graham's Christianity must be resisted.

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42 Responses

  1. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long asI provide credit and sources back to your website?My blog site is in the very same niche as yours and my users would certainly benefit from some of the information you present here.Please let me know if this okay with you. Thanks!

  2. Wow Lorna! How timely is this? Following a successful project in Wales, I’ve approached Wikimedia UK proposing a Wikimedian in Residence for NHS Digital as part of a knowledge activism project to addressdigital exclusion amongst a high percentage of their patients. Headline figures are 22% (12m) of the UK population are on wrong side of the digital divide but as a long-time activist I’ve learnt that these figures need to be approached with caution. Rather than take up this valuble space on your “Open World” article (other than to say it’s inspirational), I’ll contact you via Wikimedia UK.Best wishes, TerryThanks for the summary and refections Lorna, what would we do without you – as well as livetweeting and all kinds of unseen work, your blog posts are always appreciated!

  3. But, I’m also a military retiree– one who was proud to have served alongside some of the most competent Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines one can find: females. I’ve even done my fair share of deployments, as well as time in hostile fire zones, and I will always look back on my female comrades with every bit as much admiration and respect as my male counterparts. So, just that small gender reference in his statement shows he doesn’t actually know much about using these “weapons of destruction”, because women make up some of the finest ranks of our nation’s armed forces.

    If all guys treated female warriors today with the same respect that was shown to Joan Of Arc by her male contemporaries, that would be a very good thing.

  4. It seems like everybody is trying make sense out of the kind of peace that Jesus wants us to commit ourselves to. There is no sense to it, it is not rational to our human minds.I will never expect an Atheist or a believer of another religion to fully understand the love that comes from Jesus. Also, if we are to call ourselves followers of Christ, we are primarily responsible to follow the words of Christ. That being said, we as Christians should tread carefully when trying to justify our actions with the use of Old Testament verses. I have a small problem with believers of other religions, atheists, agnostics etc. using violence, but my real problem is when Christians use it. Leo Tolstoy sites hypocrites as being the main problem with Christianity, and I feel like this is still the main problem. I think Ryan addressed this in his post about what-ifs. Sort of.
    Ben, I have been reading your blog for sometime now, and I really enjoy it. Thank you for all of your posts. I was very fortunate to come to my stance on peace only a year and half into Army ROTC, now I am on the opposite side of the spectrum supporting supposed irrationality.

  5. How to use a gun properly to promote peace: put it down. Listen, communicate, negotiate. DON’T pick it up again unless more people will die otherwise. Refuse to let the war industry, the oil industry, or any other profiteers push you or pay you into fighting so they can make billions at the expense of soldiers, civilians, and their families.

  6. Jesus points out that after he left we would need weapons for protection since he would not be around.

    Luke 22:36

    New International Version (NIV)

    36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.

    Jesus also did not tell the Centurion to give up his service but congratulated him on his faith.

    I doubt peace will ever come to this world until it has passed away

      1. No self defense and the military. St.Paul says the government is allowed by God to use the sword granted it is not without risks.

        Romans 13:3-4

        New International Version (NIV)

        3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer

        1. You walk a very thin line in using the Bible this way. The fact that so many evangelicals do this is exactly why I left the church. I am certain that Jesus never intended his followers—Paul included—to use his words for justification of violence, guns, hatred, greed, or any of the other vices the religious right now embraces.

          1. If we cannot trust Paul who gave us the earliest writtings of the NT then we cannot believe Jesus is God. If Jesus is not God then his writtings carry no more truth than JK Rowling’s Harry Potter.

            1. Actually, future pastors in seminary are taught that many epistles the Bible attributes to Paul weren’t written by him at all. These are called the pseudopauline epistles. It turns out this kind of forgery was quite common during New Testament times. Having told you that, I’ll let you follow your path of thinking once again to the same conclusion.

              1. Yea you missed my point…The Pauline letters(no one can prove who wrote them of course) are the earliest teachings of Christ written down. They are more accurate than the Gospels. If you do not believe them then there is no reason to continue on to the Gospels.

                1. I don’t think I missed your point at all, but you may have missed mine. You’re saying that if you can’t believe the Pauline epistles, then the entire Gospel is suspect. I’m saying there’s good research indicating that you can’t believe the Pauline epistles.

    1. LOL, this is not what that verse says. Read the rest– he tells them that two is enough because it was only to fulfill prophesy for him to be arrested like a criminal. Furthermore, when they actually use one of those two swords? He rebukes them for using violence.

