The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Values reject killing, urge support of troops

For those of us of Christian descent, Christ taught us to love our enemies.

Before I go too much further, please let me make this clear: this Viewpoint is not an argument about the just or unjust aspects of the war in Iraq.

We are there bringing freedom, and since we are, our soldiers should be well equipped, they should feel our full and complete support and we at home should do everything we can to make their efforts to protect us easier and their transition home less difficult.

We have set our troops in the midst of a physical and emotional minefield and asked them to do a job that many of us would not be able to do. We should thank them and honor them. But we should never rejoice in the work that we have set upon them.

I marveled Feb. 2 when I saw the front-page photo of the Marquette Tribune featuring the "One Shot, One Kill, No Remorse …" bracelets while a "Right to Life" button was worn in the background. How could students so foolishly combine these two ideologies?

I would never force anyone to follow a teaching they didn't profess to, but if one claims an identity they ought to continue it to the logical end. If a student wishes to take a pro-life stance on issues, especially as a Catholic student, he or she would be wise to familiarize with the Seamless Garment of Life as taught by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.

A respect for all life should follow from Catholic teachings, a respect that would not coincide with the smugness shown by the "Adopt a Sniper" bracelets.

It might not be easy for us to understand, but to God the soul of one person is equal to that of the next. Whether that person is an Iraqi militant, a U.S. military officer or a Marquette student. There is no devaluation of that soul based on action: they are all equal in the eyes of God. And when the life that encapsulates that soul is extinguished, it is cause for deep remorse, no matter what the circumstances. That is what it means to be Pro-Life.

Many would argue that pacifism is a fool's dream. Pacifism is one thing. Non-violence is another. Through his parables, Christ taught his disciples, and the Christians of today, to stand up to violence in non-violent ways. Those are the solutions that should be celebrated. Any time human communication breaks down to the point of violence it should be cause for grieving. It is a failure of our humanity and a failure of our own Christianity.

We should no doubt support our troops. But in this instance, it is clearly not "What we do" but rather "How we do it." The question for all of those who profess Christian faith should be "What would Jesus Do?"

Before Christ sacrificed himself nonviolently on the cross, he lived a life that all religions consider to be of prophetic teaching. And whatever your faith background, it should be clear that Jesus would never announce that he was remorseless over the death of an enemy. Never.

As Christians, disciples of Christ, no matter what church we swear allegiance to, it is our responsibility to live up to the example Jesus set.

Shame on all those who believe that they can profess a Christian mindset while defiling the most important message of our savior: "Love thy neighbor."

Christian Eichenlaub is a senior journalism and Spanish literature student.

This article appeared in The Marquette Tribune on Feb. 10 2005.