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Do you think you can be a Christian and support a war?

Asked at Signs of Life, 722 Mass. on April 6, 2007

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Photo of Bassam Alnasleh

“Yes, because in most cases war is necessary. It’s highly regrettable to say that, but it’s true.”

Photo of Penelope Grout

“No. I don’t think Jesus would have supported any kind of war. Not the Jesus that I believe in.”

Photo of Mimi Urish

“Yes. I think there are some things worth fighting and dying for.”

Photo of Seth Toebben

“The real question is why can you not support a war as a Christian, because throughout scripture, God is sovereignty guiding a world filled with war.”


armyguy 9 years ago

There are no Atheists in foxholes.

Soapdish 9 years ago

Larry already Godwin'd the over.

TheNorthlander 9 years ago

I can only imagine the comments that will be generated on this Good Friday, no thanks to today's OTS question.

jonas 9 years ago

Two flamebaits in a row. A new record!

No. You can't be a Christian and support the war. At least, not a GOOD Christian.

paladin 9 years ago

Do ya think a fella's a good Christian, if beats up on the wife fer ruinin his dinner? Maybe she's a tryin ta poison him with'n his breakfast sos he can't get ta church of a fine Easter morning. She's a danger an needs ta be whooped up on. Should the good Christian fella wail the tar outa his kids fer leavin their infernal trikes and bigwheels and all them toys in the driveway sos thar's a real danger a him drivin over em or trippin over em in the dark. They might jest be adoin it on purpose, usin them as weapons of path destruction. Get out the razor strap, Pa! Or, should a decent, Christian gentleman run on over to his neighbors house, break in the door, and blow him away with a scattergun, cause the good Christian fella is dang sure that that onery, ugly ole neighbor has been alettin his ole black dog do his bidness in the Christian's yard. All them parties is an affront to good, clean, Christian livin. Kinda like what them terrorists do. They all need to be punished and their actions set right. Who better to do it than a good Christian fella? Its his duty, sorta. Fer sure, his right. Them wayward folks is outa line and he, as a decent Christian is obliged ta set things right. War? Sometimes, might seem like alot, a Christian's gota do what he's gotta do, ta keep his house and his own World in order.

Crossfire 9 years ago

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before.

At the sign of triumph Satan's host doth flee; On then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!

Wars have always been justified in the name of some religion.

craigers 9 years ago

Yes, you can be a "Good" Christian and support a war. Seth has it right.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 9 years ago

True Christians follow the example set by Jesus and do not support war. Could you imagine Jesus picking up a rifle and shooting people? It's true that the bible says there will be wars, but it doesn't say that followers of Christ are supposed to participate in them.

frank mcguinness 9 years ago

Seth Toebben,*christian* bookstore manager, Lawrence

That makes a big difference

prioress 9 years ago

My god can beat up your god.......... The golden rule is universal, it's just hard to follow. god is cool and stands for love. Religion sucks and generally stands for money and power.

Linda Aikins 9 years ago

Super High Intelligence Team member 1 and 2, this is dispatch. Please turn off all fans immediately! I repeat - Please turn off all fans immediately!

rbowman819 9 years ago

I believe Jesus' message was one of love and compassion toward all people, and this was a radical confrontation to the worldview of that time. The Roman Empire that ruled during Jesus' time had the philosophy of peace through power. Suppress any uprising and force the people to live in peace. It seems to me that this is what is happening today in Iraq. We are trying to promote peace through military power. It is true that in the Old Testament there are several examples of God's people engaging in war, however, Jesus came with a message of peace through love.

Jesus message is no clearer than in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew chapters 5-7. He begins with the Beattitudes, saying, "...Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." and followed by saying "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." I find these passages, as well as the rest of these chapters, in direct confrontation with the idea of "going to war in God's name."

When asked what the greatest commandment was, Christ said to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Perhaps if we were to truly love our neighbors as ourselves, there would be no need for war.

Larry 9 years ago

Gee Jonas. How should we have handled WW II? Oh, I forgot. Hitler and concentration camps weren't real and the United States actually made it all up so that the corporate world could get wealthy. If we only had Rosie O'Donnell looking out for us back in the late 1930, early 40's. We could have saved all of those American lives.

blackwalnut 9 years ago

Would Jesus support war?

One cannot be a Christian and support war - worry.

I marvel at how bloodthirsty the Christian right has become. And how easily they justify bloodshed.

Jesus would weep.

Flap Doodle 9 years ago

Well, there was that whole Crusades thing a while back...

Crossfire 9 years ago

craig 'er "good" christain? "bad" christain? Huh?

coneflower 9 years ago

The evangelicals love their guns and bloodshed.

It's hard to recognize Jesus in today's Christianity - at least in the politically active Christians.

If Jesus had preached warfare, he would not have attracted crowds and inspired a whole new religion. His powerful message about peace. Jesus was a pacifist.

Today's Christianity may support warfare, but Jesus didn't. Resolve that!

Daniel Speicher 9 years ago

Well, after a long day of these posts... I figured I'd chime in. I want to say something to two of you.

1. Adam... Your last quote, "The bible is like a prisoner, if you beat it enough it'll say whatever you want it to." has to be one of the best quotes I've ever seen. Is it original to you? Or do you have a souce, because I will most likely use it again someday.

2. OZ... For being a non-"x-tian", you have a pretty firm grasp on what a Christian should be. Now, I'm sure you and I would disagree on a great deal of things. Some of those things are probably even pretty "black or white" theological conclusions. However, I like your quote from Ghandi and I love how you point to New Testament (literally "New Covenant") scripture. I'll tell you what... You may not regard yourself a Christian... But, I have a feeling you wouldn't dislike our "Christ" even if you dislike most of our Christians. He, as you, I'm sure know, was a peaceful, loving man. And, as you may or may not know, He was also Sovereign God who, because of His eternal kindness and eternal peace, chose to die and rise again... All for what? So that He could have a loving relationship with sinful and imperfect mankind. I always find that the most compelling and wonderful part of scripture... Not the calls to judgment.

