Chaplain Defends Just War in Air Force ICBM Training
Chaplain Milton recently responded to the criticism of the Air Force’s “ICBM training course” that was allegedly “pulled” over Christian content, including in its reference to Just War. (More recent information indicates the course wasn’t actually part of ICBM training.)
The Chaplain focuses, as others have, on the Just War inclusion in the brief, which was not the point of the course. The course was not designed to teach Just War; it simply mentioned it as one response to criticisms of war and ultimately the use of nuclear weapons. Still, the Chaplain had some interesting things to say.
Attorney Mikey Weinstein, who heads Military Religious Freedom Foundation, called on the United States Air Force to shut down a course on ethics that teaches the “Christian Just War Theory…” [Weinstein] declared that he would file “an immediate class action lawsuit” unless they relented. The reason? The ethics course, taught by chaplains to officers engaged in strategic operations to defend America, contained–hide the kids–Bible verses. Well, naturally.
(Weinstein has attempted to portray the incident as a capitulation to a threatened lawsuit. The Air Force indicated it pulled the course in response to the Truthout article, which mentions no such threat. Weinstein may be revising history or coat-tailing again.)
The natural response to Weinstein’s embittered complaints is simply to avoid teaching principles of Just War.
So if we scrap Just War because it contains biblical revelation, then what ethic will we use? Who will decide?…Shall we appeal to some new ethical system that we can all agree upon? Will this new ethic guide us in the same way as thousands of years of wisdom and application of philosophical and biblical reflection and consensus has guided us?
Finally, Chaplain Milton calls the outcry what it is.
This foolishness has gone far enough…It is time for right-headed thinking to overwhelm the absurd claims of apparently spotlight-hungry leftist lawyers with the truth that built an entire civilization—and the truth that protects our families. Yes, London burns. Markets teeter. Wars rage. And the time-tested institutions of our nation are under assault. This new cultural war against our own military — indeed, against our own security — is most certainly not just.