There are a multitude of graphics online that, one way or another, urge everyone to “Support the troops”. I’m wondering where this is coming from because, from what I can see, except for a few repugnant trolls out there, most everyone does support the troops. What some of us don’t support is the way the troops are being used. I’m going to be honest here and say that when I see one of these things, it reminds me of the old saying from the Vietnam era “If you don’t love it, leave it!” That came from Merle Haggard’s song “Fightin’ Side of Me” and became a rallying cry of Nixon’s “Silent Majority” in the late sixties and early seventies. What I’m really hearing is “Support the government in whatever way they choose to use our military or shut the hell up”. Precisely because I love my country and my brothers and sisters who serve, I can’t do that.
I can’t do that because I am a Christian. I follow a man who told His disciples to love their enemies, to turn the other cheek, to bless those who curse you. I cannot believe Jesus would condone the actions the United States has taken in the “War on Terror”. Hell, I can’t believe He’d condone declaring war on anything, much an act or a tactic/strategy. In a time and place torn by violence and retribution, He called for a different way of doing things, a way of love and forgiveness, saying if we only love those who love us, what have we accomplished? There are those who disagree with me on this and will quote scripture about swords and we can argue context and meaning all day. But, for me, the instance in the Gospels that is most informative of how Jesus felt about the subject occurs in Luke, when Judas betrays him with a kiss. One of the disciples with him draws a sword and cuts off the ear of the arresting party. Jesus’ reaction? To say “Stop! No more of this!” He touched the slave’s ear and healed him.” Not exactly an embrace of violence is it?
I support the troops in my own way. And, that is through a fervent desire to see every one of them home safe and sound, no longer subjected to the deterioration of the soul that has infected every imperial force throughout history. I want them home and spending these days with their families, their spouses, their children. I will voice this in any way I see fit. If you think that means I don’t support our troops, you are oh so wrong