However, the calls to judgment are there. The references to God-ordained wars are there. However, I believe that there is a more simple answer to these conundrums than most prefer to see. First of all, judgment is reserved FOR God... Not for us. We, as Christians, are called to hold our BROTHERS and SISTERS in CHRIST accountable... How can we possibly hold non-believers to the same standard? They have not agreed to live the life we have agreed to live. So, as Christians, we must focus our reprimands (in "truth in love" fashion) upon our fellow believers on the walk of faith... We must show non-believers Christ's unconditional love and remember it was His love that drew us to Him... Not his judgment.

((cont'd. below))

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

Easter is canceled this year.

They found the body.

No, really. In Jerusalem. An ossuary with Jesus Son of Joseph, Mary Magdelene, and Judah Son of Jesus.

Maybe the Mormons are correct. After the ascension, Jesus came back to the New World, talked with the Indians, and then took a boat back to jerusalem where he lived the rest of his life as a humble family man.

beatrice 9 years ago

Is this a two part question? Personally, I couldn't be a Christian, yet I could support war, such as the one in Afghanistan. I do not support all wars, such as the one in Iraq. Not all wars are the same, and comparing WWII to the war for oil in Iraq is just silly.

I hope you all have a joyful and good Friday.

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

Can you be a christian and support the war? Yes.

Can you follow the teachings of Jesus and support the war? No.

sourpuss 9 years ago

I have found that a man's religion does not dictate his actions as much as his character does. People always find ways to rationalize their decisions, but they would probably make the same choices regardless of their beliefs. We all believe that which is beneficial to us.

Daniel Speicher 9 years ago

((cont'd. from above))

And, as for the wars (and, by the by, the death penalty), it seems to me that these were part of the old covenant. And, although Christ did not come to erase one letter of the law, He did come to fulfill it. God stooped down to earth (in the flesh of Jesus of Nazareth) to deliver a clear message, "The old way was necessary... The new way, my way, is better and is now possible ONLY through me." Christ talked directly about turning the other cheek (Matt. 5:39), Christ talked about not talking bad about others (Matt. 5:22), He talked about loving your enemies (Matt. 5:43-48), Not being greedy (Matt. 6:19-24), Not reacting to situations in fear (Matt. 6:25-34) and not to judge others (Matt. 7:1-6) and that was ALL IN ONE SERMON! He goes on to tell us not to throw the switch unless we are sinless (John 8:1-11) and even when He was being arrested for crimes He did not commit, He told Peter that those who "draw the sword will die by the sword" when Peter struck the centurion arresting Jesus (Matt. 26:52). And, there are MANY more scriptures in this "New Covenant" to back up the ideology that Christ certainly did NOT condone unilateral, unprovoked, non-defensive wars. And, some (not necessarily myself) would argue that He would advise us against self-defensive wars as well.

Anyway, there is my two cents. (Wouldn't you hate to see what my dollar looks like?) HA! Have Happy Easter. And, thanks, OZ, for reminding us, as Christians, that we are the single greatest cause of athiesm in the world today.

--Danny Speicher

Kodiac 9 years ago

You guys are killing me....again

mick 9 years ago

Jesus said, "I did not come to bring peace to the world but a sword." What do you suppose He meant by that?

Flap Doodle 9 years ago

D_U gets the Golden Fruitcake with Cane Toad icing.

mick 9 years ago

Of course . It's thought provoking though.

Roadkill_Rob 9 years ago

Jesus was a cult leader. He died a long time ago and his teachings have been misinterpreted for 2,000 years now. On top of that, the bible in general is very primitive and does not answer even a small percentage of questions in this complicated world/universe.

Also, I do not apologize for this belief. It's time to look to the future and stop relying on an old, out-dated book as an answer to everything.

acg 9 years ago

prioress said it best. I'm going to ditto that. And say TOB's joke was awesome. :) Happy Good Friday!!!

Crossfire 9 years ago

What if Easter Sunday all the "Christian Soldiers" had to sit in church with the ghosts of the real soldiers of this latest war.

unite2revolt 9 years ago

UM, has everyone forgotten that Jesus was a revolutionary guerilla fighter that led a band of armed men through the wilderness striking at the occupying Roman empirial forces, while promising everlasting life after death to his followers and encouraging rebellion? That he was betrayed by one of his followers, who caused him to be arrested in exchange for a sum that today would likely be very similar to what we are offering for Osama Bin Laden? He was executed for crying outloud. Like father like son. Christians have been warring with anyone and everyone for as long as there have been Christians, even each other.

Staci Dark Simpson 9 years ago

So it was ok for Saddam to kill thousands of people? It was ok for Bin Laden and his cronies to kill thousands in our own country? Sometimes you have to fight for what you believe in. How soon we forget these SOB's (taliban) attacked us first. We would be the worlds doormat if we didn't do anything after 9/11. As for Iraq, Saddam was a threat. We had to see if there were WMD. I would rather attack and say "Nope he didn't have them" instead of be sitting in a mushroom cloud saying "OOps I guess he did have them". You guys don't realized that Islam is really a threat to us. Their goal is to bring down predominantly Christian nations, which would be us, to please Mohammed. I am sad that so many of our troops have been killed but they're not the 1st ones to die for what they believe in. War has always been mans way and I don't see it stopping any time soon.

Staci Dark Simpson 9 years ago

TOB-love your jokes! Made me laugh !! :)

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 9 years ago

"Jesus was a revolutionary guerilla fighter that led a band of armed men..."

