Would Jesus Celebrate Memorial Day?

Nobody "celebrates" Memorial Day.

You're supposed to "observe" Memorial Day.

You're supposed to "remember" those who were killed because they joined the Armed Forces of the United States.

"Mourn" would be a better word than "celebrate."

But you're not supposed to mourn too much. If you mourn too much, you will be implying that their deaths were in vain.

On Memorial Day we're supposed to "remember" or "observe" the deaths of soldiers in a way that honors or applauds their choice to become a soldier.

You "mourn" if your neighbor's kid dies from mixing all kinds of chemicals together to get a new "high." Or if he skateboards off the roof in an "Xtreme" manner and dies. We mourn the loss of life, but we don't honor their actions.

On Memorial Day, "remember" means to "honor."

We are supposed to "honor" those who made the choice to join the Armed Forces of the United States and were killed while fighting.

So . . .

. . . would Jesus "honor" those who took up a sword and died?

51 And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
52 But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?
Matthew 26:51-53

Obviously my question "Would Jesus Celebrate Memorial Day?" is an attention-grabbing conversation-starting question. Some might think it's a "put-up-your-dukes-and-let's-fight-it-out" kind of question. Designed to start a heated argument.

I hate heated arguments and name-calling.

That's not what I want.

I want to provoke a serious, intelligent, thoughtful, and prayerful conversation, not a fight. I want to discuss how the teachings of Christ can be applied to our military and foreign policy. I'll try not to call my opponent a "hateful" "warmonger" if my opponents won't just shout me down by repeating the mantra "U‑S‑A!!   U‑S‑A!!   U‑S‑A!" over and over to drown out my arguments.

I find it supremely ironic that many veterans and those who are "Rah! Rah!" about the military, and call me names like "pacifist wimp!" and "flower child!" are afraid -- yes, terrorized -- by the prospect of sitting down and intelligently, unemotionally engaging in a rigorous intellectual and spiritual debate of the issues. They don't want to deal in the area of facts, statistics, and logic to confront questions like:

  • Was it really worth the deaths of 50-90 million human beings in World War II
    • to prevent Poland and Czechoslovakia from being occupied by the Nazis, only to have Poland and Czechoslovakia occupied by the Communists?
    • Or to prevent China from being occupied by Japanese fascists, only to have China turned over to the Communist mass murderer Mao Tse Tung?
  • Was it really worth the deaths of 600,000 Americans to emancipate blacks from somewhat-Christian plantations, only to enslave them in atheistic drug-infested, crime-ridden federal housing projects, and make them permanently unemployable and dependent on their masters in Washington D.C.?
  • Was it really worth all the deaths of all the children, fathers, brothers, sons, daughters, sisters and mothers to overthrow the Saddam Hussein regime (previously supported by the U.S.) and erect an Islamic Theocracy in its place, killing or making homeless hundreds of thousands of Christians?
  • Is there a single war in U.S. history where economists and scholars from every party can agree that our standard of living was increased, and the power of government over our lives was diminished?

Life, liberty, and property. War destroys all three. Every time. No exceptions.

I respect those who never asked these questions but believed the claims of the government's military recruiters, and genuinely and sincerely wanted to help their country.

But good citizenship demands that we question the lies of our government and its recruiters.

"They Served their Country."


  • They "Served"
    They killed people. They bombed their homes, churches, mosques, schools, hospitals.
  • Their "Country"
    Am I their "country?" Not really. Not ordinary people like me. Soldiers serve the government in Washington D.C. and those who manufacture weapons under government contracts, issued by politicians who promised those lucrative contracts in exchange for their votes. They serve the foreign policy of those who seek to build a "New World Order."

Henry Kissinger was one of the great architects of U.S. Foreign Policy. It is reported that "In [Army General Alexander] Haig's presence, Kissinger referred pointedly to military men as 'dumb, stupid animals to be used' as pawns for foreign policy."

Another word for "dump, stupid animals" is "sheeple."

We the People cannot be sheeple any longer. We must choose between the government  of the United States in Washington D.C. on the one hand, and America on the other.

America, my country, is an ideal: a people who enjoy "Liberty Under God." A "City upon a Hill." A country once identified by the U.S. Supreme Court as "a Christian nation."

The Federal Government of the United States is an atheistic regime at war with the ideal of "Liberty Under God."

Armies do not benefit the America ideal of "Liberty Under God." Armies serve the federal government. They do not even defend our borders. They impose the policies of Washington D.C. on people of other nations.

The government in Washington D.C. does not deserve your service. You should not die, you should not allow your neighbor to die, nor should you kill for, the Bush-Obama regime.

The Federal Government of the United States is anti-American.

It is anti-Christ.

So I mourn the dead, but I cannot honor them.

They died in vain.

Death makes Jesus weep, but Jesus would not celebrate or honor the choice to destroy the life, liberty and property of others by joining the military complex of the U.S. Federal Government.

Would Jesus approve of the killing of either of these husbands?

Confederate Widow

Taliban Widow

Look at the death that surrounds these women.
Does Jesus really extend His Kingdom by death and destruction?

Please leave your thoughtful comments or questions here.
(Mindless violent threats or patriotic spam does not honor anyone.)

I would like you to consider two general claims:

1. No war in U.S. history can be justified according to the teachings of Christ. This includes the moral, economic, and political teachings of Christ, which every scholar should respect.

2. To understand why Christians should not honor the decision to become a soldier requires an understanding of

  1. The Bible
  2. Christian theology
  3. Capitalism: The Economics of Non-Violence
  4. The Myth of "the Separation of Church and State"
  5. The Biblical basis for optimism concerning the future prospect of human progress and world peace

For a defense of the proposition that no U.S. war has been morally, economically, or politically justified, go here: Memorial Day: They Died in Vain. Or just keep reading down below.

To gain an understanding of

  1. The Bible
  2. Christian theology
  3. Capitalism: The Economics of Non-Violence
  4. The Myth of "the Separation of Church and State"
  5. The Biblical basis for optimism concerning the future prospect of human progress and world peace

Go here: www.PeacemakerCoaching.org
and sign up for our online home-study program.
The purpose of this program is to help you become a "peacemaker" and enjoy the blessings Christ promises to peacemakers. This program helps you resist the promises of the military recruiters, politicians, and those who are dependent upon government redistribution of wealth. This program will give you a Christian worldview.

The United States has three holidays which honor those who chose war over peace: Veterans' Day (those who fought and lived); Memorial Day (those who fought and died) and Independence Day (those who took up arms to abolish their government). ("Armed Forces Day" is a runner-up.)

