The other day I took a walk through the graveyard. I have often done this at times in my life. It sobers one up; it tends to cause one to think about what matters. I have taken but few such since becoming an anarchist a few years ago.
what I noticed this time was the number of military graves. With crosses. An extraordinary proportion of the graves on the rows I walked were military ones with crosses or other religious indicators.
Now, one cannot tell whether whether one was an actual Christian on the basis of symbols or comments appearing on their grave. Loved ones, who commission headstones tend to want to remember the deceased in the most positive light. There is an instant quasi-“beautification” that happens, a free passing-out of halos. And so, of course G. I. Joe went to heaven when he died.
Measured against John the Baptist’s admonition to soldiers to “do violence to no man” and the Ten Commandments command that “Thou shalt not kill,” there is a certain hollowness to these claims to Christianity. Of course, options in years past were fewer. And the state was not nearly so unmasked as learing murderer as it now is. So yes, it was a different age in which these men lived and fought and “served” and sometimes killed. But I do find myself preferring that the non-violent witness of Christ had been better represented.
Now, with the rapid approach of the dissolution of the empire, one can anticipate a last spasm of more military adventuring, more graves, and claims that the one who died while killing others was a copying the life of Jesus. Unfortunately, this is a misrepresentation of Christ. Christianity is not so malleable that God’s law can be pretzelled into its opposite (not killing to killing).
May God have mercy on the damage to Christian witness that is the result of murdering for the state.