Armed men? Ummmm...okaaaay. Let me guess; Peter carried a Glock 9, and Matthew packed a "Saturday night special", right?

yourworstnightmare 9 years ago

"You guys don't realized that Islam is really a threat to us."

Islam is a threat to western modern secular society. As is christianity. As is any fundamentalist religious belief.

Blind faith (in any religion or doctrine) is the enemy of modern society. When faith supplants empiricism (reality), reason, and compassion, we are all in trouble. Islam is plagued by blind faith, as is christianity.

War is a disgusting but necessary part of protecting society against blind faith.

Afghanistan and the taliban, great. We were attacked.

Iraq, no. It was a war of choice, a war based on false premises. If we attacked every country that posed a possible threat to our society, we would be at war with the world.

Discretion is the better part of valor.

Roadkill_Rob 9 years ago


War is "man's way" b/c of your beliefs. Islam is not a threat to us. I've known several muslims over the years and they are not a threat. Your generalizations are dangerous.

Fundamental religion is the real threat, no matter the religion. Yours in not better than theirs. When people realize this there will be no more war...I doubt it will ever happen though.

Roadkill_Rob 9 years ago


Ummmm...okay. "Armed men" doesn't mean modern day weapons. They had weapons back then but were primitive, just like Christianity.

mick 9 years ago

Empiricism is only one aspect of reality subject to the limits of our five senses and the preconceptions of our minds.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 9 years ago


Ummmm...okay. "Armed men" doesn't mean modern day weapons. They had weapons back then but were primitive, just like Christianity.

So Jesus was packing weapons? That's laughable.

unite2revolt 9 years ago

"Jesus was a revolutionary guerilla fighter that led a band of armed men..."

Armed men? Ummmm...okaaaay. Let me guess; Peter carried a Glock 9, and Matthew packed a "Saturday night special", right?

If he was here today I think it would be more like AK-47s and RPGs, back then it was swords and clubs mostly, the occaisonal spear or sling.

Please review:

Roadkill_Rob 9 years ago

"That's laughable."

So is Christianity.

Staci Dark Simpson 9 years ago

Roadkill- War is common all through the Bible. The old testament is chock full of war.

I am not saying we should persecute all Muslims. There are some in every group that give their group a bad name. Ex. Fred Phelps

ksmom 9 years ago

Well, according to the Houston Mayor, Ya can't be an Indian and get support from the Government! He's sick of the Indians! After all, "They were whipped in a war!"

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Racism: Houston Mayor Insults American Indians

Houston's Mayor Pro Tem Michael Berry insulted American Indian listeners during his talk show on slavery and Indians on KPRC Radio 950. The American Indian Genocide Museum in Houston urges others to respond.

Houston's Mayor Berry said:

"We need to stop wasting all this time and energy apologizing to the American Indian, which we continue to do ... We give them casinos, we give them special licenses, we give them special scholarships and why I don't understand .."

" We conquered them, that's history - Hello "

" You got to be against giving welfare to the American Indians because of the fact , that 200 years ago they were whipped in a war. Lets just call it what it is, they lost a war."

His website:

mick 9 years ago

Question. How did the tradition of Good Friday get started? If He was on the cross three days and three nights He would have been crucified on a Wednesday and risen on the Sabbath which was Saturday.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 9 years ago

A boy asks his father to use the car and the father replies "No, not until you cut your hair!".

The boy replies "But father...Jesus had long hair!"

To which his father says, "Yeah, but Jesus walked everywhere."

Roadkill_Rob 9 years ago

Then don't say that Islam is a threat to us.

Just b/c war is common through the bible doesn't mean that it's the law of the land and unavoidable.

Crossfire 9 years ago

Good Wednesday would just mess up the work week.

And good Saturday would not make a three day weekend.

Who would want a Good Thursday?


unite2revolt 9 years ago

Laughable? Sure why bother carrying a weapon when your dad is such a badass. I said he led a band of armed men. I didn't say anything about him carrying a sword personally. Jeeze, that kind of misinterpetation is what led to the delusional beliefs about a hippie guru Jesus in the first place.

No doubt you think for his second coming he is going to show up ushering in a new dawn of civilization where anger and violence don't exist and earth will become a tranquil paradise of cooperatives where lambs and lions rest side by side, while Jesus kneels and pets them lovingly.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 9 years ago

This elderly couple is watching one of those television preachers on TV one night. The preacher faces the camera, and announces, "My friends, I'd like to share my healing powers with everyone watching this program. Place one hand on top of your TV & the other hand on the part of your body which ails you and I will heal you."

The old woman has been having terrible stomach problems, so she places one hand on the television, and her other hand on her stomach. Meanwhile, her husband approaches the television, placing one hand on top of the TV and his other hand on his groin.

With a frown his wife says, "Ernest, he's talking about healing the sick, not raising the dead."

i_have_only_valid_opinions 9 years ago

A nun was walking in the convent when one of the priests noticed she was gaining a little weight. "Gaining a little weight are we sister Susan?" he asked.

"No, Father. Just a little gas," Sister Susan explained.

A month or so later the priest noticed that she had gained even more weight. "Gaining some weight are we Sister Susan?" he asked again.

"Oh no, Father. Just a little gas," she replied again.

A couple of months later the priest noticed Sister Susan pushing a baby carriage around the convent. He leaned over and looked in the carriage and said, "Cute little fart."

jonas 9 years ago

"Posted by Larry (anonymous) on April 6, 2007 at 8:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Gee Jonas. How should we have handled WW II? Oh, I forgot. Hitler and concentration camps weren't real and the United States actually made it all up so that the corporate world could get wealthy. If we only had Rosie O'Donnell looking out for us back in the late 1930, early 40's. We could have saved all of those American lives."