Shouldn't a Christian nation like America have a day to honor those who withstood the temptation to violence and vengeance and chose peace instead?

Would Jesus Celebrate Memorial Day?
A Christian/Pacifist/Anarchist Inquiry

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
Matthew 5:9

The author of this webpage is a Christian, a follower of the "Prince of Peace." He is therefore a "pacifist," opposed to the initiation of force or threats of violence. He is therefore an anarchist, an opponent of the idea of "civil government" or "the State," which initiates force and is the institutionalization of systematic violence. More about the author.

Wounded Iraqi Child - Click Photo for Video
It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luke 17:2

There are 100 million self-proclaimed born-again evangelicals in the United States. There are 250 million people in America who would call themselves "Christian," which presumably means "follower of Jesus Christ." Given their disposable income, these millions have the electoral and financial power to completely alter U.S. foreign policy and re-shape the world for peace.

But the vast majority don't take the teachings of Jesus seriously. They believe His teachings apply to "saints" and the super-spiritual, or are only for a future "dispensation." Or else they believe that His teachings are for your "heart," but (because they're "religious") don't have any real application in the "real world" of law, economics, political policy or military strategy.

George Bush did not take Jesus seriously. At least not as "Commander-in-Chief." In the third TV debate in the 2000 primaries, Tom Brokaw is serving as moderator and asks for viewers' questions, getting this: "What political philosopher or thinker...do you most identify with?" Candidate Steve Forbes came out with John Locke. Candidate Alan Keyes came out with the Founders.
The question was repeated: "Governor Bush — a philosopher-thinker and why."
Bush: "Christ, because he changed my heart."

Not because He changed Bush's political policies, foreign policy, or military strategies. Clearly, Jesus has had no impact on Bush's decision to harm children by destroying Iraqi neighborhoods. But Bush may be sincere when he thinks of himself as a follower of Christ, because Bush believes that Christ is Lord in religious areas, just not military areas. After all, it simply isn't "practical" or "realistic" to apply Jesus' teachings to international relations. We can believe Jesus in our hearts, and go to heaven when we die, but applying Jesus' teachings literally in the political or military arena is suicidal. Many people -- even atheists -- agree with Bush in this respect.

This webpage is intended to show that we can and must take Jesus seriously, in every area of life -- even our nation's political life and foreign policy.

The basic issue is: Can Jesus be trusted? If we follow Him, taking His Word seriously, will everything work out OK? Or is the Bible just a fairy tale? Is it just a contradictory collection of feel-good stories and Hallmark-card aphorisms? Something you can believe in your heart, but should keep separate from the State and its foreign policy?

This webpage argues that if we had taken Jesus seriously in the 20th century, things would have worked out better. Many beloved sons and daughters would still be alive. We would not have fought any war in the 20th century, and would not be fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan today. If we had followed Jesus and not fought any wars in the last 200 years, the world would be a better place. If you think that's a nutty idea -- less than "5" on a scale of 1-10 -- we guarantee that if you read this entire page, your rating of that idea will go up 50% or more. In short, this webpage is guaranteed to change your thinking on the issue of war and peace, if only a little.

Please take a moment to view
this extraordinary juxtaposition
of two photos of military widows.
Should we only mourn for American widows?

Here are three controversial ideas.
, let's take Memorial Day seriously for just a few minutes.
That's controversial because most people don't. Like Christmas, Memorial Day has lost its original significance, and now means going to the beach, firing up the bar-b-que, or maybe watching a parade. Here's the entry for "Memorial Day" from an online encyclopedia:

  • What future was won by the Civil War? A future of complete domination by the federal government.

  • What future was won for Poland and Czechoslovakia by World War II? They were rescued from Hitler and turned over to Stalin.

  • What future was won in Iraq? A westernized, secular nation was converted into an Islamic Theocracy that leans toward Iran.

  • Which improved future was won by war?

Memorial Day
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who died in military service for their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it expanded to include those who died in any war or military action. One of the longest standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. Nowadays most Americans use the date as merely marking the unofficial start of the summer vacationing season as many government parks and beaches start their summer schedule on the Friday before. Many outdoor community swimming pools also open on this day.

Many Veterans groups are trying to get the observance of Memorial Day shifted back to its original day, instead of being made a part of a "3-day weekend," which tends to focus people's attention on vacationing rather than observing Memorial Day.

There are two ways to take Memorial Day seriously.

The Bible says to mourn the death of soldiers, but never says to honor their choice to fight.

Imagine an immature teenager who sees one of those "extreme" television shows featuring "incredible" stupid stunts. He then tries the stunt at home and dies. We mourn the loss, and console his family. Do we honor his choice? No.

This is an analogy, not a comparison. One can enlist in the armed services without engaging in a stupid stunt, but can be motivated by patriotism, loyalty, self-sacrifice, and other ideals which can be respected. But Nazis and Communists can also serve in their armed forces and be motivated by patriotism, self-sacrifice, love of the "Fatherland" or the "workers revolutionary paradise," and no matter how sincere and well-intentioned they were, we would say they were wrong. While we can mourn their deaths as human beings created in the Image of God, we cannot honor their choice. If the government catches an enemy soldier, it does not honor the passion of his patriotism, it imprisons him.

If a human being chooses to intentionally kill other human beings created in the image of God, does it matter in God's eyes which flag he waves?

If a person pushes a button or pulls a trigger that kills innocent non-combatant civilians, does it matter in God's eyes that the killer was wearing a government uniform?

On Memorial Day, Americans honor those Americans who were killed in uniform.
In other words, Americans honor those Americans who chose to fight in a war.

Cassius Clay converted to Islam and as Muhammad Ali said he would not fight in a "Christian war." Until the United States Supreme Court unanimously overturned the decision, Ali lost his right to work and faced 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine ($65,814.81 in 2009 dollars).

I say "chose" even though many were drafted (conscripted), as in the Vietnam conflict. But they had the power to refuse, even though they may have lost their status or even gone to jail. Jesus underwent worse forms of torture. Even those who are drafted have a choice, and can choose to "do violence to no man" (Luke 3:14), no matter what the penalties.

Would Jesus honor those who chose to fight (or did not choose not to fight)?

Didn't Jesus say "Blessed are the peacemakers"?

Jesus never said "Bless and honor the warmakers."

So our first controversial idea on this Memorial Day, is to take the holiday seriously, and effectively mourn those who died.

Second controversial idea: Let's take war seriously.

In his Presidential Radio Address of May 26, 2007, President Bush said the following:

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This Memorial Day weekend, Americans honor those who have given their lives in service to our Nation. As we pay tribute to the brave men and women who died for our freedom, we also honor those who are defending our liberties around the world today.