      1. Actually you are incorrect. The swords were given to the disciples to keep them safe from the mob. They would not attack a armed group. This way the Apostles were able to escape. Jesus dose not want them attacking and escalating the situation or causing needless violence so he tells them not to go on the offensive after Peter gets trigger happy.
        So violence was avoided because the swords were their for defense. By doing this a prophecy was fulfilled. So to me it was a lesson in proper self defense.

        1. Who told you such a bizarre take on that passage? That’s not in the bible, nor is it legitimate historical exegesis. Plus, we know they weren’t for self defense since Jesus previously commanded they not use violence in self defense.

          Sounds like whoever taught you that was just kinda making stuff up. It is unfortunate.

          1. I am self taught. If I follow Jesus literally then I cannot own possessions,must be celibate,as well as being homeless.
            Pacifism is as truthful as a 6,000 year old earth. (my opinion anyways).

            1. Perhaps being self taught is the problem- because what you just said is untrue. Jesus never taught that all people must reject their possessions (he said that to one person in a specific context), he never taught that everyone must be celibate, and never taught that all people should be homeless.

              But, in Matthew 5, he did teach that all people should love their enemies and to not respond to aggression in-kind.

              1. I disagree he specifically said to become a eunuch for the Kingdom if you could. In a perfect world yes we should never fight back but we still have rapists and look at Ukraine, without the EU or US being a deterrent Putin would have taken over hence Paul’s teaching on the need for government and Jesus on the Centurion having more faith than the Apostles.
                Jesus also said marriage was for one man and woman but I believe Gay marriage is ok. He was talking in generalities not absolutes. If he was talking in absolutes people would be cutting off limbs to keep from going to hell. Anyways thanks for the conversation I do like your posts.

      2. Also if you don’t allow for defensive war then how can you allow for police because military,police, a woman fighting back against a abusive husband is all the same.

  7. First of all, Mr. Corey deserves a grateful thanks for his military service, and also a shout-out for calling into question some of our society’s unthinking and presumptive approval regarding the nation’s military.

    Mr. Corey insists that weapons of destruction have nothing to do with peace, that use of force can contribute nothing to society.Though his assertions seem reminiscent of common, rosey-eyed slogans, they are actually much more substantive. He offers compelling insights regarding “shalom,” and how it consists of more than a mere cease-fire. He’s also reasonable in critiquing what seems to be a simplistic and superficial glorification of weapons. Nevertheless, some of his premises require—not necessarily refutation—but a response.

    1) Mr. Corey is spot-on, firstly, that weapons “can make your enemies so dead
    they can’t fight back anymore” perhaps eventually achieving an “absence of
    conflict because they’re too dead to retaliate.” That is, undoubtedly, an
    accurate interpretation of the means of warfare. As Clausewitz notes, the
    primary purpose of every battlefield engagement is to render the enemy’s forces
    incapable of resisting. But here, I believe, Mr. Corey confuses—or, perhaps,
    intentionally equates—the means of warfare with the purpose of war, when the
    distinction between the two is paramount.

    The means of surgery is to slice apart and extract or manipulate the flesh of a
    living human, but the purpose is to preserve that person’s body. The means of government welfare is to legally plunder the bank accounts of citizens and incarcerate those who refuse, but the purpose is to redistribute money to others who are unable to support themselves.

    My point is not that the purpose being war is always—or even often—good or
    justified; just like some exceedingly unworthy causes are funded by tax
    dollars, and some surgeries end up being severely destructive, even deadly. My
    point is that, as Clausewitz observes, war is merely the continuation of policy
    by other means; and no matter how immoral that policy is, it is still—in nearly
    every case—distinct from mere killing.

    2) Mr. Corey insists that real peace is more complex “than the faux peace achieved by simply having a lot of dead enemies.” In that he is absolutely correct—and one of the biggest problems with recent American interventions and engagements is that, though we’re good at creating dead enemies, we’re exceedingly poor at supporting the wide array of non-battlefield factors that comprise real peace. What Mr. Corey fails to acknowledge, however, is that in some cases, “enemies too dead to retaliate” is a prerequisite to actually address any of those non-battlefield factors. And yes, I realize just how cruel and calloused that sounds. But consider this: Western Europe was only able to become a peaceful continent after the German war machine had been utterly devastated. The literal enslavement of Eastern China, the Korean peninsula, the Philippines, and a host of other pacific nations only ended when the Japanese military-government had been subjugated. Serbia’s transition into a peaceful government and application to the EU was only possible after the U.S. Air Force had pummeled and incapacitated Milosevic’s genocidal regime. Hence, I find it rather odd that Mr. Corey so adamantly insist that peace “can only be achieved without using weapons.” Not even hippie-icon Che Guevara was naïve enough to believe that.