To quote a random Imperial Star-Destroyer Captain in Empire Strikes Back: "Good, our first catch of the day!"

Thanks for your reliability, Larry.

ms_canada 9 years ago

To mick - the Bible, as we Christians believe, is the Word of God. It is the whole Word of God. Mistakes are made by us when we take one part of it and that out of context. There are many more verses or passages that will tell you what Jesus meant by the sword. A good one is in Paul's letter to the Ephesians where He talks about putting on the whole armour of God. He had in mind the armour of a Roman soldier of His time. "....put on the full armour of God so that when the day of evil comes you will be able to stand your ground....." That full armour consisted of, the belt of TRUTH, the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS. shoes fitted with the GOSPEL OF PEACE, the SHIELD OF FAITH which can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the HELMET OF SALVATION and THE SWORD of the Spirit. These are what a Christian needs to fight the good fight against evil. Now don't for one minute think that I am stupid and believe that this armour would do you any good in Afganistan against the Taliban. Jesus said He did not come to bring peace. Why not? Because He knows the heart of man is filled with hatred. Jesus' one big message was love as someone has said in a post above. Love God and your neighbour. Until we do that, all humans, there will be war. So do we let the evil doers walk all over us? Should we just have let Hitler go on killing Jews, Poles, Czechs etc. ad nauseum? You answer that yourself.

Flap Doodle 9 years ago

The wagon of the wicked shall be fixed.

jonas 9 years ago

O-Bob: Michelle has a less than intelligent friend named, somewhat predictably, Buffy. One day, while Michelle is doing something of no great worth, Buffy calls her and tells her that she bought a puzzle of a rooster, but that she can't figure it out, since none of the pieces resemble the picture on the box. Michelle drops by, sees what Buffy is doing, and says: "C'mon, Buffy, put the cornflakes back in the box."

yellowhouse 9 years ago

Jesus was the ultimate warrior. He taught us to stand strong for what we believe in, and be willing to die for that belief.

Our mission as humans on earth is to be soldiers for God!

mick 9 years ago

I agree. But the Bible is not subject to interpretation, even a literal interpretation. Sometimes organized religion interprets the Bible for its members and the members become believers in their religion instead of the Bible. Sometimes these religions are way off the Truth. Just look at Good Friday for example.

ms_canada 9 years ago

Yellowhouse - you are absolutely right, we are to be soldiers of Christ clad in the full armour of God. See my post above.

ms_canada 9 years ago

mick - everything is subject to interpretation. If I say to you, "Please turn on the light" You have to interpret my words and determine which light I want you to turn on. A question, not sure what you mean by Good Friday a way off the Truth. Can you be more specific, please. I do agree with you that sometimes members become believers in the religion instead of the Bible. I could give examples of that.

krissypoetry 9 years ago

"But Jesus Christ, whose way of life I try to follow, refused to meet hate with hate and violence with violence. I pray for the strength to be like him. I cannot believe in a God who metes out hurt for hurt, pain for pain, torture for torture. Nor do I believe that God invests human representatives with such a power to torture and kill. THe paths of history are stained with the blood of those who have fallen victim to "God's Avengers." Kings and Popes and military generals and heads of state have killed, claiming God's authority and God's Blessing. I do not believe in such a God." --Sister Helen Prejean well said, and I couldn't agree more

Roadkill_Rob 9 years ago

"Our mission as humans on earth is to be soldiers for God!"

So, if we all become soldiers, who do we fight then?

That statement is so last century.

mick 9 years ago

Good Friday- Jesus was on the cross three days and three nights. He arose on the sabbath which was a Saturday. That means He was crucified on Wednesday.

Janet Lowther 9 years ago

Just barely.

Self defense is an individual natural right.

Therefore wars which are a form of collective self defense can be justified.

BUT those wars must be strictly limited:

  1. To those who attacked, and

  2. Ended once the enemy has agreed to end the war or is no longer capable of pursuing one and

  3. The enemy must be identified and specifically targeted.

By these standards, the initial war in Afghanistan was just barely justified. The ongoing occupation there is more questionable.

It has always been absolutely clear to me that there is no just cause for the current war in Iraq.

I have been mystified as to how the relatively bright people in the Congress were taken in by the completely and obviously bogus "intelligence" the Bushiveks used to justify their actions.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 9 years ago

Two nuns cycling down a cobbled street. The first one says, "I've never come this way before".

The second one replies, "Must be the cobbles".

i_have_only_valid_opinions 9 years ago

A middle aged woman has a heart attack and is taken to the hospital. While on the operating table she has a near-death experience. During that experience she sees God and asks if this is it. God says no and explains that she has another 30-40 years to live.

Upon her recovery she decides to just stay in the hospital and have a face lift, liposuction, breast augmentation, and a tummy tuck. She even has someone come in and change her hair colour. She figures that since she's got another 30 or 40 years she might as well make the most of it.

She walks out the hospital after the last operation and is killed by an ambulance speeding up to the hospital.

She arrives in front of God again and asks, "I thought you said I had another 30-40 years?"

God replies, "Sorry, I didn't recognize you."

Crossfire 9 years ago

Was there ever a war over cheeses?

beatrice 9 years ago

Easter morning, two blondes walk into a church. You would think one of them would have seen it.

Linda Endicott 9 years ago

Jesus said, "I did not come to bring peace to the world, but a sword".

Mick, Jesus knew that his coming would divide people. He knew that some would believe he was the son of God, and some would not. He was teaching peace, and changing the religious laws of the time, which many people resented.

So he was telling people that, though he taught them that peace was the best way, he knew that people would continue to fight and argue over the message that he brought, and even who he actually was.

And so they have.

Can you be a Christian and support war? IMHO, no. If you follow the word of God, no. If you follow the word of the church, I suppose you can find a reason to justify anything.

