Not long ago, I blogged about my trip to Iraq with fellow God's Politics blogger Shane Claiborne and later, of my excitement about the upcoming Truth Commission on Conscience in War. The trip taught me much about the human cost of war, as well as the ramifications of the church's frequent support thereof. In my past contributions to God's Politics, I have made clear my own position on the question of violence and its use by Christians, but I have also tried to make clear my conviction that people must discern their own conclusions in regard to this very important issue.
Service members of faith, including Jewish and Muslim airmen, marines, sailors, and soldiers, are in the difficult position every day of discerning between the power of the state and the authority of God. I wrote recently that an allegiance to the former is best understood as subordinate to the latter. On my own blog, I also reminded friends that service members are torn between being told that they are "not paid to think" and yet to "disobey unlawful orders." It is difficult indeed to consider the illegality of any order without being afforded the opportunity to think