Using Water As A Weapon Of War

Herschel Smith · 03 Aug 2014 · 7 Comments

Next City: In a war, anything can be a weapon. In a particularly ruthless war, such as the conflict that has been raging in Syria for more than three years, those weapons are often turned against civilians, making any semblance of normal life impossible. Such is the case, experts say, with the way the nation’s water supply is being manipulated to inflict suffering on the population. According to an article posted by Chatham House, a London-based independent policy institute, water…… [read more]

God Bless Jim Foley: A Man I Know Has Been Beheaded By ISIS

BY Herschel Smith
13 hours, 45 minutes ago

Journalist James Foley (he corresponded with me as Jim) has been beheaded by ISIS.  I choose not to remember him from the recent photographs, but as the wonderful young man he was.  As a note to ISIS, I don’t believe a word he had to say while under duress.  I knew him better than you did.  You wasted your time with his confessions, or charges, or whatever you forced him to say.

We first corresponded during my blogging on the war in Afghanistan.  I initiated the conversations with him, but he was very warm in his effusive praise and kindness towards me.  He worked primarily for the Global Post, but did a good bit of embedded independent work.  He was in Kandahar at the time, and politely recommended that I link his blog, A World Of Troubles, which redirects now to Free James Foley.

Jim was kidnapped in Libya early in 2011.  I had also made significant use of his fantastic work in The Five Hundred Meter War.  The U.S. Army later contacted me wanting the rights to use this video in training and analysis, and I directed them to Jim who (I hope) made some money from the work.  He told me that he would gladly sell the rights for a small fee.

I have since reconsidered my position on long distance warfare, and concluded that it isn’t necessarily that the 5.56 mm round is all that ineffective at long distances, but that based on subsequent conversations with various officers, no one (Army or Marine Corps) teaches their men to shoot uphill.  All of their ranges are flat.  Then again, the 5.56 mm round does tend to yaw in flight, which causes problems at long distances.  But Travis Haley has shown us that the 5.56 mm can be effective to beyond 500 yards, and my son qualified at 500 yards as a Marine.

But I digress.  Suffice it to say that Jim was an important voice in bringing this feature of the war to our attention.  Jim called me “an important voice in the war” in one e-mail exchange, but Jim’s voice was far more important.  His reporting was at the same time fact-filled and accurate, and personal and engaging. Jim was the consummate professional, but a genuinely nice person.

I have long since left analysis of the war(s), given that we failed to negotiate a reasonable SOFA in Iraq and proved that we wanted to continue the social sciences game in Afghanistan rather than prosecute a war.  I recommended that we leave without another drop of American blood spilled, and never looked back.

Sort of.  I have often thought of Jim and what might be happening to him.  There aren’t many folks from those days I know only electronically to whom I feel such a kinship.  Tim Lynch and Michael Yon are a couple, but the list is short.  People like that are the sort where if you met up with them somewhere it would be like meeting a long lost brother, and the conversation would flow without any effort at all.

It was hard to be accepted in military blogging with such parochial and hierarchical (even if unofficial) structure, and with the desire for control by a few.  Jim’s acceptance and warmness was welcome, as it is with the folks whom I engage in my current interests of gun and gun rights (like David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh).

I will miss Jim.  I give my warmest, most sincere and most heartfelt condolences to his family.  Your family gave us a good and wonderful man.  We are worse for this loss.

My brief note to ISIS is this.  You screwed up.  I’ve previously been told how good you are, how savvy, how connected to social networks you’ve been and how you’re coming for us.

I can’t speak for the folks up North since the collectivists may have disarmed my fellow countrymen by now, but I dare ISIS to come South and bring your brand of sharia to North Carolina or South Carolina.  I dare you.

You don’t scare me in the least and you didn’t impress me by harming my friend Jim.  Come to the land where the American insurgents beat up the best that Lord Cornwallis had to offer.  Come try to plant your damn ISIS flag in my front yard, or try to force my wife or daughter to wear a burqa.  The result will be swift and brutal, involving magazines full of 5.56 mm rounds and 230 grain fat boys.  I have guns too, and mine still have their buttstocks unlike your dumb ass rifles that can’t be aimed.  Mine can shoot 1 MOA, and I can do about the same.  I see your stupid videos where you waste ammunition by shooting at the air.  I’ve laughed at them.

I had previously lamented the plight of the poor Christians in Syria and Iraq, pleading with them and Christians around the world to arm themselves before it is too late.  I have ridiculed the Christian church worldwide for its sloth, arrogance and self centeredness in refusing to help fellow Christians or even pray for them.

But this isn’t just a world away.  It’s personal, for I knew Jim.  You killed a friend, and I owe you.  I pray that you end in hell, and that very soon, screaming out in agony from thirst while you suffer in the lake of fire for eternity.  My only regret is that in all likelihood I won’t be the one to send you there.  I don’t think you’ll ever get to my doorstep.  You’ll die before you make it here because my armed fellow countrymen won’t tolerate you.