On Memorial Day, we pay tribute to Americans from every generation who have given their lives for our freedom. From Valley Forge to Vietnam, from Kuwait to Kandahar, from Berlin to Baghdad, brave men and women have given up their own futures so that others might have a future of freedom. Because of their sacrifice, millions here and around the world enjoy the blessings of liberty. And wherever these patriots rest, we offer them the respect and gratitude of our Nation.

We must challenge the President on every one of these wars. The world was not made a better place by fighting these wars, and Americans should have chosen not to fight them:

The President gave this list of wars: We would take a second look at them:
Valley Forge Should Americans have killed Christians from Britain over a petty tax increase? Click here or go here: www.July4th1776.org
Vietnam What did the loss of 50,000 Americans and millions of Vietnamese achieve?
Kuwait For whom did these Iraqi children die?
Kandahar How did the United States make Afghanistan a better place by not taking Jesus seriously, including the arming of Osama bin Laden's "freedom fighters" by the CIA?
Berlin Was East Germany and all of Eastern Europe better off after U.S. military involvement? Click here or learn more here.
Baghdad Would America's Founding Fathers have approved of $500 billion to kill millions of Iraqis and create an Islamic Theocracy? Click here or find out more about the use of Phosphorus weapons on the civilian population in Iraq

"War will exist until the distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige as the warrior does today."
-- John F. Kennedy

The calculated indifference of the [Clinton] administration to national defense has forced thousands of our most experienced and patriotic warriors to leave the military. We [Republicans] will once again make wearing the uniform the object of national pride.
-- Republican National Platform, 2000
During the 20th century, an average of 10,000 people were murdered each and every single day. These people were not murdered by people who are usually called "murderers." That's because the people who did the killing all wore uniforms of the various governments on earth. In the United States, 16,110 people were murdered during all of the year 2002 by "murderers," that is, private enterprise murderers not wearing an official government uniform, whose killings were not officially approved by the government. The government's justification for its own existence is protecting the world from killers. This is a lie.  During the last 15 years, during the Bush I/Clinton/Bush II years, the United States has killed approximately 2,000,000 men, women, and children in Iraq during various Gulf "wars," "operations," and embargoes. That's more than 100,000 per year, almost ten times the number of "private" murders committed per year. On the CBS News program "60 Minutes," on May 12, 1996, Lesley Stahl asked Madeleine Albright, later Secretary of State under Bill Clinton:

Stahl: We have heard that a half million children have died [in Iraq]. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?
Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it.

This is a "cost-benefit" question. To evaluate whether the cost was "worth it," you have to ask, "What benefit did we get for the price?"

  • The price in the 20th century: 10,000 killed per day, on average, every day for 100 years.
  • The price in Iraq in the last 15 years: 8,600 children over five years of age die every month while the number did not exceed 1,600 before "the gulf crisis."

What did these deaths bring us?

  • Benefit: Communist enslavement of more than a billion people
  • Benefit: an Islamic Theocracy in Iraq, where previously Christians had freedom.

And throughout the world during the 20th century, hundreds of millions of people have been subjugated under atheistic and socialistic tyranny with the aid of the nation that was supposed to be "a city upon a hill": the U.S.of A.

What causes us to honor those who wore a uniform for the world's largest killing machine? Why do we not honor those who refused to fight, and chose peace? How should the Christian react to "Memorial Day?"

What Does the Bible Say About Peace?

(Luke 6:27-28) But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, {28} Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

(Luke 2:14) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

(Luke 1:77-79) To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, {78} Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, {79} To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

(Hebrews 12:14) Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

(1 Peter 3:9) Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called--that you might inherit a blessing.

(1 Peter 2:21-23) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps: {22} Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: {23} Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously:

(Romans 12:17-20) Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. {18} If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. {19} Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. {20} Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink:

(Psalm 34:14) Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

(Psalm 35:20) For they do not speak peace, but they conceive deceitful words against those who are quiet in the land.

(Psalm 37:11) But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

(Psalm 37:37) Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

(Psalm 72:7) In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.

(Psalm 85:10) Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

(Psalm 119:165) Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

(Psalm 120:2-7) Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.{5} Woe is me, {6} My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace. {7} I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.

(Psalm 122:6-8) Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. {7} peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. {8} For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, peace be within thee.

(Proverbs 3:17) The ways of Wisdom are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

(Proverbs 12:20) Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.

(Proverbs 16:7) When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

(Isaiah 9:6-7) For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of peace. {7} Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

(Isaiah 26:12) O LORD, you will ordain peace for us, for indeed, all that we have done, you have done for us.

(Isaiah 32:17-18) And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. {18} And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;

(Isaiah 48:18) O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:

(Isaiah 48:22) There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.

(Isaiah 52:7) How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

(Isaiah 54:13) And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

(Isaiah 55:12) For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

(Isaiah 57:19) I create the fruit of the lips; peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.

(Ephesians 2:14-17) For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; {15} Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; {16} And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: {17} And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

(Isaiah 59:8) The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.

(Isaiah 60:17) For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness.

(Isaiah 66:12) For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.

(Ezekiel 34:25) And I will make with them a covenant of peace

(Ezekiel 37:26) Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

(Daniel 4:1) Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; peace be multiplied unto you.

(Daniel 6:25) Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; peace be multiplied unto you.

(Nahum 1:15) Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.

(Haggai 2:9) The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.

(Zechariah 6:13) Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.

(Zechariah 8:16) These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:

(Zechariah 8:19) Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace.

(Zechariah 9:10) And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.

(Malachi 2:5-6) My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. {6} The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.

(Malachi 2:6) The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.

(Romans 1:7) To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Romans 2:10) But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

(Romans 3:10-18) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: {11} There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. {12} They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. {13} Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: {14} Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: {15} Their feet are swift to shed blood: {16} Destruction and misery are in their ways: {17} And the way of peace have they not known: {18} There is no fear of God before their eyes.

(Romans 8:6) For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

(Romans 10:15) And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

(Romans 14:17-19) For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. {18} For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. {19} Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

(Romans 15:33) Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

(Romans 16:20) And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

(1 Corinthians 1:3) Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

(1 Corinthians 14:33) For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

(2 Corinthians 1:2) Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

(2 Corinthians 10:3-5) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: {4} (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) {5} Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

(2 Corinthians 13:11) Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

(Galatians 1:3) Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,

(Galatians 5:22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

(Galatians 6:16) And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

(Ephesians 1:2) Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Ephesians 4:3) Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

(Ephesians 6:15) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

(Ephesians 6:23) peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Philippians 1:2) Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Philippians 4:9) Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

(Colossians 1:2) To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Colossians 1:20) And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

(Colossians 3:15) And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

(1 Thessalonians 1:1) Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(1 Thessalonians 5:23) And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(2 Thessalonians 1:2) Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(2 Thessalonians 3:16) Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.

