Being Stuck on the "Wrong" Side of a Conflict
In the previous chapter we looked at how we should avoid taking sides in a conflict. Unfortunately, there are some situations (usually in our employment), where we don’t have a choice as to the "side" we are on. There are certain occupations that automatically put people on a certain side of an issue.
A few years ago, a high-ranking U.S. Marshal wanted me to become a U.S. Marshal. There were many reasons why I didn’t become one, but the main reason was the use of U.S. Marshals to keep the doors open at abortion clinics. Clearing a pathway to help people kill their babies would be repugnant enough in itself, but I would have had great difficulty enforcing some of the new laws designed to silence Pro-Life demonstrators.
Although the U.S. Marshals usually conduct themselves professionally, many local police agencies deliberately try to hurt passive demonstrators at abortion clinics. Many of these passive demonstrators have had their arms broken by police using intimidation tactics. I would have great difficulty observing this without intervening. I don’t think I would have able to keep my job with the U.S. Marshals for very long if I arrested some of these abusive policemen.
The military is another occupation where the "side" is already determined for you. Just like there were many Christians in the U.S. military before WWII, there were many Christians in the German military. After Hitler came to power and declared war against its neighboring countries (and eventually the U.S.), these German Christians were on the "wrong side." (I didn’t say "wrong side" because they declared war against America, but because of the atrocities Germany was committing.) During the course of the war, many of these German soldiers realized what was going on and wanted out. Unfortunately, there was no escape for them.
I believe God was not nearly as concerned about them being in the German Army as He was with how they acted in the German Army. These soldiers had to make some tough decisions. They had to decide which orders they could follow and which ones they couldn’t. Although some soldiers suffered greatly for opposing heinous orders, most were intimidated into following them. They allowed themselves to be forced into doing some terrible things to innocent victims. I believe God’s evaluation of their life will be based more on their actions than on the "side" they were on.
Focus on the Family has a dramatized audio book about a man (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) who faced this decision in Nazi German. The audio book, Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Freedom, is a powerful and exciting true story. There is much we can learn from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life. At the end of the chapter there is some information about how to get these books and tapes on Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
The reason I bring this up is because I believe the Christian soldiers in the American military may have to make some tough decisions in a few years. As our country’s leadership becomes more morally decayed, they may involve our military in some unethical activities.
As I mentioned in other chapters, I am not an anti-war protestor. I believe in the need for a strong military. I believe in the unfortunate necessity of helping protect the unprotected around the world. I believe military intervention is necessary when there is clear evidence of wholesale torture and murder. I believe there is a need to stop people (like Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and Osama bin laden) from bringing massive terror to the world. I don’t believe, however, we should go to war simply for the purpose of taking land from some other country or because someone insults us.
I am concerned about the moral conscience of some of our leadership and the direction they are taking our country. A few years ago I didn’t think we would ever be in our current position. We now live in a country that thinks murdering unborn children is simply an issue of "choice." We now live in a country that believes it is okay to kill a baby while it is actually being born; as long as its head has not come out (partial birth abortion).
Our country has become so warped in its thinking that those who voice their objections to these murders are called "intolerant bigots." We have civil liberty groups who vehemently oppose any type of restriction of free speech, regardless of how vulgar or offensive it may be. Yet, these same groups have lobbied hard to get laws passed that severely limit free speech of Pro-Life demonstrators. If murdering the most innocent and vulnerable citizens of our country can be simply passed off as a choice of convenience, how far away do you really think we are from making choices of convenience with the elderly and infirmed?
We assume our Constitution would never allow this to happen. Remember, it was our free and enlightened country that said it was "legal" and "constitutional" to enslave, torture, and murder people (black slaves). They rationalized this contradiction by saying slaves were only property; not humans with rights. In fact, America (which prided itself for it’s revolutionary idea of liberty and justice for all) clung onto slavery long after Europe abolished it. America’s founding and governing principles were completely and blatantly ignored.
