Wednesday, April 27, 2005

In My Defense

Let's talk religion. I can hear the moans and groans now, but let's face it, I have been good not getting too crazy for a while now. It's just that this morning while I was ensconced in my think-tank, also known as my shower, I came to a realization about the correlation between religious beliefs and national defense.

In a perfect world I'd love to see everyone in a religion that believes in peace with others. Unfortunately, the concept of peace and harmony doesn't work when you have part of humanity that believes in domination, violence and control. The meek will not inherit the Earth, they will be taken over and slaughtered if they roll over and expose their tender bellies instead of defending themselves.

Although I tend lean toward accepting religions such as Buddhism or Wiccan, where they exercise the practice of basically just being peaceful and harming nobody, this is unfortunately not a practical position to take when it comes to self-preservation of a nation.

The world is a nasty place. Each country has their own idea on how its population should be governed. This gives rise to friction between the various countries and therefore we have conflict and violence. As long as countries exist that feel they must conquer others no matter the cost, then a strong defensive position must be maintained.

In this light, there is a welcome place in our country for the Christian soldier mentality. Do I agree with organized religion? Not really, but it is the moral banner that is our current strength in the United States and as such I support the cause. I'm not sure that a Buddhist soldier or a Wiccan soldier will reflect a strong enough position to defend this country.

My wish would be that in the future all countries will eventually get along and there will no longer be a need for a strong Christian presence. Of course, this is just a fantasy I have where the entire planet will get along as one big happy family of humanity. A reality check will demonstrate that this will not be possible in my lifetime anyway.

The problem with this type of scenario is that some slim-ball would see the serene communities as weak and ripe for control. As long as there are people, there will be the need for strength as well as spirituality. The trick will be to have the strong spiritual groups come to an agreement amongst themselves so that they can live together on this planet peacefully.

It's easy for a pacifist to say that we should not be fighting in Iraq, or that we should not go into other countries and fight at all. Heck, a true pacifist theoretically will just stand there and take it if you punch them in the face. They won't lift a finger to defend themselves at all. This philosophy would never sustain a country in the “real world”.

There is volumes of evidence that if your plan in life is to be non-confrontational you will eventually be dominated by someone. Sure you can be a pacifist in a country such as the United States, but then you are being protected by the very thing you are speaking out against. Realistically, your pacifist ways are not defending you, the country you are in is performing that role for you.

There is nothing wrong with this type of arrangement, as long as you don't start slamming the country that is your protection. To sit within the womb of the country that is defending your non-aggressive lifestyle and begin ridiculing them for their military strength is counter-productive.

I am not a fan of warfare & violence, but I served over 20 years in the Air Force because I also realize that we must defend our country and the freedom that our citizens enjoy in the safety of our umbrella. Sometimes this defense means that we must be proactive and take the fight to the enemy, rather then to fight them on our own land. This is a common strategy employed by armies throughout history. Never allow the enemy to make it into your territory if you can help it.

Some folks watch television and are understandably upset by what it means to defend our freedom. If we had instant visuals when we were landing on the beach at Normandy what would people have done if they literally watched thousands of men die before even making it onto the beach? Thus the term, war is hell.

Nobody wants to die, or wants anyone else to die for that matter, but the sad fact is that the defense of our freedom comes at a price. In May there are two days to honor our military here in the United States. Armed Forces Day on the 21st, and Memorial Day on the 30th. Why not do something this year that shows the military community how much we appreciate their sacrifice and commitment to keep us safe?

3 comments:

  1. I'm not sure that a Buddhist soldier or a Wiccan soldier will reflect a strong enough position to defend this country.

    I totally disagree with you. A warrior spirit is not only a Christian virtue. Buddhists have been known to get down and dirty when they have to. Look at the Samurai. The practiced Zen Buddhism. A strong belief in the non-existance of reality arms one better to deal with the horrors and pain of war, IMHO.

    I think that the diffrence between Buddhism and Christianity is that the Christians belive that they will just be forgiven for their sins, while Buddhists feel that they are ultimately resoponsable for their actions. For a Buddhist to take a life is a great sacrifice. Greater because their belief that they will be paying the price for this action no matter what.

    I recall an old Samurai saying "A Samurai's punshment for living the life of a Samurai is to be reborn as a Samurai." (paraphrased).

    I belive that we should be defensive. We should treat each nation with equality and respect, but if they mess with us, we should blow them back into the stone ages.

    :)

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  2. Hey Duk, you disagreed with me by stating a Buddhist was different then a Christian. Wasn't that sort of my point?

    As far as their fighting spirit goes, who's world have the Buddhist's rocked lately?

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  3. ...The thieves arrived last month just after midnight at the unprepossessing temple off the tourist path in this ancient capital, seeking to spirit away 650-year-old Buddha images that have helped define Thai art and culture.

    What the intruders encountered was a pipe-swinging monk who managed to drive them off, but not before suffering a beating in one of the more shocking encounters in the battle to save Thailand's disappearing heritage.


    This is from an article posted on May 13th.

    It's there. ;)

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