Chris Hedges, author of War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning and What Every Person Should Know About War, wrote a fantastic article about the nature of war for Truthdig: “War is Sin.” In it he quotes Rev. William P. Mahedy, a Catholic chaplain in Vietnam, who tells a story about the exchange between him and a former altar boy who said to him:
“Hey, Chaplain … how come it’s a sin to hop into bed with a mama-san but it’s okay to blow away gooks out in the bush?”
“Consider the question that he and I were forced to confront on that day in a jungle clearing,” Mahedy writes. “How is it that a Christian can, with a clear conscience, spend a year in a war zone killing people and yet place his soul in jeopardy by spending a few minutes with a prostitute? If the New Testament prohibitions of sexual misconduct are to be stringently interpreted, why, then, are Jesus’ injunctions against violence not binding in the same way? In other words, what does the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ really mean?”
The rest of the article is fantastic. He diagnoses perfectly the poisonous mixture of religion and nationalism so prevalent in America today. Take a look.