Jesus wants you to kill the enemy?

November 18, 2010

The American Family Association is a Christian advocacy organization. It is very right-wing—I say this as a Christian brother, albeit in no way a fellow traveler—and so maybe it’s fitting that the AFA website hosts a blog titled Rightly Concerned. The blog is labeled “A Project of the American Family Association,” but it also bears this disclaimer at the end of posts:

Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.

But sorry, AFA, I’m not letting you off the hook on the atrocity that is this commentary from Bryan Fischer, the organization’s director of issue analysis. The subject is the Medal of Honor. More specifically, it’s the types of courage in Iraq and Afghanistan for which the medal has been awarded.

We have feminized the Medal of Honor.

According to Bill McGurn of the Wall Street Journal, every Medal of Honor awarded during these two conflicts has been awarded for saving life. Not one has been awarded for inflicting casualties on the enemy. Not one.

That’s an odd opinion but it’s an arguable one. But what is so frustrating here is Fischer’s riff on the Macho Jesus. As my friend Brian pointed out, what follows is just miserable biblical interpretation (at best):

So the question is this: when are we going to start awarding the Medal of Honor once again for soldiers who kill people and break things so our families can sleep safely at night?


Jesus, in words often cited in ceremonies such as the one which will take place this afternoon, said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). So it is entirely right that we honor this kind of bravery and self-sacrifice, which is surely an imitation of the Lord of Lord and King of Kings.

However, Jesus’ act of self-sacrifice would ultimately have been meaningless – yes, meaningless – if he had not inflicted a mortal wound on the enemy while giving up his own life.

Of course, the goal of war is to win. And leaving aside the righteousness of any specific war, they often are righteous reasons to fight—even when such an action would be imprudent. Ousting Saddam comes to mind.

But don’t turn the Bible on its head to give supplemental support to waging war.

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