"There will be wars and rumors of wars." This wasn't a statement saying that war was okay. Just that, given the temperament and characteristics of mankind, they were pretty much inevitable.

ms_canada 9 years ago

Don't you think you are capable of figuring out the answers yourself? You seem to be able to quote a lot of scripture. Why don't you just try to find the ones that answer your questions yourself. They are there.

mick 9 years ago

OZ- your first post was a classic straw man argument, your second post may apply to Orthodox Judaism, but Christianity?

paladin 9 years ago

Guess ya'll got it all figured out round about now, so the lesson for today is, if I'm takin this right, love yer neighbor, ifin it suits ya, and nuke yer enemy, ifin he don't.

Mackadoo 9 years ago

Now, that's not true R_T. We can still persecute white males and not have to be politically correct either.

Maybe there wouldn't be such animosity towards the whites and Christians if they hadn't already oppressed everyone else in this country for so many years.

beatrice 9 years ago

Oh, that Ghandi -- what a card!

J Good Good 9 years ago

"Christians become more special every day. They are THE only group of people of which it is still acceptable to treat with prejudice and not be politically correct while speaking about them and get away with no repercussion."

This is utter b**l. Try being a member of a minority religion for a while. Christians are the majority in this country and whine like they are oppressed.

prpltoes 9 years ago

religious war: children fighting over who has the best invisible friend

Linda Aikins 9 years ago

Bea is in the house! Loved the blonde joke!

friday friDAY FRIDAY!!!! friday friDAY FRIDAY!!! ;0 :)

Kat Christian 9 years ago

Yes, the Bible does says there will be wars, but these wars are a produce of man not of God. Wars are created by the ignorance and the giving in to evil by man. God does not promote war nor has HE ever recommended it (at least not to my knowledge and insight of spirituality). War is created by the minds of evil and self-righteous men. So your answer would be as a Christian NO I would not support war because I follow the beliefs of God who not support war. I lean more towards spirituality not towards man. Men cannot lead us except into chao, but God will lead us into triumph to peace and serenity.

Tom McCune 9 years ago

The jokes are great, but the classical argument about this question is the "greater evil theory." The notion is that although war is evil, it is OK for Christians to engage in war to vanquish an even greater evil. Thomas Aquinas probably argued that point better than anyone else.

This was basically the Bush administration's justification for invading Iraq. (Saddam is a bad man and is killing lots of people. We will lose some and kill some in the war, but we will prevent him from doing worse.) Too bad they mis-judged the whole situation.

Sigmund 9 years ago

I think you can be a good Christian and either oppose or support the Iraq war. In fact, I think you could have opposed the war early on and support it now or vice versa.

Staci Dark Simpson 9 years ago

OK let me clarify. Not all muslims are bad, just the fundamentalist terroristic ones. I was wrong making a sweeping generalization as that but this is what scares me, words from the Quran. It teaches that no matter how mighty a country is it must be fought until it embraces Islam. Ex: as in the Quran Fight and slay the pagans (Christians and Jews) wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every strategem of war. Surah 9:5 That is what I have a problem with since we are a predominantly Christian nation. As for the question I still believe it is ok for Christians to support the war. Though I don't think our real threat is Iraq anymore, it is Iran who is far scarier.

Staci Dark Simpson 9 years ago

Sigmund I totally agree with you.

I really don't like war myself, but some reasons are worth fighting for. I guess it really didn't matter to the US if Saddam wanted to kill lots of people, after all they weren't Americans. Maybe it would be ok for these countries to fight each other and kill each other off then we wouldn't have to get involved. Too bad we never hear the good stuff happening in Iraq, medical clinics running, protecting the common Iraqis from insurgents, schools for the children. I only heard this info from a family member returning from Iraq, cause we all know the news would never share any good news about Iraq.

Kodiac 9 years ago

Twelve priests were about to be ordained. The final test was for them to line up in a straight row, totally naked, while a beautiful, big-breasted nude model danced before them.

Each priest had a small bell attached to his penis. They were told that anyone whose bell rang when the nude model danced in front of them would not be ordained, because he had not reached a state of spiritual purity.

The beautiful model danced before the first candidate, with no reaction. She proceeded down the line with the same response from all the priests until she got to the final priest.

As she danced, his bell began to ring so loudly that it flew off and fell clattering to the ground. Embarrassed, he took a few steps forward and bent over to pick up the bell...

Then all the other bells started to ring.

lori 9 years ago

Who else here thinks that synthetic chemistry=meth lab?

Crossfire 9 years ago

The dyslexic stuttering atheist was ordered to leave the foxhole. "...because there are no atheist allowed..." He yelled back, "I will not fight in your M-m-m-maD doG War No Mo."

Lifelong_Lawrencian 9 years ago

The new minister's wife had a baby.

The minister appealed to the congregation for a salary increase to cover the addition to the family.

The congregation agreed that it was only fair, and approved it.

When the next child arrived, the minister appealed again and the congregation approved again.

Several years and five children later, the congregation was a bit upset over the increasing expense. This turned into a rather loud meeting one night with the minister.

Finally, the minister stood and shouted out, "Having children is an Act of God!"

An older man in the back stood and shouted back, "Rain and snow are Acts of God, too, and we wear rubbers for them!"

Staci Dark Simpson 9 years ago

Okay scene here is the good stuff for you, by the way I called my brother and nephew to verify this info, both just came back from Iraq in last 6 months.

-2500 schools up and running.

-85% of children vaccinated.

-women allowed to vote in elections

-rebuilding of buildings, bridges, new roads

-increased security for Iraqi civilians against insurgents

-improved water supply and access to it

But I guess that is all bad stuff right?

purplesage 9 years ago

How did this ever become a referendum for semi-offensive religious joke telling? It is a serious question which will undoubtedly bring out the spectrum of theological interpretation.