(1 Timothy 1:2) Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

(1 Timothy 2:2) For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

(2 Timothy 1:2) To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

(2 Timothy 2:22) Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

(Titus 1:4) To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.

(Philemon 1:3) Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(James 3:17-18) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. {18} And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

(Hebrews 13:20) Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

(1 Peter 1:2) Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

(1 Peter 3:11) Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

(1 Peter 5:14) Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

(2 Peter 1:2) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

(2 Peter 3:14) Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

(2 John 1:3) Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

(3 John 1:14) But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.

(Jude 1:2) Mercy unto you, and peace and love, be multiplied.

(Revelation 1:4) John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

Swords Into Plowshares

Ozarks Virtual Townhall

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I believe Christians should be outraged, and should vigorously protest the killing. Those who voluntarily don a uniform to kill for money, for college tuition, for "job training," or for kicks, should be excommunicated. As it is, in churches across America, the killers are honored.

With the exception of an occasional sociopath, all the killers in the 20th century believed they were doing good. Germans who killed Jews were protecting "the fatherland," preserving the "national security of Germany," or were just honorably "following orders." For Muslims, killing infidels is a matter of sincere religious duty. Russians who shot Ukrainian farmers carried out "the will of the People." Americans napalmed South Vietnamese villages because "It became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it." Save them from Communism, of course, which Americans believe is a fate worse than death by napalm. 10,000 murders a day requires a lot of people wearing uniforms, and all of them believed they were doing their patriotic duty. None of them thought of themselves as doing "evil" just because they were killing human beings or engaging in violent destruction of property.

I want to think about Memorial Day with a view to creating a plan that will get hundreds of millions of people to think that killing is evil. Given the billions of people who believe killing is justified if ordered by the government or a false religion, this is a huge undertaking.

I can't recall ever hearing a Memorial Day sermon in which the preacher did not dutifully remind the congregation that "Jesus was not a pacifist." But Jesus clearly was a pacifist. He died because He did not defend Himself against evil aggressors, even though He was perfectly innocent. If Jesus was not a pacifist, His followers would have fought to keep Him from being delivered up to death (John 18:36). But He told them, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword" (Matthew 26:52). At the right side of this web page are dozens of verses which strongly suggest that the Bible advocates pacifism (which comes from the Latin word for "peace.").

In fact, the Bible is so strongly pro-peace that we offer you this controversial suggestion: On Memorial Day, let us not honor the dead. Let us mourn and help their widows, but let's not honor their choice to fight. In fact, let's make the suggestion even more controversial:

Those who volunteer for any branch of America's Armed Forces with the intent to kill another human being should be excommunicated from our churches.

Wow, that's pretty crazy, huh?

I'm not interested in debating the details of church discipline, excommunicating people, or anything like that, I'm interested in provoking some serious thought about war and peace. If you think it's ridiculous to claim that "Christians should be against war," please keep reading, and I'll wager you won't think the claim is quite so ridiculous when you're finished reading. I'm confident that if you work through this website, focus, pray, take a break halfway through and get a second wind, then continue asking tough questions, you'll be a different person than you are right now.

Another thing I hear in Memorial Day sermons every year is the de rigueur citation of James 4, which says,

1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

This text, like many others in the New Testament, seems to move us to oppose war. But on Memorial Day, the preacher virtually pooh-poohs the verse and goes on to claim that there are some noble reasons to go to war, though there are never any verses quoted which say the ultimate cause of war is holiness and righteousness and following the Prince of Peace.

Consider this controversial claim:

Every war conducted by the United States throughout its history has been
unChristian, immoral, and unjustified.

If I can prove this claim, your attitude towards the teachings of Jesus will be radically transformed. If you're like most people, you've been taught that Jesus was at least sort of a pacifist, He said a lot of things about peace that are good for our private lives, but are completely out of place in "the real world." But "the real world" would be a much better place if we followed Jesus literally and became pacifists.

"But aren't some wars justified? Isn't it a positive good to fight in some wars?"

If you believe this, you should take a year to study America's wars. Take an hour a day. Treat it like a college class. In lieu of that large undertaking, let's take a half-hour to quickly review America's wars. Were any justified? Did any have the long-term effect of making the world a better place? Really? Let's look at these wars:

Admittedly, I have cited the highest estimated casualties in these wars. If you find this objectionable, I would ask you to cite the lowest number of causalities which you believe are both (1) accurate and (2) morally acceptable to Jesus.

America's War for Independence

Let's start with the first war in America's history (though I don't intend to examine each and every one of the over 100 "wars," "conflicts," "police actions," etc. that America has been involved in since 1776). That would be the war that gave birth to the United States of America, the "War for Independence."

What would Jesus say about those who chose to take up arms against "the Redcoats?"

I have created a website that goes into this question in greater detail:


I heard a Memorial Day sermon in which the preacher asked, "Is it ever right to fight?" He said, "We are free because our Founding Fathers fought." Are we free? Should they have fought?

Consider this parable and a few Bible passages:patriot4.gif (6354 bytes)

Date: April 19, 1775   Imagine a young man about 23 years old. As an agent of the British Empire, he wears a red coat. He believes that the colonies face a situation of "anarchy" and chaos. For generations, the British government has maintained law and order, and he has been told that social stability is threatened by lawless hordes of colonists who vandalize tax-paying merchants while dressed as Indians. Based on reports of a large cache of arms in Lexington and threats of armed revolution, he has been sent away from his family in Liverpool to help maintain order in the colonies.
       As a good Christian, this young man believes that God has ordained government to preserve peace and good order. He believes armed revolution against the government is a violation of Romans 13. He's proud to serve in His Majesty's armed services.
       Oh dear. This nice young man has just had a large part of his face and shoulders blown away by the musket fire of an outraged tax-resister. The colonist (and others like him) apparently believed that this young British soldier evinced "a design to reduce them under absolute despotism." As the officer lies dying in a pool of his own blood, the revolutionary "minute-man" rejoices in his victory over this red-coat's objective of the "establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states." (Quotes from the Declaration of Independence)
       Is this a loving (1 Corinthians 13:5-7) or righteous (John 7:24; Exodus 23:2; Prov. 24:21) judgment of this young human being? Was this soldier a budding Adolph Hitler, or a "good Christian family man"?

Was this revolutionary killing the beginning, or the end, of a Christian nation?