    Additionally Mr. Corey states that only faux peace can result “when you kill
    enough enemies, say like that time we killed 90,000 – 166,000 people in
    Hiroshima.” Firstly, I’m always bemused that people who reference that
    statistic know virtually nothing about Nanking (300,000 civilians murdered),
    Manila (100,000 civilians murdered), Sook Ching (100,000 civilians murdered),
    or the total of 3.9 million Chinese civilians killed during the last seven
    years alone, not to mention the dozens of other nations ravaged by Tojo’s
    armies. Secondly, I find it somewhat insensitive that Mr. Corey would so
    blatantly dismiss Japan’s post-war rise and recovery as a nation to one of the
    wealthiest and most stable democracies in the world as a “fake, plastic version
    of peace.”

    Mr. Corey’s reluctance and aversion to hard force is increasingly representative of the contemporary West’s outlook of violence. Such a view is not entirely unwarranted. America’s poor handling of Iraq and Afghanistan has served as a lengthy and troubling reminder that an improperly waged war can devastate the very people we are trying to help. But to cite a handful of recent instances to make uncompromising generalizations regarding one of the oldest, most universal and common human phenomena is neither enlightened nor
    intellectually responsible. (I believe the various examples I listed above
    serve, not to overrule, but to mitigate, the unqualified confidence of Mr.
    Corey’s assertions.)

    3) War is not always—nor even often—the solution to peace. And yes, it’s easy
    find nominally noble justifications for indefensible acts of state-sponsored
    violence. But any thorough historian must acknowledge that there are some
    instances where, after extensive diplomatic obsequiousness and enlightened
    intentions have failed, only war—a violent response against violent
    aggression—offers any possibility of progress. Diplomacy and humility are
    crucial, yet pleasantness and magnanimity are not always enough to ensure
    peace, as much as Mr. Corey would like believe that they are.

    If violence truly offers no utility in any imaginable situation, then it becomes quite difficult to explain how war—or at least the threat of war—was instrumental in ending American slavery, Nazism, Japanese imperial expansionism, etc. Similarly, how do we account for the fact that the modern peaceful nations of Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan—were the outcomes of armed struggle? Obviously not every peaceful nation owes its existence to war, and war does not always lead to peace—but the blatant facts of history are enough to counter Mr. Corey’s uncompromising claims.

    As Victor Davis Hanson observes, “Increased affluence, entertainment, and
    leisure of the past half century in the relatively quiet and postmodern West
    has made it easier to pronounce war of any type as retrograde and of no
    utility… always irrationally evil and therefore surely preventable… But if
    Westerners deem themselves too smart, too moral, or too enlightened to stop
    aggressors in this complex [modern] age, they can indeed become real
    accomplices to evil through inaction.” War is rarely the way to peace. But the
    caveat is that peace cannot always be achieved by avoiding war.

    4) Which brings me to my final point. Mr. Corey states that war ensures “there’s no such thing as good guys and bad guys—just bad guys who keep justifying their violence as a quest to promote peace.” Many leaders do, in fact, use peace as a façade to rationalize indefensible acts of violence, but that is far from a comprehensive explanation of war. The simple fact of reality is that some people will always prefer war to peace, and that other men and women will be forced to resort to violence to stop them.

    In regards to war producing “just bad guys,” George Orwell offers a substantive
    response: “Civilization rests ultimately on coercion. What holds society
    together is not the policeman but the good will of common men, and yet that
    good will is powerless unless the policeman is there to back it up… The choice
    before human beings is not, as a rule, between good and evil, but between two
    evils. You can let the Nazis rule the world, or you can overthrow them by war,
    which is also evil. There is no other choice before you, and whichever you
    choose you will not come out with clean hands.”

    Mr. Corey is right that violence and destruction is, in itself, abhorrent, but
    his rigid denial that a weapon can be used toward a peaceful goal in the
    long-run is as simplistic as rejecting a surgeon’s scalpel or a contractor’s
    crowbar. Nevertheless, this world needs people like Mr. Corey—people with a
    radical desire for shalom, rather than a shrugging acceptance of a cease-fire;
    people actively working to achieve social harmony and stability. Peace is not
    possible without such courageous and tireless commitment.

    But occasionally, peace requires someone like me—a person with a weapon,
    willing to use force against someone who does not value peace, and who will
    deliberately and stubbornly stand in its way. And when I’ve finished my job,
    Mr. Corey can begin his—and if he feels the need to throw a few indignant
    accusations my way, so be it. I care more about peace than I do about keeping my hands clean.

