The killing of USA and Afghan soldiers in the helicopter crash this weekend is heart-breaking. Having lived in Afghanistan for six months and still having many Afghan friends, I know how much Afghans mourn the loss of their own soldiers as well as those from other countries - and they are mourning now. My Afghan friends face the possibility of death every day, not just at the hands of terrorists or by getting caught in the crossfire, and having survived so much over the years, life is incredibly precious to them, so they are incredibly sympathetic to the loss of others. Every death is tragic - that the loss is military people does not somehow make it more so - but that this is the biggest loss of American lives in one day in Afghanistan is quite sobering.
My heart goes out to the families. I know they are in the middle of a tremendous amount of grief. And I know that many of them are people of faith in the supernatural, and they find strength in that faith in the supernatural. I don't want to talk anyone out of that faith.
But pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease don't refer to US military personnel as warriors for Christ.
One of the widows of a Navy Seal killed Saturday said in a TV interview this weekend:
I want to tell the world that he was an amazing man, that he was a wonderful husband, and a fabulous father to two wonderful children. He was a warrior for Christ, and he was a warrior for our country.
Again, I am so sorry for her loss. But by saying that her husband was fighting for Christ in Afghanistan, she has just told Muslims who are fearful that America is at war with Islam that, indeed, that's the case.
Christians, imagine your fear every time you see a member of the Taliban or another Muslim extremist say, "I am fighting for Islam." Imagine how scared you are at that statement. Saying a US soldier is a warrior for Christ causes exactly the same fear among Muslims.
Christians, imagine your outrage when Hitler is referred to as a Christian - he believed in Jesus Christ and affirmed that it was his Christian faith that formed his beliefs (see below), but you wring your hands and say, "He was NOT a Christian!" Same for references to the terrorist in Norway that murdered more than 70 people recently - a man who believes his faith in Jesus was the justification for murder. Now, in thinking about that, can you AT LAST understand why millions of Muslims wring their hands at the Taliban and the Saudi Arabian men and others who flew planes into buildings on September 11, 2001 being called Muslims? Do you get that now?
Any American military person who believes he or she is a a warrior for Christ in Afghanistan, Iraq or wherever while in uniform needs to take off that uniform. Or a warrior for Islam, Jehovah, Vishnu, whatever. To say that you are fighting for your God means you are fighting a religious war - and that goes against everything the United States of America should stand for overseas.
"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter..."
-- Adolph Hitler. For more, see Baynes, Norman (1942), The Speeches of Adolf Hitler: April 1922-August 1939, New York: Oxford University Press