Consider these Bible passages, which have been slightly altered to fit the context. (Don't just read them, but prayerfully ask yourself, if these are the commands of Christ, how can a follower of Christ justify killing government officials?):

Romans 12-13 {1} I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
         {2} And be not conformed to the world of the Scottish Enlightenment: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
         {3} For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
         {10} Be kindly affectioned one to the British with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
         {11} Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
         {12} Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
         {13} Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitable quartering of troops. (cf. 3rd Amendment of the Bill of Rights.)
         {14} Bless the "Red Coats" which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
         {16} Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
         {17} Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
         {18} If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with the British.
         {19} Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
         {20} Therefore if an enemy soldier hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
         {21} Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
         {13:1} Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are set in place by God.
         {2} Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, throwing tea into the harbor, or firing muskets upon them from behind trees, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
         {3} For archist red coats are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
         {4} For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
         {5} Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
         {6} For for this cause pay ye taxes without representation: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
         {7} Render therefore to all their dues: taxes to whom taxes are due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
         {8} Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
         {9} For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
         {10} Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

1 Peter 2:11-24 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
         {12} Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
         {13} Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to king George III, as supreme;
         {14} Or unto parliament, as unto them that are sent by Him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
         {15} For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
         {16} As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
         {17} Honour all the British. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
         {18} Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
         {19} For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
         {20} For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
         {21} For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps:
         {22} Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth:
         {23} Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously:
         {24} Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed.

Matthew 5:38-48 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
         {39} But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
         {40} And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
         {41} And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
         {42} Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
         {43} Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
         {44} But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
         {45} That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
         {46} For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
         {47} And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
         {48} Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Proverbs 24:21 My son, fear the LORD and the king; Do not associate with those given to change; for their calamity will rise suddenly, and who knows the ruin those two can bring?

Exodus 23:2 Thou shalt not follow a crowd to do evil.

These verses make obvious what every conservative Christian fears: Jesus was a pacifist. Jesus died a pacifist, telling his followers not to take up arms to defend Him, even though He was sinlessly innocent, and His imminent arrest was totally unlawful and immoral. If His murder isn't a case for justifiable defense, nothing is. But Jesus prohibited it, and then we are told to "follow in His steps" on precisely this issue. The Bible teaches pacifism. The follower of Christ seeks peace. Click here for a few more verses to prove this (they might still be visible in the column at right, depending on your browser and font size).

And history teaches that war is unjustified. Again, something conservatives fear, but don't want to think about it.

The American Revolution would be considered the most "American" of all wars, and no patriotic love-it-or-leave-it American would suggest that the War for Independence was immoral and unChristian. But I would. It was immoral, unChristian, and an obvious violation of Romans 13, which was originally written to Christians living under violent military occupation by the barbaric and pagan Roman Empire, and surely applies to Christians living under a more benevolent government like eighteenth-century England.

If we should not spend Memorial Day celebrating the willingness of Americans to take up arms in the War for Independence, what does it say about Americans who celebrate the "Fourth of July?" Do we expect to impress America's Founding Fathers by honoring their military efforts? They risked "our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor" to rebel against an essentially Christian nation. What are we willing to risk against a secular regime many times more tyrannical?

Then  -- 1776 Today -- 2012
Scholars estimate that Britain attempted to levy taxes on the colonies at rates somewhere between 3-5%.

The "Sons of Liberty" dumped the tea into the Boston Harbor rather than pay a tax of 3 pence per pound.

We pay ten times more taxes on a gallon of gas than the tea tax that brought about the American Revolution
Our government takes over half of everything we earn -- fully ten times more than the colonists fought against. In addition to money withheld from our paychecks, if you buy a $24,000 Ford Taurus with the money left to you after withholding, nearly $13,000 of that sticker price represents taxes passed on by various levels of manufacturers to you, the consumer. (The taxes you wanted your congressman to impose on "big business" are never paid by "big business," they're paid by their customers, meaning YOU. Your congressman isn't about to tell you this, as long as you keep voting for him.)
King George III would never have dreamed of taking tax revenue from the colonies and funding abortions. From 1987 through 2002, Planned Parenthood received almost two and a half BILLION dollars (or 30% of its entire income) from tax dollars under Title X.

The United States federal government gives billions of US tax dollars a year in "foreign aid" to fund overseas abortions. The tax-dollars go to the largest abortion providers in the world -- as long as they say "abortion is not a method of family planning." (A legal technicality.)

Parliament would never have dreamed of ordering the colonies to support schools which prohibit their students from even seeing a copy of the Ten Commandments posted on a classroom wall; the Shorter Catechism was a part of nearly every colonial classroom in America. The United States Supreme Court banned the posting of a copy of the Ten Commandments (privately funded) in government school classrooms in 1980 (Stone v. Graham).

It is illegal for teachers in your neighborhood public school to teach students that the Declaration of Independence is really true.

The British government would never have dreamed of compelling the colonies to legalize homosexuality. The United States Supreme Court overturned all state laws against sodomy (Lawrence v. Texas, 2003, overruling Bowers v. Hardwick [1986], in which the Court had recognized that homosexuality had always been considered an "abominable crime not fit to be named among Christians"). Today a Christian adoption agency can be compelled to turn children over to homosexuals.
The British government would never have dreamed of taxing the colonies hundreds of billions of dollars and killing hundreds of thousands of innocent non-combatant civilians in an effort to set up an Islamic Theocracy. We'll get to the War in Iraq in a moment.

The war that gave birth to America was not justified, but those that rebelled had more integrity than we do, since we do very little against an empire far more tyrannical

We'll discuss the 20th century and how we can reverse the damage done by America, but let's first consider our most recent disaster, Iraq.

The War in Iraq

On the left is some information about early America. On the right is some information about the government created in Iraq by the new and improved secularized United States at a projected cost of nearly a trillion dollars and too many human casualties to count:

John Locke, Two Treatises on Government, Bk II sec 135.

[T]he Law of Nature stands as an eternal rule to all men, legislators as well as others. The rules that they make for other men's actions must . . . be conformable to the Law of Nature, i.e., to the will of God. [L]aws human must be made according to the general laws of Nature, and without contradiction to any positive law of Scripture, otherwise they are ill made.

In 1892 the U.S. Supreme Court surveyed the founding documents of America and concluded:

In language more or less emphatic is the establishment of the Christian religion declared to be one of the purposes of the grant. The celebrated compact made by the pilgrims in the Mayflower, 1620, recites: "Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid."

Every subsequent American charter was consistent with this objective.