Mississippi Open Carry Not The Wild, Wild West

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 13 hours ago

Remember when I said this?

The judge should be impeached, and as for the claim that Mississippi would turn into the Wild, Wild West, I think that the fear is exactly the opposite.  I think that everyone knows that nothing untoward will occur, and thus Mississippi will become an example to the rest of the states (e.g., Texas, South Carolina, etc.) that have not been traditional open carry states but choose to change that …

In the end, this stolid judge’s day in the sun will soon go away, guns will be openly carried in Mississippi, the Wild, Wild West will not obtain, and LEOs like Chief John Miller will be ridiculed for their fear mongering.

And everything will be made right.

There is this report from the Clarion-Ledger:

About this time last year, there was furor about state House Bill 2, the “open carry” bill.

HB 2 allows someone to openly carry a firearm. It caused an uproar, and litigation to block it, even though the state constitution already had given Mississippians such a right since 1890.

In late August last year, with opponents warning it would bring “chaos” and “the wild West” and with no-guns-allowed signs popping up everywhere, the state Supreme Court upheld the law.

Since then, I’ve noticed … nothing. I’ve seen two people who I suspected were just citizens and not law enforcement wearing holstered pistols. Neither caused an uproar, and neither of their pistols jumped out of their holsters and committed a crime.

“A year later, we don’t have the wild, wild West,” said HB 2′s author, Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton.

Ken Winter, director of the Mississippi police chiefs’ association, last year had voiced serious concern about HB 2. Last week he noted he still has concerns but, “It’s kind of been a non-issue.”

“Personally, I haven’t seen anybody carrying,” Winter said. “I live just outside a small town here in north Mississippi, so I figure if people would be swinging hoglegs anywhere it would be here.”

So it would appear gun-owning Mississippians were granted a right (again, one they already had) and — lo and behold — the vast majority appeared to be sensible and law-abiding about it.

Anyone over about 30 might remember when Mississippians practiced this right years ago, with gun racks in most every pickup. That stopped because criminals were stealing them, even though there were laws against auto burglary and larceny.

That’s the thing about gun laws and restrictions. Short of total bans, they’re not effective. They apply to and restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens.

And thus am I ridiculing Chief John Miller, Judge Winston Kidd, Jody Owens of the Southern Preposterous Lie Center (who said “We’re looking at a Wild West scenario”) and all the other fear mongers.  And everything has been made right on this issue in Mississippi.

Now the next step is to end the machinations of communist South Carolina State Senator Larry Martin and bring constitutional carry to South Carolina.

Police Departments Weigh In On The Use Of Military Gear

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 12 hours ago

LA Times:

The department has posted the list, complete with pictures, on its SPD Blotter website. It includes floatation vests and binoculars, signage and gloves, pistol holders, a radiation detector and rifle sights “used by the approximately 130 officers who have passed the department’s rifle-certification program.”

“We have equipment that we feel is necessary for a city of our size,” Whitcomb told The Times. “The equipment we have serves a police purpose. Our No. 1 priorities are protecting people’s lives and looking after their well-being. Our second most important is looking after possessions and property.

“The gear that our department employees use … is primarily defensive in nature,” Whitcomb said. “Our equipment is police specific. We don’t have any military weaponry. The weapons we do own are specific to our profession. … No rockets, no predator drones, no cannons, no tanks.”

The department’s SWAT team does use a BearCat – an armored truck for situations where there may be gunfire, Whitcomb said, but such a vehicle is standard operating procedure for modern police departments.

“It’s used to get our personnel in and out safely, so we can rescue people and evacuate if necessary,” Whitcomb said. “You cannot do that in a sedan. Though we have put some armored plating on the doors in our cars. We also have purchased ballistic shields. It all goes back to the problem of gun violence in our country. … But ultimately we are a police service. We are not the military.”

This is a red herring.  Only seven percent of all SWAT deployments are for hostage, barricades or active shooter situations.

So here’s the deal.  To the Seattle Police Department, you are liars.  I don’t believe you since you invoked a rarely used justification for having SWAT.

What you really want to do is use SWAT to save evidence by busting in doors and invading homes.  Frankly, I don’t give a damn about your evidence collection.  Find another way, including the old fashioned use of detective work.  Or in other words, be thinking men and women rather than knuckle draggers.

You promise me that you’ll never use SWAT in incidents unless it involves hostages or active shooters, and I’ll take back my charge that you’re liars.

Any takers among the PDs who read these pages?  I’m waiting.

And by the way, that picture of the police “sniper” shows it to be absolutely the goofiest setup on a rifle I’ve ever seen.  I certainly wouldn’t use that setup.  You can read more here if you wish.  I’m just not interested enough to elucidate the details for you.  Readers may wish to weigh in.  And I wonder how the U.S. Marine Corps feels about this jerk wearing MARPAT?

Following The Border Security Dollars

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 13 hours ago

Follow the money, and I did, starting with The Washington Post.

