Elijah Friedeman, the Millennial Perspective
(Note: For an opposing viewpoint on this issue, click here.)
When I heard about the Fort Hood massacre, I was immediately fearful of anti-Muslim sentiments spewing forth from Christians. My fears were realized. Mere hours after news of the shooting broke, I began to read and hear Christians chanting the mantra ‘kick the Muslims out of the military.’ I was immediately, and still am, repulsed by such views trumpeted by many Christians. Not only are these views antithetical to the acceptance that Christ exhibited, but ideas such as these go against the very values this country has been built upon.
It is important to remember that Nidal Hasan was one man who committed a heinous crime against his fellow soldiers. If we use the actions of one person, or even several people, to penalize the rest of any given group, we are entering extremely dangerous territory. When abortionist George Tiller was gunned down by an anti-abortion activist, pro-life leaders were quick to condemn the attack. Pro-life activists everywhere said they shouldn’t be penalized because of the actions of one man. And they were right.
The same thing has happened in this instance; Muslim leaders have condemned the shooting by Hasan and distanced themselves from his ideals. Why then are we in the pro-life community not willing to extend the same courtesy that we asked for? The actions of one radical shouldn’t be enough to penalize the whole group.
As a pro-life activist I am disturbed by the prospect of being accused just as the murderer of George Tiller. Likewise, I find it abhorrent to punish all the brave Muslims serving in our military for the actions of a single radical.
Think for a moment if the tables are ever turned. What if several Christians were behind shootings? Would Christians call for Christians to be kicked out of the army?
We should not be at liberty to suspend our values, principles and laws simply for the sake of expediency. We must cling to those principles we hold dear, especially, in this instance, equality and justice. If we suspend our principles for a minute, we will regret it. Principles, laws, and values are not made and held to be given up whenever convenience dictates. No, we should guard and protect our principles no matter what. For without these, we are no different than anyone else, being swayed by the latest sentiments.
In the play, A Man For All Seasons, Sir Thomas More is told by William Roper that he must arrest a man, though More has no evidence. More refuses to go against that which he knows simply for his own benefit.
Roper: So, now you’d give the Devil the benefit of law!
More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
More : Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
If Christians go on a witch hunt against Muslims in the military, it could come back to haunt them. We cannot make radical decisions with impunity. Ideas and actions have consequences. These consequences will be realized if we support expelling Muslims from the military.
Are we willing to pervert and even forget our principles, our laws, for expediency’s sake? If we are, then down the line we will reap the consequences. I for one believe in equality and justice. Hasan should be prosecuted for his actions; but those who are innocent should not be charged with acts that they would never dream of doing. Instead, we should thank them for allowing us to sleep securely in our beds because of their brave actions.
The barbarians are at the gate, but thanks to the selfless efforts of our soldiers - whether Christian, Jew, Atheist, Wiccan, or Muslim - we are still safe.
So here’s a shout out to all of our armed forces. Thank you. Thank you for protecting all of us, even those who would kick you out.
Keep up the good work.
For an opposing viewpoint on this issue, click here.