Air Force Suspends Christian-Themed Ethics Training Program Over Bible PassagesKeep something in mind. These are not Air Force mechanics or even jet pilots. These are missile launch officers, the guys sitting in underground bunkers across the Great Plains, staring at the electronics that could launch a missile loaded with a nuclear warhead anywhere in the world at the command of the President. Nuclear weapons are by nature indiscriminate weapons that inflict enormous civilian casualties. The indiscriminate devastation wrought by nuclear weapons is what makes them such an effective deterrent. I am not sure that nuking a whole city of women and children is what Augustine had in mind in his "Just War Theory".
The Air Force has suspended a course that was taught by chaplains for more than 20 years because the material included Bible passages.
The course, called “Christian Just War Theory” was taught by chaplains at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and used Scripture from both the Old and New Testaments to show missile launch officers that it can be moral to go to war.
here, see especially slides 11-23). It conveniently lists the service times for Protestant and Catholic troops who feel a sudden urge to go to church next Sunday after being told Jesus luvs nukes. Granted it does deal with the horror of nuclear weapons but it also references a number of Scriptures, completely out of context, to support a “person of faith” being in a position to potentially exterminate hundreds of thousands of non-combatants at the order of his or her nation. Somehow Jesus at His second coming to judge the nations (Rev 19:11) provides cover for a Christian who also wants to make a career in the nuclear missile business. For a special treat, check out slide number 35 with a quote from a Nazi, Wernher von Braun, an SS officer who used slave labor as part of Nazi Germany’s rocket program who felt better about turning over his rocket secrets to America because Americans are a people “guided by the Bible”. This from a Nazi who was pivotal in the development of the V-2 rocket that was used on the Allies and killed thousands of people. A quote from Nazi being used to assuage concerns over the morality of nuclear weapons? Ironically and tragically the quote from Wernher von Braun is allegedly from June 1945, a few months before the “people who are guided by the Bible” dropped a pair of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of people.
I get that the presence of America’s nuclear arsenal is an effective deterrent. The fact that we haven’t used them since World War II is testimony to that, as is the absence of what otherwise would have certainly turned into an armed conflict with the Soviet Union in the years following World War II. I recognize that there are nations that have likely thought twice about doing something stupid knowing that the U.S. could eradicate their entire country with a tiny fraction of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. I also recognize that the United States as a secular nation is well within its rights to arm itself as it sees fit ( Romans 13 ). What I object to is the use of Scripture to provide theological cover for those who might potentially be called upon to nuke a city. Think of our potential targets. Tehran has a metro population of over 10 million people. Pyongyang in North Korea has a population of over 3 million. Most of those people are citizens and more than half of them are women, children and the elderly. How in the world do you reconcile intentionally putting yourself in a position to snuff out millions of innocent lives with nothing more than a few random Scriptures that have nothing to do with modern nuclear war? The notion that you can use a few verses plucked from Scripture to convince a Christian that it is OK to be ready and willing to nuke innocents in one country because the leaders of another country say so is abhorrent and invoking the name of the Prince of Peace in that effort is blasphemous.
I would welcome anyone who thinks this is not a perversion to tell me why.