Pride of a Patriot

*Disclaimer: This is highly likely to offend many people. I am aware of that, and I do not care. If you can’t handle it, don’t read it.*

My apologies ahead of time if my thoughts are scattered, I’m currently more than a little angry. I don’t often publicly post my political opinions. Some people would attribute that to paranoia. I don’t mind; they may be right. We are a watched nation. Both by our own government, who more often than not I don’t agree with, and those who would seek to destroy us. Terrorists are not fools, and if you think they don’t have computers and hackers just like we do, you really need to pull your head out of the sand. That being said, I’d like to share a few thoughts.

This morning, I was sitting sipping my coffee, staring dismally at the overcast sky, when I started listening to the song my dad was playing on his phone. It was “An American With a Remington” by Larry Gatlin and Billy Dean. Reading some of the comments on the video made me sick. I mean, honestly… people are so ignorant. Most of the comments were of the general theme, ‘Stupid rednecks, no wonder the terrorists think so little of us’ or “Wasn’t Jesus all about not killing anyone? Even your worst enemies?”

First of all, us “stupid rednecks” are likely to be the only thing standing between you and those terrorists when they decide to bring the fight to us, and mark my words: they will. This is not a new war. This is an ongoing fight that started before the crusades. And eventually, it will come to us. And you can be sure, some of us will be ready. You won’t think we’re so stupid when we’re the only reason you aren’t faced with converting or losing your head. We’re really very good with our rifles. You’ll learn to appreciate that.

And second, about “not killing anyone”, oooh… this is a personal major pet peeve of mine. My first semester of college, we had a guest lecturer in one of my classes who wanted to talk about a controversial subject in the Church. He proceeded to spend the next hour explaining why Christians should be against war. Now, this is where I make a public service announcement: Know your audience. I am the daughter of an infantryman and the sister of an airman in a family with a very distinguished military history. And I am a Christian. I left that class so angry that my friends avoided me for hours, without even knowing what was wrong. Have you read the Bible? It’s hardly all sunshine and roses. There are at least 60 battles mentioned in the Old Testament. Many, many, of which were commanded or blessed by God. (Someone put together an excellent compilation here.) Does that sound like a God who opposes war? The New Testament provides no direct teaching on the matter of war. If you want an in-depth look at this, I would suggest this article. The basic gist, though, is this: never is war condemned. Never are we, as a people, commanded not to fight.

In case it isn’t clear yet, I am not a pacifist. I don’t like the direction our country is headed right now, but I believe in America. I believe this country was founded on principles worth standing by, and there is nowhere else I would rather live. There is nowhere else I would rather fight for.

John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

All of this reminded me of a quote that is often attributed to Japanese General Isoroku Yamamoto (but in reality, no one knows for sure who actually said it),

You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.

This may not be as true as it once was, but it is still true enough. Now, I’m not asking for a war. I’m not asking them to come. But know this, there is still a rifle behind every blade of grass. And behind that rifle is likely a redneck who knows, very well, how to use it. I’m not asking for war. But I’ll be ready if it comes – will you?

As the song says:

What makes you think I will turn and run?

You underestimate these United States,

And the righteous might of people who are standing as one.

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You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.

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3 responses to “Pride of a Patriot

  1. Thanks for your post. Two thoughts and a question:

    The argument that “never is war condemned” can be equally used about abortion or embryonic stem-cell research. We cannot base our ethics on simply what is not explicitly condemned.

    We know that things happen in the OT that are not part of the life of a Christian – we don’t sacrifice sheep in a temple for example, so the argument that it happened in the OT ignores the fact that things changed because of Jesus.

    My main question for Christians supporting war is – how can we obey Christ’s direct command to turn the other cheek if we are fighting a war? How can we justify violating a direct command from Christ?

    • As far as abortion goes, we are commanded not to murder, and even in it’s earliest stages, a fetus is an individual life. If you’ve never seen it, I would strongly recommend the movie “Come What May.”
      As for sacrifices, that is a matter of the old covenant versus the new covenant. Sacrifices were rendered a moot point by the ultimate sacrifice of Christ.
      In regards to turning the other cheek, if you look at the article I linked to about teachings on war in the New Testament, they explain it far more eloquently than I could ever hope to. But essentially, I hold to the belief that the command to “turn the other cheek” pertains more to the attitude of an individual than a people as a whole.

      • (Note, I am against abortion). The point I was making about abortion was that there is no single clear statement against it, nor is there a clear statement that an unborn child is a child. There are inferences, and theological themes that tie together, but no “clear command”. So the “there is no clear command against war” is not a strong argument. In both cases, we need to build a complex theological framework to support our conclusions.

        I have not read the links you have given (sorry, I haven’t had the time yet), but I did my honours thesis on just war, so I’ve read a fair few arguments. Oliver O’Donovan is the most consistent, I think any just war theorist needs to read and understand him.

        The argument that it is OK for nations to defend themselves and not individuals still misses the point – how is the individual soldier to turn the other cheek on the battlefield? I cannot get past that command. I do not see how being part of a bigger organisation, like a country, allows us to select which commands of Jesus to ignore.

        I will make the note that the kind of pacifism that I believe the Bible teaches is not what most pacifists teach. If you are interested, have a look at my summary https://constantlyreforming.wordpress.com/a-defense-of-christian-pacifism/. I think you will find it challenging if nothing else.

        If you have any comments on my argument, I’d love to hear them.

        (BTW, I’m the author of the list of wars you referenced, which is how I found this blog).

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