God is not "schizophrenic", having one personality in the Old Testament and a completely different one in the New Testament, there is the difficulty of His not only tolerating, but actually commanding the Hebrews to go into battle. Consider Jericho and the ensuing conquest of Canaan which not only fulfills the promise to Abraham to give to hisw descendants that particular real estate but also the end of His patience with the Canaanites and their unthinkable, pagan religious practices.

Jesus allowed a sword to be taken to the Garden of Gethsemane and Peter's use of the same provided the last miraculous healing recorded in Scripture. Pilate questioned whether Jesus is a king? He answered that indeed He is a King - but that His kingdom is not of this world. Evidence: If it were, His followers would, at that moment be fighting.

He went on to die, but arose victorious. The conquest of death is itself the greatest of battles.

Augustine developed the "just war" criteria still used today. He understood, as have many Christian thinkers, that war is a tragic part of this world's fabric. Even Jesus' eschatatological discourse references "wars and rumors of wars" as an evidence of the approach of the end of time. Armageddon is history yet to be recorded. It is a huge, horrendous battle in time-space and physical terms which ends the world as we know it.

I believe that God's heart breaks at the cruelty and oppression that humans practice. It is entirely consistent that His people take up the cause of those who live under tyranny and oppression. (Wilberforce and the slave trade, the Holocaust, etc., e.g.)

Jesus taught His followers that peace is a blessed objective and that we should, "insofar as it depends on us, live at peace with all men." A Christian without conviction about right and wrong has, however, missed a significant aspect of Jesus' teaching.

Theodicy responds to the question that gets raised over and over, as if God is responsible for the horrible things in this world. More appropriately, the activity of the devil and the consequence of human sin should be questioned.

Would God require that His Chosen People be obliterated from this Earth and Israel forced into oblivion as her neighbors desire? A Christian is a reluctant warrior in terms of the things of this world and commanded to put on the whole armor of God as it pertains to things spiritual.

roger_o_thornhill 9 years ago

Odd, two responders to OTS look drunk and one looks crazy. They all answered yes, incidentally.

ms_canada 9 years ago

Belief in God and Jesus and belief in the Bible as His Word is a huge topic, but you PURPLESAGE have spoken succinctly and very well. I thank you.

Flap Doodle 9 years ago

Imagine the jolly fun if this were a newspaper in Iran and people were telling Mohammed jokes.

Redzilla 9 years ago

I'm turning the other cheek on this OTS question.

roger_o_thornhill 9 years ago

"Yes, because in most cases war is necessary. It's highly regrettable to say that, but it's true."

Oh, Bassam, You must be drunk. You look too old to be that dumb. In most cases, war is the result of overgrown children not being able to play with others in the sandbox we call 'Earth'. You get into a disagreement. You can't express your position properly. You don't listen to others' positions. Then you hit. Or, you are playing. Someone walks by with something else you want to play with. You hit them and take that thing too. That is war. It is not generally necessary. You can't be a good person of any faith and support the wholesale slaughter of others. Well, maybe if you worship Satan. But then again, Satanism is just another branch of Christianity like Baptists or Catholics. Just the opposite, sort of.

kcwarpony 9 years ago

This is God Phil Vassar

Hey, this is God could I please have your attention there's a need for intervention Man, I'm disappointed in what I'm seeing

Yeah, this is God you fight each other in my name treat life like its a foolish game well I say you've got the wrong idea

Oh, all I'm asking for is love I've seen you hurt yourselves enough oh, I've been waiting on a change in you

yeah this is God I've given everything to you but look at what you do to the world that I created

this is God what's with this attitude and hate? you grow more ignorant with age you had it made... now look at all you've wasted

oh, all I'm asking for is love I've seen you hurt yourselves enough Oh, I've been waiting on a change in you

I know your every thought, your heart and soul, and every move there are so many consequences to the things you do

oh, all I'm asking for is love haven't you hurt yourselves enough? oh, I've been waiting on a change in you ...A change in you

...this is God.

Alia Ahmed 9 years ago

Iraqi women have had the right to vote for a long time, no thanks to their country being invaded twice in 15 years. Iraqi women are much worse off than before. Now, the two countries the US supported in the original Persian Gulf conflict (Kuwait and Saudi Arabia) deny women the right to vote and drive. Iraqi women are much worse off now because the infrastructure of the country has been seriously damaged and many of males in their country have died. Good work, indeed!

Alia Ahmed 9 years ago

spacystaci8- Here's a link to an article about what has really been the effect of the US invasion for Iraqi women.

SloMo 9 years ago

Then why are there still fascist and communist governments, and why is there still slavery, and why are there still nazi parties?

Ceallach 9 years ago

161 Posts!! Coming in late today was a mistake . . can't begin to read all of the posts. Probably just as well. Seems non Christians are sure they know more about Christianity and the Christ than actual Christians. As a bonus, they know what "real" Christians are and are not and what we should and should not be/do. Amazing.

"Real" Christians are only one thing, sinners pardoned by the mercy and grace (unmerited favor) of God. Because of that "real" Christians are capable of making the same mistakes and bad judgments as anyone else. Personally, I do not believe I am better than my fellow human beings, I do believe that Jehovah is God and Jesus is the resurrected Christ.

How ironic that Christians, Christianity and the Christ have taken such a beating here today on Good Friday.

To my Brothers and Sisters I wish you a glorious Resurrection Day. To all I wish a Happy Easter.

SloMo 9 years ago

Posted by spacystaci8 (anonymous) on April 6, 2007 at 2:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Okay scene here is the good stuff for you, by the way I called my brother and nephew to verify this info, both just came back from Iraq in last 6 months.

-2500 schools up and running.