President James Madison, the "Father of the Constitution," issued a proclamation on "the 9th day of July, A. D. 1812," in which he declared,

I do therefore recommend the third Thursday in August next as a convenient day to be set apart for the devout purposes of rendering the Sovereign of the Universe and the Benefactor of Mankind the public homage due to His holy attributes; of acknowledging the transgressions which might justly provoke the manifestations of His divine displeasure; of seeking His merciful forgiveness and His assistance in the great duties of repentance and amendment, and especially of offering fervent supplications that in the present season of calamity and war He would take the American people under His peculiar care and protection; that He would inspire all nations with a love of justice and of concord and with a reverence for the unerring precept of our holy religion to do to others as they would require that others should do to them . . . .
In this Christian nation, "the Golden Rule" and Christ's injunction to love even our enemies have profoundly shaped our national character and public policy, unlike officially atheistic and Islamic nations. In the 20th century, however, the federal government has sought to impose the religion of secularism on America, and we have become more like the atheistic Soviet Union than the nation of "Liberty Under God" which America's Founders envisioned. Our occupation of Iraq cannot be distinguished in any way from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, except that Moscow would have secularized Afghanistan, while Washington D.C. created an Islamic theocracy out of a secular dictatorship.  Go figure.
Text of the draft Iraqi Constitution
The complete text of the draft Iraqi Constitution, as translated from the Arabic by The Associated Press:

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
"Verily we have honored the children of Adam" (Quran 17:70)


Article (2): 1st - Islam is the official religion of the state and is a basic source of legislation:

(a) No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam.

(b) No law can be passed that contradicts the principles of democracy.

2nd - This constitution guarantees the Islamic identity of the majority of the Iraqi people and the full religious rights for all individuals and the freedom of creed and religious practices.

Article (90):  The Supreme Federal Court will be made up of a number of judges and experts in Sharia (Islamic Law) and law, whose number and manner of selection will be defined by a law that should be passed by two-thirds of the parliament members.

U.S. Blood Is Not Buying a Free Iraq 

The Iraq Our Soldiers Are Dying For 

Iraqi Blueprint for Tyranny?

The Troops Don't Defend Our Freedoms

Every single person who signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution would be outraged at the fact that the United States
• has a huge standing army,
• which is being used to kill thousands, if not millions,
• of innocent non-combatant civilians,
• with no constitutionally-declared war,
• in order to establish an Islamic Theocracy.
The more you know about America's Founding Fathers, the more you know all this to be true. They would be outraged.

The Civil War

The USMemorialDay.org website gets us thinking about another of America's disastrous wars. It says:

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868....

General Order 11 begins:


General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868

i. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion."

Why should the South have not been allowed to secede from the union? Was it really necessary for 700,000 Americans to die to impose by force a compulsory union on a supposedly "free" people? Were blacks less free on a Christian plantation in the South than they are in a drug- and gang-infested Christ-free federal housing project in Chicago, without skills or good character, chronically unemployable, without known father or grandfather, unable even to imagine success for any out-of-wedlock children they may conceive but will never parent, making up for the fact that the federal government is father to their children by joining gangs and puncturing society with acts of violence? The Civil War was completely unjustified.

"But we couldn't allow the South to get away with slavery," some would say. Slavery was legal in all 13 of the original American colonies, and if the North was justified in preventing the South from seceding because they permitted slavery, then Britain was justified in keeping the colonies from their rebellion. Britain abolished slavery decades before the United States, without firing a shot. New York had slaves into the 1850's, and New Jersey did not end slavery until 1865. The first "emancipation proclamation" was Lord Dunmore’s, the Royal Governor of Virginia, in 1775, promising freedom to slaves who would defect against the colonial rebels.

More from General Order No. 11:

What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders.

Why are the soldiers of the North called "defenders" when they were the aggressors? The South just wanted to secede, not take over the North.

Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

Once again we have to ask, "Was the cost worth it?" Why was it so much better to kill 700,000 human beings, most of them professing Christians, than to have a "United States of America" and a "Confederate States of America?" At the end of World War II the Allies divided the German Republic into East and West. Why did so many Americans have to die to prevent the U.S. from being divided into North and South?

Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation's gratitude, the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.

One could argue that both the South and the North dishonored the flag. But was the North justified in creating widows and orphans in the South? Would Jesus honor them for their killings? It is not surprising to learn that

The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). (USMemorialDay.org)

World War II

You must be exhausted reading this, because I'm exhausted writing it. Stand up, do some deep knee bends, grab a lemonade, then come back and re-focus. I haven't even mentioned World War II, which most folks believe was certainly justified. I don't. The goal of the U.S. federal government was not to save the Jews, it was to advance international socialism (or Communism) rather than allow national socialism (Nazi) to advance. Sounds like a crazy idea, doesn't it.

But that was the result of WWII. Eastern Europe was given to Soviet Communism, and much of Asia was given to Chinese Communism. And when the federal government had a chance before 1945 to rescue Jews, it refused to do so. One example: a boat full of Jews escaping Hitler came to the U.S., but Roosevelt prohibited the ship to dock on U.S. soil. The story | The details | More about WWII.

Ask the same question about every war: "Was it worth the cost?" The "cost" is easy to determine, in lives lost and property destroyed. But when we ask "Was it worth the cost," the "it" is usually harder to define. Was it "a war to end all wars?" Was it "to make the world safe for democracy?" Usually none of the stated goals of the war actually were achieved. So what were the actual results of the war, and were these results worth the cost? Not once, I would argue. Not a single time. Click here for a list of all U.S. wars since 1776, compiled by the U.S. Naval Historical Center. Not one of them was worth the cost. Jesus would not have commanded His followers to kill human beings in order to achieve the promised results of these wars, much less the actual results of these wars. And we shouldn't honor those who refuse to follow Christ.

World War I

On Memorial Day 2010,
David Boaz quotes Mark Helprin’s column, which included these lines:
Though if by and large we ignore the debt we owe to those who fell at Saratoga, Antietam, the Marne, the Pointe du Hoc, and a thousand other places and more, our lives and everything we value are the ledger in which it is indelibly recorded.
Boaz asks,
Does Helprin think that all of America’s wars have been necessary to American freedom? True, he doesn’t allude to any of our wars since World War II in his list of hallowed places. But he does mention the Second Battle of the Marne, the great turning point of World War I and the first battle in which Americans started experiencing the enormous casualties that Europeans had been facing for nearly four years. The problem is that World War I was a catastrophe, a foolish and unnecessary war, a war of European potentates that both England and the United States could have stayed out of but that became indeed a World War, the Great War. In our own country the war gave us economic planning, conscription, nationalization of the railroads, a sedition act, confiscatory income tax rates, and prohibition. Internationally World War I and its conclusion led directly to the Bolshevik revolution, the rise of National Socialism, World War II, and the Cold War. World War I was the worst mistake of the 20th century, the mistake that set in motion all the tragedies of the century. The deaths of those who fell at the Marne are all the more tragic when we reflect that they did not in fact serve to protect our lives and all that we value.

