Magazine article The New American

War and Christian Militarism: Laurence M. Vance, Ph.D., Writes against Current U.S. Foreign Policy, the Warfare State, and the Overwhelming Support among Conservative Christians for American Militarism

Magazine article The New American

War and Christian Militarism: Laurence M. Vance, Ph.D., Writes against Current U.S. Foreign Policy, the Warfare State, and the Overwhelming Support among Conservative Christians for American Militarism

Article excerpt

War, Christianity, and the State: Essays on the Follies of Christian Militarism, by Laurence M. Vance, Orlando, Florida: Vance Publications, 2013, 404 pages, paperback.

War, Empire, and the Military: Essays on the Follies of War and U.S. Foreign Policy, by Laurence M. Vance, Orlando, Florida: Vance Publications, 2014, 518 pages, paperback.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Are you a "Christian warmonger," a "Red-state Fascist," a "Reich-Wing nationalist," an "Imperial Christian," a "Christian killer," a "pro-life murderer," a "double-minded warmonger," a "God-and-country Christian bumpkin," or a "warvangelical Christian"? According to Laurence M. Vance, Ph.D., you may be if you support current U.S. foreign policy and the current actions of the U.S. military. Do you get your news from the "Fox War Channel" and the "War Street Journal"? If so, you need to read Vance's books War, Christianity, and the State: Essays on the Follies of Christian Militarism and War, Empire, and the Military: Essays on the Follies of War and U.S. Foreign Policy.

War, Christianity, and the State is a collection of 76 of Vance's essays written between 2003 and 2013, with the bulk of them appearing on LewRockwell.com. Vance accurately summarizes the contents of the chapters:

   In chapter 1, "Christianity and War,"
   Christian enthusiasm for war and the
   military is shown to be an affront to
   the Saviour, contrary to Scripture,
   and a demonstration of the profound
   ignorance many Christians have of
   history. In chapter 2, "Christianity
   and the Military," the idea that
   Christians should have anything to
   do with the military is asserted to
   be illogical, immoral, and unscriptural.
   In chapter 3, "Christianity
   and the Warfare State," I argue that
   Christians who condone the warfare
   state, its senseless wars, its war on a
   tactic (terrorism), its nebulous crusades
   against "evil," its aggressive
   militarism, its interventions into the
   affairs of other countries, and its
   expanding empire have been duped.
   In chapter 4, "Christianity and Torture,"
   I contend that it is reprehensible
   for Christians to support torture
   for any reason.

Vance writes as a conservative, evangelical, fundamentalist Christian, holding degrees in history, theology, accounting, and economics. His main message in War, Christianity, and the State is that

   If there is any group of people that
   should be opposed to war, torture,
   militarism, and the warfare state with
   its suppression of civil liberties, imperial
   presidency, government propaganda,
   and interventionist foreign
   policy it is Christians, and especially
   conservative, evangelical, and fundamentalist
   Christians who claim to
   strictly follow the dictates of Scripture
   and worship the Prince of Peace.

Vance sharply rebukes supporters of the warfare state, particularly Christians, and illustrates the follies and horrors of war. He points out the hypocrisy of Christians who support U.S. miltarism, the warfare state, the neoconservative-dominated Republican Party, and those who believe almost everything coming from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and Glenn Beck. Many such Christians claim to worship the Prince of Peace yet wholeheartedly endorse acts of violence against other people in the form of war. He dubs such Christians "Christian killers" to illustrate this contradiction.

While some Christians may in fact be opposed to the numerous wars of aggression entered into by the United States, they almost to a person still "support the troops," because the troops are "just following orders" and are thus justified in their killing of those who have not actually attacked the U.S. homeland. While Vance admits that killing in genuine defense of one's life or family is justified, he also argues that killing other human beings, Christian or not, merely because the government labels them as "the enemy" is not justifiable and is therefore murder. …

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