Shuck and Jive

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Resisting Militarism

The Layman is trashing the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship and former PC(USA) moderator, Rick Ufford-Chase. It is rather convenient when the LayMAN does that kind of thing, then I remember that good things are still happening in the PC(USA). The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship (PPF) is one of those good things.

The PPF held a retreat over Memorial Day Weekend to help high school and college students resist militarism and the aggressive recruiting practices of the military.

This training is designed for young adults who are interested in countering the military recruitment efforts on their high school and college campuses. Our hope is that participants will return to their areas of the country prepared to offer similar trainings for other young adults.

Participants and leaders will tent camp together in the Ghost Ranch Campground, and there weekend will include hiking, a morning of whitewater rafting, and outdoor leadership skill-building.

Check out the PPF website. I hope to see some of these fine folks at the Presbyterian Peacemaking Conference in July. Maybe I will see you there, too?


  1. You know, hate, though mostly ugly, can also cleans the soul at times.

    I "hate" The Layman.

    Boy, that felt good. ;)
    'Course, this is just me. I don't recommend the practice of hating until one has been hated and becomes Zen with it.

    Anyone who attempts to prevent young people from being educated enough to make their own decisions about military service is a Puerility Terrorist.
    A person who purposely manipulates youths into believing that somehow there is glamor, prestige, or something remotely Christian about war.
    Especially as our troops find themselves the weapon wielded by civilian mass murderers as we speak. Iraq is an abomination of foreign policy and to teach our children anything less is to treat them like fools.
    To encourage their approval of war is to lead them into sin.

    Though war is sometimes unavoidable, it is never good or glorious or worthy of praise.

    Thank God for the PPF.

  2. Amazing. I suppose they're also wigged out about that "radical liberal" who said "blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God," and "put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword."

    A cold, hard truth is that with the economy in shambles, a lot of kids graduating high school or college are faced with the possibility that the only jobs they can get are in the military. Think about it: these kids are joining not out of a sense of patriotism, or of duty, or even of any particular talents that will be well suited to service. They're joining for the money. For housing and healthcare for their families.

    Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1814 of his vision that "our men [would be] so happy at home that they will not have themselves shot at for a shilling a day. Hence we [could] have no standing armies, because we [would] have no paupers to furnish the materials." Jefferson argued (and ultimately lost) that the United States should have no standing army, but that every able-bodied man would be part of the militia (as in Switzerland or Israel).

    I come from a military family. I have deep respect for the incredibly tough jobs that our men and women in uniform have to do. That having been said, I would prefer that the people joining them do so for the right reasons.

    Military recruiters are tough salesmen and often paint a rosier picture of military life than is the case (some actual incorrect statements made by recruiters were investigated by Congress a while back). I think it is appropriate for the church to simultaneously provide loving care and support for military families, while still strongly advocating peace in the name of the Prince of Peace, and for also helping those who aren't well suited for military service find other vocations.

  3. OMG Fly....

    You're not suggesting that Christians actually do what Jesus said to do are you?

    Some nerve you got there, buddy.


  4. What is curious in the letters to the editor is the continued suggestion that being liberal is what caused the German Lutheran Church to embrace the right wing nationalistic militarism of Nazism.

    At the same time condemning the liberals in the US for opposing the very same thing.

    Poor things. They are SO confused.