  8. I’m still struggling with how someone can follow the prince of peace, who told us to love our enemies and then join the military. Isn’t that the larger question here? The fact that much of the conversative church in America tends to wrap their faith in the flag which leads one to put down the cross as they cling to the sword?
    Life in the kingdom isn’t about how valiant we are in using violence to promote “peace,” but how valiant we are in attempting to imitate Jesus’ refusal to use force and violence as a valid solution to anything.

  9. I think the question that a lot of us who believe in non-violence, struggle with is are there times when the use of violence might be necessary. Are there times when it might be necessary to use force to protect the innocent from harm. Is non-violence an absolute principle that must never be violated or are there situation where violence might be the only option left. Even though I consider myself to be a pacifist, I would protect my family with force if necessary. So on that level maybe I’m not a pacifist.

  10. 1. It seems to me that what you call “the actual biblical definition of “peace” (shalom)” doesn’t really fit with some of the åctual uses of shalom. E.g. in Deut 20:10-11 “shalom” constitutes attacking a city and having the inhabitants surrender and become slaves of the attackers. Does Yoder have anything to say about that particular instance of “shalom”?

    2. It seems strange to me to say that “killing enough enemies” isn’t peace if you use stuff like god, Jesus and the Bible as the measuring stick. In the OT god seems to be very pro-“killing enough enemies”. And in the Newt testament you have a constant threat of violence against the enemies of your god: i.e. the threat of being thrown into hell. The peace of heaven seems to be bought with the killing/torture of the inhabitants of hell.

  11. It’s easy to talk about these issues in the abstract. It’s easy to get people to agree with you. I mean, who doesn’t want peace, right?

    But then there’s the small fact that in May of 1940, my country of origin, which had never shown Germany any aggression, was attacked and occupied by the Herrenvolk. Two years later, nearly all of Europe had been raped, plundered, and nazified. Did my folks have a right to shoot back? Were those who joined the resistance insufficiently committed to the principle of peace? Are you seriously arguing that we should have all submitted with docile, Christ-like humility to the oppression, the mass murder, and the genocide? Should I have grown up in servitude, speaking German and learning, as a boy, to venerate the Nazi high command and to celebrate Herr Hitler’s birthday? Were the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto uprising wrong — should they have turned the other cheek?

    I can’t take pacifists entirely seriously until they leave the bromides behind and grapple honestly with those questions.

    Not to mention that the Bible is of course chockfull of violence, very little of which is condemned by your Almighty. In fact, he orders it in many instances.
    Numbers 31:1-54, 1 Samuel 15:18, and so on. Oh, and let’s not forget Matthew 10:34, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

    1. Not to dismiss some of your better points, but please don’t quote Matthew 10:34 as being pro-violence. In the context, it is clearly talking about dividing families between those who follow and those who don’t. If you really think he is talking about physical violence, you need to kill your non-Christian relatives. That one isn’t really a case of differing interpretations – it is right there in the text.

      On your better points, I don’t have time right now to wrestle through them all. I have. It took me quite a while to come to a pacifist position. I’m pretty sure the same is true of Ben. There is no shortage of pacifists who have wrestled with these questions for centuries. The only thing I’ll say now before getting back to work is that it sounds like you’re working from a false dichotomy: either fight evil with the same evil methods or just roll over and give evil what it wants. Other ways might not always be as obvious, but they’re there and statistically proven to be more effective. I go back to Paul in Romans saying not to fight evil with evil but to overcome evil with love.

        1. We could play lots of historical what-ifs.

          What if the predominately Christian England-France-US had opted to forgive debts as God has given ours instead of exacting revenge on Germany after WWI? Hitler probably wouldn’t have had the motivation to start a war and he definitely wouldn’t have the platform to win an election. The Allies learned this after WW2 and did much more to help rebuild their enemies’ territories so they wouldn’t just be waiting for the chance to fight again.

          What if the predominately-Christian Germany had been operating on a Jesus-ethic, recognizing the hatred of Hitler and not electing him, instead of in a nationalistic framework where they had to kill those who opposed their nation’s interests? He wouldn’t have had the power to do anything he wanted to.

          What if, even elected, Germans refused to fight Hitler’s war, recognizing it was at odds with Jesus who they called Lord? Many did this, but not the majority. Again, no power for Hitler to do anything.