-85% of children vaccinated.

-women allowed to vote in elections

-rebuilding of buildings, bridges, new roads

-increased security for Iraqi civilians against insurgents

-improved water supply and access to it

But I guess that is all bad stuff right?


How many schools were there before the occupation? How many children were vaccinated before? How many women participated in elections before and after? Rebuilding bridges, buildings and roads - that we destroyed during the invasion. Increased security against insurgents who weren't there before the occupation Improved water supply and access that wasn't a problem before the invasion.

I'm sorry, I'm not quite convinced.

Ceallach 9 years ago

Thank you, RI. I'm slowly returning to the real world :) My best wishes to you and yours.

Staci Dark Simpson 9 years ago

Nice post Ceall! Being a Christian on a Lawrence based forum is like trying to find fly poop in a pepper shaker, impossible.

Slo Mo-just going off what my bro told me. He said it was getting better over there.

But I say they are not a threat to us anymore, we got the bad guy.

Scene-as for Darfur they are not a threat to us, they don't have WMD or oil. Only harming themselves. No I don't think my family dying would be worth it now. Like I said we got the bad guy and most of his cronies. Let them kill each other off.

Staci Dark Simpson 9 years ago

Praise your cheese OZ. I'll take God instead. Have you ever picked up a bible and actually read in it? Lots of war going on in there, especially Old Testament. Never mind I saw your earlier post where you pick and choose what scripture you want to back yourself up. Lots of things were creepy about the Old Testament, but Jesus changed these things when he died on the cross.

No that wasn't a very CHristian thing to say, but they have no regard for human life over there so it wouldn't be a big shocker.

paladin 9 years ago

My momma always used to tell me."Son, Christian is as Christian does." I think it'd be hard ta agrue with that.

Ceallach 9 years ago

Thanks, TOB, same to ya!

snappy_pop, that was truly a cuteness break, thanks. Hope you have a great weekend.

r_t, I'm looking forward to the O'Reilly/Rosie interview ;)

Katara 9 years ago

Posted by right_thinker (anonymous) on April 6, 2007 at 7:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hi OZ, Holygraileale, MKH, Katara et al.....happy to establish a dialogue with your paranoid schizoprhenic mind. Happy Easter---peace out brother.

Don't bring my name into your paranoid fantasy world, r_t. I'm not any of those people and I'm not a guy.


"I wanna have my face on a Rice Krispies box. Snap, Krackle, Mitch, and Pop. Hey, how the f*** did he do that? Well, in Hollywood, it's all about who you know. And I know Krackle."

RIP Mitch

Fear the cuteness!

Ragingbear 9 years ago

Of course you can. Christians live for war. The Crusades are a perfect example. As well as virtually every other war. Just look at the Church of George Bush that is going on.

bytheway 9 years ago

According the Old Testament, yes. According to the New Testament and Jesus' teachings, no. Another bible contradiction.

ryanjasondesch 9 years ago

I worship a rabit in the secret Hare Club for Men society. I eat steak nude. I watch television backwards. I do everything I can when not doing anything.

ms_canada 9 years ago


Staci Dark Simpson 9 years ago

I don't hate anybody. Not even you OZ and atheist. So quit putting words in my mouth. I actually pray for my enemies as we are told to do. Whatever happens is Gods will, he had this planned out before we even existed. You guys think you are right, I think the bible is right, thats where we disagree. But I do think it is ok for Christians to support the war. I agree we don't have the best plans for Iraq now, but we did catch most of the bad guys. Anyway Happy Easter and remember what this holiday is really about.

Adam 9 years ago

The bible is like a prisoner, if you beat it enough it'll say whatever you want it to.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 9 years ago

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i_have_only_valid_opinions 9 years ago

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i_have_only_valid_opinions 9 years ago

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i_have_only_valid_opinions 9 years ago

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Kodiac 9 years ago

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denak 9 years ago

I'm almost reluctant to jump into this conversation given all the Christian bashing.

However, I would like to point out that there is the concept of "just war." I know this is a central theme from Roman Catholicism. Not sure for other Christian religions though.

Basically, what it states is that war, although always regrettable, is sometimes neccessary to fight a war in order to prevent an even greater evil.

However, one can not start a war and then try to justify it by saying it is a "just war."

A just war is one that is always fought in self-defense,to reestablish peace, with right intentions, by a legitimate authority, with a reasonable chance of success and with a clear emphasis on protecting the lives of non-combantants.

In short, "The use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated."

Iraq is not considered a "just war" in the eyes of the Vatican.

However, if you fight in a war, the Vatican recognizes that most people do not have a choice as to whether or not to fight and therefore, does not consider it a sin for a serviceperson to fight in a war.

So as far as the question, yes, at least theologically, one can be a Christian and support a war if it is a just war. One can even fight in a war (just or unjust) and still be a good Christian. (or at least a good Catholic)


Mkh 9 years ago

I love it when the War loving Jesus Freaks backpeddle to arbitrary "Scripture" when faced with their glaring hypocracies.

Tom McCune 9 years ago

Here's an alternative theory of the Easter story. I'm not saying it is true; just something to think about.

Jesus was what we would today call a "street preacher." Many of the street preachers at that time used sleight-of-hand magic tricks and other forms of entertainment to help draw a crowd. (The fakirs of India do the same thing today.)

One night Jesus and his followers were sitting around the camp fire and someone says "The act is really getting stale. All the other street preachers do the 'water-to-wine' and the 'loaves-and-fishes.' And at the last faith healing someone in the crowd recognized one of our shills. We need something new to really WOW them." So they have a brainstorming session.

