For many years, and especially in the past 10 years, many so called “Christians” have been supporting the military actions of the United States government. Some do so because of belief that “those guys over there (wherever there happens to be) want to kill us.” And often ask the flawed question, “would you rather fight them over here or over there?” to justify their support for sending troops around the world to kill “the enemy.”
Sadly, many of these “Christians” believe it is somehow not “murder” if people are killed during “war.” They conveniently forget parts of the Bible such as Genesis 9:6 “Whoever sheds man’s blood, his blood shall be shed by man. For He made man in the image of God.”
Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.”
Exodus 23:7 “And do not kill the innocent and the righteous; for I will not justify the wicked.”
Many of these “Christians” also forget the words of the Messiah who said “Blessed are the peacemakers! For they shall be called sons of God.”(Matthew 5:9)
“…And one of them, a lawyer, questioned Him, testing Him, and saying, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And Yeshua said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments all the Law and the Prophets hang.”(Mathew 22:35-40)
“I give a new commandment to you, that you should love one another; according as I loved you, you should also love one another. By this all shall know that you are My disciples, if you have love among one another.”(John 13:34-35)
Somehow the people supporting preemptive wars of aggression will also justify in their mind that the people being killed are the enemy and “deserve” to die, again forgetting the words of the Messiah “but I say to you, Love your enemies; bless those cursing you, do well to those hating you; and pray for those abusing and persecuting you.”(Matthew 5:44)
Judaism and Christianity are not the only faiths that have teachings against murder. Jain scripture says “The essence of right conduct is not to injure anyone; one should know only this, that non-injury is religion.” (Naladiyar 14-15) The Qur’an says, “Do not kill any soul, which God has made forbidden, except in just cause.” (Sura 17.33) And “He who kills a soul unless it be (in legal punishment) for murder or for causing disorder and corruption on the earth will be as if he had killed all humankind”(Sura 5.32)
The Scripture for Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism additionally have teachings against war and murder.
If nearly every religious scripture has teachings opposing unjust war and murder; why then do so many people tolerate and support unjust wars?