If your children have not served in this decade’s wars, then you owe a cash debt to those who did—irrespective of whether you agree with the validity or those wars or not. So argues a new, multi-family-founded effort to raise money for veterans of “this decade’s wars,” according to the Associated Press.
As the Army Times reports, one of the founders argues, “Many people think veteran affairs are the problems for the military only. They are not.” He says, “It’s not a charity, . . . It’s a necessity.”
There you have it: you have not choice. It’s a necessity. You must either send your children to fight, or pay dearly for those who choose to do so themselves.
Indeed, the AP reporter says the group wants people to give “large sums” and see it not as charity but as “a moral obligation.”
It’s “an alternative way to serve, perhaps the price of being spared the anxiety that comes with having a loved one in a war zone.”
Anxiety? What if you believe these wars to be unjust and unnecessary, and destroying the freedoms Americans once had in many areas of life?
Shall someone else fund my anxiety for that?
What if you (or your adult children) don’t agree with “this decade’s wars”? What if you think they’re not legitimate—not necessary? What if you think this decade’s wars have been a detriment to freedom, not an advance? Immoral rather than just?
Do we have a “moral obligation” to fund the losses of those who agreed to fight in an immoral conflict, should we see the wars that way?
When a person joins the military, they are making a free and willing contractual agreement to go into combat if necessary. No one forced them to sign. If they are sent into war, they must uphold their contract. If they consider the war unjust themselves, they have the choice to refuse and suffer court marshal, or to suppress their conscience and go risk killing or being killed, wounding or being wounded.
If they are wounded or killed in what someone else views an an unjust and unnecessary war, there is no obligation laid on that other person, moral or otherwise. This notion that every American must support every war all the time is unbiblical and ridiculous. So is the notion that every able-bodied person must fight or otherwise owe a debt for whatever war the state declares. Frankly, this is an insult to both freedom and common sense.
Conservatives generally understand that the government doesn’t exist to bail people out of their bad decisions. Your responsibility is not anyone else’s responsibility, generally. We see this clearly in the area of welfare. Why not in warfare, also? It is not necessarily anyone else’s responsibility to fund the poor decisions of someone who contracted with the military, and ended up wounded—especially when that person does not agree with the cause in which the soldier was wounded.
This is not harsh or unpatriotic, it is just the opposite. It is the biblical doctrine in which an army is never raised except for a particular cause, and then the decision whether to join or not is left to the individual, not to the state or anyone else. No other obligation was laid on anyone who chose not to fight (Deut. 20).
For more on the biblical view of the military and war, and how this was gradually lost in America, see my book, The Bible & War in America.
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