One of the troupe maybe Judas finally says "Well. You know. Pilate has sure been crucifying a lot of guys lately. Everybody down at the market has been talking about that. If they saw a man crucified and die but then come back to life, NOW THAT would be something none of the street preachers could top." All agree and they set about figuring out how to stage a fake crucifixion. (Note: faking crucifixions is common in the Philippines today. One Pilipino guy has been crucified 20 times,)

After they work out the technical details, someone pipes up and says "OK, but the Roman guards need to do the actual work or no one will believe it." to which someone else replies "No problem. I know Germanicus down at the checkpoint. I can talk to him. Those guys will do anything for enough shekels." So off they go to bribe Germanicus and his boys.

Germanicus basically says "OK. Pay in advance and we'll go along with the gag. However, you need to get Pilate to actually order it. We can't just go around crucifying guys willy-nilly without orders. If the centurion found about something like that we would all be on KP for a month!"

So they also bribe Caiaphas's guards to make the bust and turn Jesus over to the Romans. When Pilate holds court, they have the same shills from the faith-healing act show up and cry out "He's fomenting rebellion among the Jews against Rome! Crucify him!" The gospel accounts vary somewhat, but the guards get their orders from Pilate and all proceed with the simulated crucifixion. (The guards didn't break his legs as was usually done to hasten death since they were bribed not to.)

(more later....)

Tom McCune 9 years ago


Everything is going OK until something goes wrong with one of the guards. Either he didn't get the word, or he didn't stay bought, or whatever. This is the guard that stabs Jesus in the side with the spear, something that was not part of the plan. Now they have a serious problem. Jesus is seriously wounded and likely to die from the stab wound.

Joseph of Arimathea hustles back to Pilate and says "OK. He's dead. The Sun is going down. The Sabbath is coming. Give me the body" to which Pilate says "Fine. Go ahead. I never really wanted to crucify that guy anyway."

They take him to the tomb where they find he is still alive although unconscious and near death. They manage to patch him up, keep him alive, and smuggle him out of town in the middle of the night to a house in a nearby village.

When the women later arrive at the tomb to prepare the body, they are met by a man (or two men, or an angel, or two angels depending on the account) who says "he is risen." The original version of Mark in the oldest Bibles ends at that point. They never see him again (according to original Mark). However, even according to the common modern versions of Mark, Matthew, and Luke they only see him very briefly before he is gone.

Does that make any sense? Whether the resurrection was real or part of a publicity stunt gone wrong, everybody from he whole region would want to see the man who died and was resurrected. He would draw enormous crowds to hear his message, whether it was real or allegorical. But there are no crowds, no hoopla (at least in Matthew, "augmented" Mark, or Luke.) This alternate theory says that his followers managed to keep him alive after the crucifixion but that he was very weak and he died after only a few days.

Does this affect the message about how to live your life and participate in war or not? No, in my opinion. It is merely one more challenge to the "factually inerrant" view of the Bible.

Daniel Speicher 9 years ago

Newell, interesting stuff there. I have never heard a Jesus "conspiracy theory" quite that involved. But, it was entertaining to say the least. I won't really go into just how many people would have had to have been "bought off" to cause the mob who called for Christ's head in Pilate's court... Nor just how many Roman officials, members of the Jewish Sanheidren and other random participants would have had to have the pay off. But, we'll just say the disciples would have had to have a pretty good stash.

However, your comment all boils down to your contention that there is no historical record of Jesus appearing to anyone after His death in three of the four Gospels. To that I would answer in the following way:

First off, Luke does have an account (24:36-49) of Him appearing to all of His remaining disciples (Judas excluded, of course.) I do see, however, how one might argue that conspiracy would be easy in that scenario as they were all disciples of their "fallen" Rabbi. However, Christ's appearing to others was also recorded in a couple of Jewish historical books and at least one Roman historical text, I believe. I will have to find those sources, but I know one of the Jewish sources was Josephus' history of that era. Look up his works and you will find that he collaborates Christ's appearance after His death (and apparent resurrection.)

Good post, though. Very entertaining. I especially liked your account of Pilate's response to the disciples wanting the body, "I never really wanted to crucify that guy anyway." Very, very true. :)

--Danny Speicher

Tom McCune 9 years ago

Thanks Danny, but I didn't exactly say that no one saw him. His disciples saw him once or twice according to Matthew and Luke. According to the original Mark no one saw him, but according to the augmented Mark, his disciples saw him once or twice.

John implies that he preached, healed, and performed miracles too numerous to describe during the approx. 6 weeks before he ascended to Heaven. Later books such as Acts say similar things.

Part of the dilemma is the timing of those books. Many serious scholars think Mark is the oldest and most original account, followed by Matthew. John may have been written much later after the story became embellished somewhat.

Bart Ehrman's "Misquoting Jesus" is one good recent overview.

I certainly don't know what actually happened. I certainly think the teachings about how to live your life and how to deal with other people are far more important than the precise historical details.

Crispian Paul 9 years ago

Despite the good things that have come out of our current conflict, dead soldiers are still brought back at night....Is that not good enough to show the American people?

Tom McCune 9 years ago

I think you can be A Christian and support A war, if you buy the "greater evil" theory. Studs Terkel wrote a book titled "The Good War" about WWII. My parents who lived through WWII were appalled when they heard that title. But Terkel's real point was that if there was ever a just war it was WWII. In that case the bad guys were really bad (not just different from us) and there was no alternative to war.

The problem with the current situation is that the Shrubbery allowed their extreme version of Christianity to blind them to the extremely high probable costs, extreme long probable time frame, and the extremely low probabilities of success.

SH was a very bad dude, and if it had been possible to replace him with a modern democracy in a week at a cost of one broken arm and $1 million, it would have been justifiable even if some trumped-up evidence was used in the process. If, on the other hand, if it takes 50 years, hundreds of thousands of lives, and many trillions of dollars is it still justified even if based on valid evidence? I don't think so.

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