Our third controversial idea:
Let's Take the Bible Seriously

The same people who tell us that we should honor those who chose to kill and destroy others in defense of "our" government tell us that we can't mix the Bible and politics. We can't use the Bible as the basis for our political, military, and foreign policy decisions.

The Old Testament
is wrong on war. The Old Testament advocates war, slavery, genocide, and vengeful retaliation.
The New Testament
is wrong on war.
The Teachings of Jesus
are impractical, utopian, and unrealistic.
The Old Testament
If we followed the Old Testament, we would be a primitive, warlord society. We would exterminate people of other races just to steal their oil.
The Teachings of Jesus
should be relegated to the inner religious meditations of a Mother Theresa, but should be kept away from public policy, especially foreign affairs and military strategy. If we followed Jesus, loved our enemies, and beat our swords into plowshares, we would be invaded by Big Government socialists, fascists, communists, or Muslims.

Both sides of this coin are wrong.
We need to examine these myths.

Jesus quoted the Old Testament. It was the Old Testament prophets who said to return your enemy's ox if you found it (Exodus 23:4), and spoke of a day when we would beat our swords into plowshares and everyone would dwell securely under his own Vine & Fig Tree (Micah 4:1-7) -- not because the military gave them this peace and security -- in fact the real danger is that we will have a huge standing army, and everyone's property will be taxed to fund the "military-industrial complex." If we were to follow the teachings of Jesus in Washington D.C., we would experience security, peace, and economic prosperity. No war that the U.S. federal government has waged has ever made things better than they would have been without military intervention.
  • How did the Civil War make things better? It gave us complete domination by the federal government.
  • What future was improved for Poland and Czechoslovakia by World War II? They were rescued from Hitler and turned over to Stalin.
  • How did U.S. war help the people of Iraq? A westernized, secular nation was converted into an Islamic Theocracy that now leans toward Iran. Hundreds of thousands of Christians were killed or made homeless. Infrastructure was destroyed.
  • Which improvements in the human condition were won by war?
The Declaration of Independence says that we have right -- no, a duty -- to abolish any government that becomes a tyranny. The Old Testament promises that if we obey the Lord our God, He will not send an invading army against us and allow it to set up an imperial regime over us. The Old Testament frowns on Big Government. The New Testament clearly prohibits us from engaging in the violent overthrow of our government. These commands were given to a people (Israel) that had been invaded and subjugated by a brutal military dictatorship which was now exacting exorbitant tribute. There was nothing moral or legal about this imperialist occupation government, but the Bible still prohibits revolution against it.
If it's wrong to take up a sword against "the powers that be," it's wrong to take up a sword against the powers that might be.
We should take both the Old Testament and the New Testament seriously.  

So here's where we are.

It seems obvious to me, but at this point, you may be saying to yourself, "I'm not changing my mind. Sure, some of this is interesting, but nobody's perfect." This is not about achieving some saintly, ethereal level of super-spirituality. This is rock-bottom bedrock minimum level Christianity: "Thou shalt not kill." "Love your enemy." When someone does something you don't like, you don't kill him -- at least if you're a follower of the executed Christ.

"But Jesus was not a pacifist," we're told in pulpits every Memorial Day. This claim is always based on Jesus overturning the tables in the temple. But what are Christians commanded to do in the face of "tables" of warmaking? Shouldn't we overturn them? In fact, Christians have done so. Over the centuries, Christians have applied the teachings of Christ to international conflict, and through the use of such ideas as "just war theory," the world became incomparably more humane than it was in the ancient world, where "an eye for an eye" operated on a national scale. The number of wars recorded in the Old Testament is staggering. When ancient Assyria conquered a city, for example, it left a mound of human skulls at the gates as a lesson to other nations that would not heed Assyria's demands. Up until 1776, Christianity was eliminating this terror, vengeance, and mass-slaughter from civilized society. In fact, civilized society is another word for Christian society.

But during the 20th century, Christians have become more "pacifist" in the worst sense of that misunderstood word, by retreating from the world, yearning for "the Rapture," and passively allowing atheists to secularize this once-Christian nation. Some say this retreat began in 1925 with the Scope's Trial, in which evolution seemed to gain the upper hand over creationism. But the retreat began even before that.

As a result of Christian retreat, formerly Christian nations around the world became secularized, and their military and political leaders -- Christians in name only -- plunged the world into mass death on an unprecedented scale.

Since I became a pacifist years ago, I've talked (debated) with many people. Not very successfully, I confess. I've concluded that there are only two ways to convince most conservative "Bible-believing" Christians to become pacifists.

First, they must be convinced that peace is possible. Right now, the vast majority of Christians believe that peace is impossible because war is predestined. We are moving inexorably toward Armageddon, according to millions of copies of best-selling Christian fiction. We are in the "last days" of earth history, the last days before a billion people are destroyed in the Battle of Armageddon, and the entire planet is annihilated after the Christians are "Raptured."

If war and destruction is predestined, why resist the inevitable? And by "resist" I don't mean "be a pacifist war resister," I mean resist destruction by enlisting in the military and fighting the destroyers, by taking up arms against the "enemy." Why fight a a war to end war if war is inevitable? Why not follow Jesus, and die like He did, without killing anyone on the way out? If we can't create peace on earth, why not go out following Jesus instead of going out killing others?

"Christians" who believe the world is getting worse and war is inevitable still feel the need to participate in those wars, rather than speak out for peace.

I believe something completely different. I believe the prophecy of Micah 4, and I created an organization in 1979 to promote this belief. The organization is called "Vine & Fig Tree," ( http://VFTonline.org ) and here is Micah's vision:

And it will come about in the last days
That the mountain of the House of the LORD
Will be established as the chief of the mountains
And it will be raised above the hills.

And the peoples will stream to it.
And many nations will come and say,
"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD
And to the House of the God of Jacob,
That He may teach us about His ways
And that we may walk in His paths."
For from Zion will go forth the Law
Even the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

And He will judge between many peoples
And render decisions for mighty, distant nations.
Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation will not lift up sword against nation
And never again will they train for war.

And each of them will sit under his
Vine and under his fig tree,
With no one to make them afraid.
For the LORD of hosts has spoken.
Though all the peoples walk
Each in the name of his god,
As for us, we will walk
In the Name of the LORD our God
forever and ever.

