What do Christians think of the Iraq War?

Source:  http://framework.latimes.com/2010/08/18/the-iraq-war/#/8

Yesterday marked the 10-year anniversary of the US-led invasion into Saddam’s Iraq, the first movements of the “shock-and-awe” campaign.

Last night, we prayed with our three boys for the Iraqis.  Explaining war to kids is on one hand easy – they see it in all their Power Rangers and Bakugan shows; it’s surprising how normal war is in juvenile imagination.  But on the other hand it’s hard to explain it in a way that’s not cartoonish, in a way that compels compassion rather than “coolness”.  I’d like to think they understood as we prayed for the kids who were maimed, who lost their parents, and who still live without much safety and security.  I was both encouraged and yet disturbed to be teaching my kids to pray for the Iraqis.

But what has disturbed me more has been the paucity of public Christian reflection on the Iraq War – 10 years later.  Understandably, it’s hard not to talk about the war without jumping for the political hoop.  War is political.  But considering how American Christians felt about the war 10 years ago.  Considering that 4,500 US soldiers, 3,500 US contractors, and 134,000 Iraqis (70% civilian) were killed.  And considering just how much of our public consciousness has been about Iraq over the last 10 years, you’d think that there’d be more to be said and done.

How has the Iraq War affected how we, as American Christians think about and support or protest war?  Our relationship with the government?

What responsibility do we feel for the growing persecution of Christians in Iraq since the war?

How does the present situation in Iraq call us to be act, even with grave risk as ambassadors of Christ, and not of any government?

I have little idea because of the lack of public reflection by Christian leaders, theologians, journalists, or even veterans.  Check your Facebook and Twitter from yesterday.  Check out Christianity Today or whatever source of Christian thought and news.  There is little to nothing to nothing.

1 thought on “What do Christians think of the Iraq War?”

  1. Great questions, and certainly the lack of discussion is to be noted.

    The history buff in me is always reminded that the first attempt to spread the Gospel of Democracy by coercion was by classical Athens during the Peloponnesian Wars. These wars ended in tragedy, tears, vast quantities of wealth squandered, and all the parties were losers. A bit like the Iraq war. Just before the Peloponnesian Wars started, God’s chosen people were transferred to Babylon and Persia, where they were called upon to be loyal citizens to foreign nations that were more like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq than a Democracy. Thus, based on the examples of history, I never felt it was sensible to invade Iraq, but loyalty to my nation caused me to bite my tongue.

    So for me, the challenge is to be loyal to Christ first, and my nation second, keeping in mind that all nations are transient and flawed, but the Kingdom of God is forever. Certainly there are dilemmas when our nation does things that don’t appear sensible with us in the middle, yet I don’t think it should be harder for me to do this than for Daniel to serve Darius, or Mordecai to serve Xerxes, or Nehemiah to serve Artaxerxes. And how much more challenging would it be for an Iraqi politician or policeman who is also a Christian? That should at least answer the first question: Although my family is many generations in America, I feel like I live in a foreign land under an alien culture. At the same time, I am commanded to be a loyal and constructive citizen, per Romans 13.

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