King's Business - 1968-03

gated by their governments. This should not be too surprising; rather, it should be expected. National behavior and policy would logically be the result of individual behavior and ethics broadened to na­ tional scope, or those in control o f a government logically carrying over their personal moral con­ cepts into the formation o f national policy. To this end, it would obviously develop that a community of nations would adopt certain mutual standards, providing for change by a calm means o f law. The United Nations attempts to fulfill that role. We also have then, the reason for the estab­ lishment o f international policing—which is what our soldiers are doing in foreign lands today. Then, too, we cannot discount the mission of the military to defend national borders against politically des­ ignated foes. Even there, the only difference be­ tween the domestic bandit and the domestic police­ man, and the international bandit and military man, is one o f scope and organization, not one of prin­ ciple. Thus we have armed forces. We need now to think of the implications of the above paragraphs on the pragmatic level of daily life. Here is where it gets personal: “ Should I bear arms or not?” To answer that, let us listen to the opinions of an average man in our military estab­ lishment. He would probably espouse a number or all of these following beliefs about war, Christian implications, and conscientious objections to bear­ ing arms. The soldier’s convictions are the most costly per­ sonally ; they could mean his life. The pacifist keeps both convictions and life as well. Moral cost is one factor to consider in the validity of moral precept. A soldier is primarily a man of peace. Warfare is a fearful and not a fun experience. It is indeed most fatiguing, often frustrating to the point of exasperation, and a most uncomfortable type of existence. A soldier, at the very least, prefers peace for the selfish reasons which stem from a distaste for hardship, and a normal desire to be with his loved ones. No man of conscience enjoys killing, but what else can be done when facing an armed, recalci­ trant enemy? No man of conscience can be indiffer­ ent to the unutterable sufferings of civilians during war. It is there that our servicemen, as individuals and with their units, have pioneered in the works of compassion toward war’s victims. It was after the resultant good will was demonstrated that our Government took such an active interest in helping such people, even to the point of developing special programs such as they have in Viet Nam. If it is true that “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend,” then it is true that the soldier has the greater love for his country. He has greater love than the paci­ fist or the conscientious objector. Jesus said to His disciples, “No longer do I call you servants, but friends,” and in the wider sense that applies to all MARCH, 1968


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