I believe the fulfillment of this prophecy was made possible at Christ's First Coming, and we are not to wait for a Second Coming before peace is possible. We should begin hammering our swords into plowshares today.

The Apostle Peter says a thousand years is as a day to the Lord (2 Peter 3:8) so we've just started the third "day" of Christian history, and already tremendous progress has been made. Christian theologians before 1776 tempered the residual harshness of ancient practices like war, even as Christians have continued (though never perfectly) to follow Christ and proclaim His pacifist teachings. If the Apostles were to travel through time into our age, they would see the tremendous effects of Christianity: our freedoms, our health and welfare, and the fact that billions of people in our day are relatively free from war. What we need to do is grow up, mature, be courageous, and eliminate the remaining wars. A hundred million committed Christians in the United States is all that is required to accomplish this.

Coming to believe this requires a major transformation in thinking which can only be accomplished in one way, I've concluded. In order for your average conservative Bible-believing Christian to oppose war and work for peace, he or she must read through the entire Bible in one year, asking a set of specific questions along the way:

Keep a journal, and when you've finished reading the entire Bible from cover-to-cover, go back and re-assess your "yes" answers.

The Declaration of Independence speaks of "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." Romans 1 says mankind shows the work of the law written on his heart. All human beings know that God exists, and that we are not to kill and not to steal.

If killing is wrong, and if taking other people's money by force is wrong, then how do we justify government vengeance and taxation to fund it?

We can't. Nowhere in Scripture does God override the commands not to steal ("tax") and kill ("bold new foreign policy").

If you would like to survey the Bible in about two hours, you can see what this year-long Bible study will reveal. I have summarized this view in a format made famous by Martin Luther: 95 Theses.

The 95 Days of Christmas

OK, maybe it will take more than two hours to look up all the verses cited. So let me state two propositions:

  1. Nowhere in Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, does God ever say to man, "I think now is the time to form an institution which substitutes vengeance for love of enemy, and funds all its activities by theft and fraud, buttressed with threats of unspeakable violence."
    Concerning the language of Romans 13 ("the powers that be are ordained of God"), James Benjamin Green, in his Harmony of the Westminster Standards, noted that: "It is not meant that God directly ordained the state by saying to man, Thou shalt set up a government or organize a commonwealth."
  2. The urgency and imminency with which the New Testament speaks of the Second Coming was vindicated in A.D. 70 when Christ returned to take vengeance on Israel and utterly terminate the Old Covenant and its temple. These verses were not looking forward to fulfillment thousands of years later. We are not in "the last days" of the Old Covenant, we are in the first days of the New Heavens and New Earth inaugurated by Christ.

Proposition #1 above teaches that laissez-faire capitalism is Biblical, and socialism is not. Some have called this "anarcho-capitalism," and Christians go ga-ga over the word "anarchism." This is because they have fallen prey to the biggest socialist lie in human history. In the Bible, "anarchists" are not bad. "Archists" are bad. Christ commanded His followers not to be "archists" (Mark 10:42-45). Use whatever word you want to describe people who follow Christ, and who do not attempt to dominate others using violence or compulsion. They are not archists.

Proposition #2 above teaches us that Christ's Kingdom grows like a mustard seed into a huge tree. It also teaches us that the Kingdom is not handed to us on a silver platter. Micah says we must move our legs and get on the road to the House of the Lord. We have to beat our own swords into plowshares. None of this is done for us while we watch TV.

Combined with pacifism, these themes completely re-orient a person's understanding of the Bible. But only these themes allow a person to be a dedicated follower of Christ. Otherwise, too much of what Christ says seems misguided, irrelevant, appropriate only for a future dispensation, or directed only to "saints" and "super-spiritual" people, not ordinary Americans.

If you want help reading and studying the Bible, and becoming a true follower of "The Prince of Peace," go here and get a coach:


My goal is to get one hundred million Americans to read or re-read the Bible and specifically ask themselves if "anarchism," preterism, and pacifism are true or not. Then, after this one-year study convinces them that they are true, commit to at least one hour a month working for peace. This will include contacting politicians, generals, and CEOs of the military-industrial complex, along with ordinary voters and workers, and urging them to repent of war-voting and war-making. One hundred million Christian Americans will constitute the most formidable political power on earth. They will be a voting block that will change the way the world's greatest super-power does business.

The sad fact is, that the United States has done more to promote war than any other nation. The encouraging fact is that the United States has the power to become a "City upon a hill," and Christianize the world -- without the sword.

About the Author

I've worn a uniform. I didn't exactly volunteer, but I wasn't drafted. My parents insisted. At their strong urging ("You will or we're disinheriting you.") I donned the uniform of the U.S. Air Force. I confess my obedience was not cheerful, but grudging. When I had an opportunity to get out before doing any "active service" of any kind, I left. But I actually have an "Honorable Discharge" from the U.S.A.F.

I was not raised a pacifist. There was a time when I would have not even read, much less agreed with, the article I am now writing. People who spoke out against war and the U.S. government were "commies." My father was part of what President Eisenhower called "the military-industrial complex." Dad was not pleased when I turned my back on a full college scholarship from the military.

But in my junior year of high school I became a six-day creationist. A decade after getting out of the military, in a deposition before a federal district court in Los Angeles, I explained how my becoming a creationist led me to become a pacifist. You can read it here. I was in court because I was being denied a license to practice law in California, even though I successfully passed the California Bar Exam (which I've been told is the toughest bar exam in the world). I discovered a fact of which most Christians are not aware. America was once a Christian nation, but now is an atheistic nation, and if your allegiance to God is greater than your allegiance to the now-secular government, you cannot take the oath to "support the constitution" which is required of all attorneys, all public servants, all members of the armed services, most public school teachers, and many other occupations. I tried to get an exception to this rule in my case, but was turned down by the federal courts and the Supreme Court of California.

So the first thing we have to deal with is the fact that anyone who volunteers for the armed services must take an oath which identifies them as an "infidel," or unbeliever.

I know that sounds crazy. Every single person who signed the U.S. Constitution would say that's crazy. But it's true. My final brief was written by three well-known professors of Constitutional Law and a former California State Supreme Court Justice. It was denied by the same court that ruled that California school children could not say the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Another decision which I would describe as crazy, but true. Details on my case are here:


I say again that on Memorial Day Americans do more than mourn the dead and assist their families. They honor the choice to fight. They honor their choice to be warmakers instead of peacemakers. Speaking as a six-day creationist pacifist, I would rather go to prison and be sodomized than kill a human being. And there are a lot of Veterans who are still traumatized by what they were ordered to do by their government. We need a holiday to honor peacemakers, based on the Biblical idea that war is evil.   [more]  [top]