Not only did America enslave people, it actually passed laws to severely limit voices of opposition. For example, the state of Georgia passed a law (July 1831) calling for the death penalty of anyone publishing material that could incite slave insurrection. The Federal government made it illegal to mail abolitionist (anti-slavery) material through the U.S. mail. From 1846 to 1849, the House of Representatives had procedural rules that prohibited the House from discussing issues involving abolition. It also prohibited the public from petitioning the government for changes on this issue.
Nazi Germany is another example of how quickly a government can turn sour. Germany had a Constitution that guaranteed its citizens certain rights and liberties. However, it didn’t take long before these rights were completely ignored.
Many people are unaware that before Germany went to war (and several years before Germany began systematically killing the Jews (June 1941), Hitler killed the handicapped and mentally ill (Operation T4). The T4 program was a choice of convenience for Germany to limit its financial liability during a time of hyperinflation.
Their economy was in shambles because of the staggering costs of WWI (about $100 billion). Besides paying off their war debts, Germany had to pay about $30 billion in war reparations (a penalty for "starting" WWI). Hitler felt it was necessary to eliminate what he called the "useless eaters." Over 75,000 "useless eaters" were killed through the T4 program so the rest of Germany could have a better future.
I believe if Hitler encountered substantial nationwide opposition to his T4 program, he probably would not have implemented his "Final Solution" (the extermination of the Jews). I believe if Hitler saw the German people would not tolerate murdering innocent people (regardless of the "benefits"), Germany could have been spared the stigma of the Holocaust that haunts them to this day.
Many Germans had said, "I personally think it's wrong to kill the handicapped, but it is legal. If something is the law, you should accept it and not make a big fuss about it." Unfortunately, I have heard the same thing from Americans concerning abortion. "I personally believe abortion is wrong, but it has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Those Pro-Life protesters should really keep their opinions to themselves."
I have a friend (who is black) who made the above statement. I said to him, "Well, slavery was legal and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Are you saying it was wrong for people to openly and aggressively oppose it? Do you feel it was wrong for my ancestors to fight and die to end this practice?" Of course, there wasn’t anything for him to say.
Since 1973, over 42 million American babies have been murdered in the name of "choice." Americans are killing fellow Americans simply because they selfishly want to make their own life better. Are the people who support abortion that much different from the citizens of Nazi Germany? Are the people who perform abortions that much different from the commanding officers at the death camps? Are the mothers who have these abortions that much different from the German SS that poured gas pellets into the gas chambers?
The Nazi Germans rationalized killing Jews by saying Jews were an inferior race. They said the Jews had no rights because they were just "one step above animals." Pro-abortion people say the unborn baby is not human and is not entitled to any rights of protection. The courts have reduced the legal status of the unborn child down to personal property of the mother.
I don’t know what bothers me more: The murder of innocent and defenseless children or the mindset of the people who think this is normal and acceptable. I can see how some people may mistakenly think (through flawed logic) a 16-cell embryo is not a living human being. I can’t, however, understand how a person can say a baby who is 90% out of the womb (partial birth abortion) is less human than a baby who is one minute old.
What do you think that America’s leaders will do when Social Security can no longer afford the medical costs of our sick elderly? Will they too be considered "useless eaters" needing to be eliminated? If people are willing to accept murdering babies as a choice of convenience, would murdering our sick elderly really be that far-fetched?
I am very concerned about these abortion advocates because I wonder what other ruthless behavior they will consider normal? Who else will they need to eliminate to make their world a better place? Think about it, if the United States started purging the world of the undesirables (such as what Nazi Germany did), what country would be able to stand up to our military and nuclear arsenal? If United States’ leadership turns sour, they would probably be unstoppable. To me, that is a terrifying thought. I love my country, but I hate her sins.
For those interested, I have created a chapter on abortion. It is short, but to the point. I think you will find it interesting and very unique. It may show you some things you never thought about before. The chapter Summary of Pro-Choice can be found in the Introduction of this book.
The audio book on Dietrich Bonhoeffer can be purchased from Christian Books Distributors. The audio book is called: Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Freedom
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