          So yeah, I do believe that if Christians had acted in love instead of hatred, nationalism, and violence, there would be no WW2. Call me idealistic, but I’m convinced that violence will never solve violence – at best it postpones it or redirects it, but it never solves it. And if your ethic is based on “protect me and my nation” then it makes sense to settle for redirecting it. But if you believe as I do that God loves every single person on this planet, you can’t really accept sacrificing some for the usually-temporary well-being of others.

          1. World War II is the one that always comes up to say we HAVE to fight in wars.

            World War I is the war where everybody started shooting at everybody else and there was never any reason why.

            European powers built houses of cards through complex treaties as they got into bigger pissing matches until finally one big shot got assassinated and the whole world came crashing down. You tell me it was moral for people to fight in THAT war.

            Without WWI we would have never had Hitler.

    2. I’m standing with Terry on this one, and not just out of a sense of atheistic fraternity (surreptitious fist-bump).

      I’m standing with Terry because I can sympathise with the terror he’s referring to, even more so because I remember it. I was only a child but I saw it. More to the point, many of my cousins were young men and women who knew they were targets. I know you’ve seen violence in combat, Mr. Corey, and I respect that. But that’s different from knowing you might die walking to the market, or that any night men in masks could come for you to drag you out of your home. My cousins knew how to defend themselves and they knew the necessity of it, because every day there were more kidnappings, more murders. As Terry said, should my neighbours and my family have laid down and accepted their fate?

      I know what violent reprisals produce, my country has 800 years of bloody history to prove it. I have and will continue to fight for reconciliation between my neighbours without violence. But the ‘peace’ you’re talking about is an abstract concept, even without the religious tones. What Terry and I are talking about is survival – of us and our homes, and our nations. Unlike most people who are reading this, we are working under the understanding that this is the only life we have. I for one don’t feel guilty about knowing how to defend it.

      I agree that Mr. Cameron is indulging in a fetishisation of killing machines that borders on sickening. But I also agree with the sentiment that there is a time and a place to use a weapon properly.

    3. I think Ryan did a pretty solid job with the what ifs involving Germany. I would like to add that Christians are instructed to submit themselves to the governing authorities. These instructions were written under a government on par with Hitler’s.

      The way that you say “your Almighty” instead of the or our almighty makes me wonder about your faith background. Where are you coming at this issue from?

      1. It should be pretty obvious that Terry is an atheist. Not that I’m trying to speak for him, but he’s kept pretty busy writing for ‘The Friendly Atheist’ blog, so I hope he doesn’t mind me piping up.

        And no, the Romans were not on par with Hitler. They were pretty bloodthirsty and vicious, but not at that level. Don’t make inaccurate comparisons to try to strengthen your point.

        And if your moral code is one that demands that you submit yourself to a system akin to Nazi Germany, then you should not be surprised when others of us find that repugnant.

        1. You seem to be familiar with Terry so thanks for filling me in on his background. I am sorry, but it didn’t seem obvious to me that he is an atheist. I was under the impression this was a site for Christians to understand their faith better.

          The Romans were actually much worse than the Nazis from what I understand of history. I was willing to modify my statement to “on par” as a way of building some common ground.

          My moral code tells me I need to submit to Jesus as my King. It is his kingdom principle which tells me to submit to earthly rulers. Ryan’s reply to Terry’s comment discusses what I think Christian’s acting out Jesus principles would have looked like in Germany. Evil will be conquered by good.

          1. ‘I am sorry, but it didn’t seem obvious to me that he is an atheist. I was under the impression this was a site for Christians to understand their faith better.’

            It is. But Terry and I are both friends of Ben and he’s a very welcoming man. So sorry he’s not as exclusive and tribal as you apparently wish him to be.

  12. I’m constantly amazed at how every generation seems to drift towards, even long for war and away from peace. How violence is given as the only way to safety. How we cannot, seemingly will not believe that peace and non-violence are the only way to permanent change. And yet it’s obvious: almost every major movement of the 19th and 20th century (abolition of slavery, apartheid, and segregation, of imperialism in India, the suffrage movement for women, etc.) were all achieved through nonviolent means. But what’s also obvious is our own fear of suffering: to practice non-violence requires a willingness to be beaten, mocked, humiliated, arrested, imprisoned, tortured, even killed – without retaliating. And who wants that? We (and I include myself in this) may want to be called Christians, but we also want to be treated better than Jesus, so we pick up the shackles of violence (guns, words, bombs, etc.) and go to work. And claim we’re doing it to make the world a better place.

  13. Unfortunately the gun lobby do not agree there are none so blind as they that don’t want to see. Or some such

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