Just in time for Reign of Christ Sunday
Has the lion been considering
lying down with the lamb in Washington DC? If so I missed it--but this seems to
be the assumption behind a couple recent commentaries.
There's been some to-do over Bryan Fischer's assertion
that the congressional Medal of Honor has been "feminized"--of late it's been
awarded for saving other good guys but not for taking out bad ones. Fischer points out that he
never said that Salvatore Giunta, who took a bullet performing a guns-blazing
rescue, is himself an undeserving girly man. It's the institution of the Medal of Honor that's gone soft, failing to
honor as well those whose kill counts saved America,
not just fellow American soldiers.
Noted. But for crying out
loud, people still think it's okay to say "feminine" to mean "weak and
squeamish"? I'm sure our women in uniform will be interested to learn that
killing enemies (which many of them have done) is masculine, while the Medal of
Honor (which only one woman has ever received, and she was ordered to return it)
is regrettably feminine.
Even more troubling is
Fischer's theological rationale: he argues that, while it's true that Jesus laid
down his life for his friends, he also defeated his enemy. Therefore we need to
honor heroic sacrifice and heroic violence alike, lest we miss the full
picture. It's a strangely literalized Christus
Victor, suggesting a physical Satan whom Jesus personally kills. The
Christ-like soldier doesn't just throw himself on a grenade to save his
buddies, thereby overcoming the enemy's violence. He does so after firing off a
grenade of his own and taking out a group of Taliban fighters.
concern is this: that Americans are insufficiently steely in our commitment to
necessary righteous violence. You don't have to be a pacifist to find this
flatly absurd, what with our general apathy toward multiple unending wars of
choice. But it fits in with Mark
Tooley's alarm at the "ascendancy" of Anabaptist thought among U.S.
to Tooley, "neo-Anabaptists now politically overshadow some of the
'Constantinian' Protestant forces that once persecuted them." His evidence: the
Lutheran World Federation's apology for historical persecution of Anabaptists,
along with the influence of Stanley Hauerwas, Greg Boyd, Shane Claiborne and
Jim Wallis. This allegedly powerful movement "demand[s] that all Christians,
and society, including the state, bend to pacifism."
anxiety about the influence of nonviolence is astonishing--he seems to see this
as a serious and immediate threat to the American political status quo. Would
that it were so.