ENCINO, Tex. — Elias Pompa had a thousand square miles of backcountry to patrol by himself, but now all he could see was the red Texas clay coating his windshield. “Damn dirt,” the sheriff’s deputy said, turning on his wipers, trying to follow the road as dusk closed in on him 11 hours into his shift. The gravel lane turned into two trail ruts, and the trail disappeared in sand and mesquite. He checked his location on a map, but the nearest marked road was three miles away.

He had been dispatched to this part of Brooks County to investigate an open window at an abandoned ranch building — another potential break-in in the nation’s busiest corridor for illegal immigration, where break-ins could mean any number of things. He had driven this way before to investigate robberies where the only item missing was water, stolen by groups of migrant children crossing the desert alone. He had come to confront drug cartel members carrying backpacks loaded with knives and 70 pounds of marijuana. He had come to rescue immigrants dying of dehydration and he had come when it was too late, carrying a state-issued body bag.

… whenever an immigration-related emergency prompts someone here to dial 911, as happens a few dozen times a day, the call rings to a nearly bankrupt sheriff’s office in one of the poorest counties in Texas, where on this day the only available solution to an international crisis was a 37-year-old deputy who earns $11.50 an hour.

Contrast:

The recent flood of illegal immigrants across the southern border has caused many Americans to wonder why our country is seemingly incapable of border security.

A fence is in place in some areas while others are completely open. With that in mind, many Americans will be surprised to learn that the State Department is now funding the construction of a border fence in Ukraine.

Jeryl Bier of The Weekly Standard reported:

Feds Buy Border Fence … for Ukraine

As part of the U.S. Crisis Support Package for Ukraine announced by the White House in April, the State Department awarded a $435,000 contract to B.K. Engineering System in Kyiv for razor wire to help “defend the newly imposed borders between Ukraine’s mainland and the Crimean peninsula.” The contract was awarded on June 12, but was just posted online this week.

An $8 million “non-lethal assistance” package was announced at the same time as a larger $50 million aid package for Ukraine to “help Ukraine pursue political and economic reform and strengthen the partnership between the United States and Ukraine.” The razor wire (Concertina) is included under “[e]ngineering equipment, communications equipment, vehicles, and non-lethal individual tactical gear for Ukraine’s Border Guard Service” that was spelled out in the April Fact Sheet.

So there you have it – the priorities of your government.  And none of this is by accident.  You do understand that, don’t you?

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 13 hours ago

David Codrea:

“Suppose, for example, that a new, unregulated and highly lethal weapon were developed before a statute was enacted,” the Center speculated, arguing “the weapon would not be protected because it would not be in common use.”

In other words, every new development in personal weapons technology will, by default, be denied to We the People by the very body charged with facilitating a citizen militia and expressly forbidden from infringing with the right of the people to keep and bear arms. That the authorities have it in common use won’t matter. So much for Founding intent. So much for freedom.

So no new weapons developments are included under the rubric of the second amendment?  Do these judges give their decisions even the slightest review for logic, constitutionality and feasibility (new weapons developments are often vetted and proven in the civilian market, or in other words, where the money is, before it ever gets to the standing army (which the constitution said nothing about).

Kurt Hofmann:

Surprisingly, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) counts itself among those who believe the brutal suppression of Ferguson is grossly excessive, according to their press release:

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) is closely watching the situation in Ferguson, Missouri and we are deeply disturbed by what we see unfolding there. Our hearts go out to the family of Michael Brown, Jr. as they deal with an unimaginable loss.

What makes this surprising is that CSGV has long defended virtually unlimited power of government, to the point of denying the legitimacy of armed resistance against a government rounding up citizens for the concentration camps.

Don’t bother them with issues of logic.  To them, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, whereas for most normal people, it’s the way life must be lived.

Mike Vanderboegh:

A leaked document from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis predicts increased “anti-government violence over the next year.” The document says the inspiration for violence is Cliven Bundy’s Bunkerville standoff with the Bureau of Land Management from earlier in the year.

I would have rather thought that the standoff at Bundy’s ranch was a symptom rather than the inspiration or catalyst?  I guess it goes to show how detached the elites are.

The Three Percenter’s Make-Believe Army

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 11 hours ago

Politicus USA:

The Three Percenter Club’s imagination is as vivid as the Oathkeepers, and claims its make-believe army is made up of members who have been given “the capabilities and resources necessary to execute Military Strategies to defend against foreign and domestic enemies;” like child refugees and the United States government. Apparently, the Three Percenter club devised its name from “the 3% of colonist (sic) who refused orders by the British Crown to surrender their firearms in the American Revolution.” Apparently, Three Percenters are too childish to understand that no-one has asked any American to “surrender their firearms.” That is a major problem with people that are convinced they live in revolution-era America; they lust to wage war on the United States government as part of their defense of the Constitution they likely never read. The Three Percenter Club’s founder, Mike Vanderboegh, claims the “movement’s core belief is a willingness to offer violent resistance to the United States government,” something definitely NOT in the U.S. Constitution they support.

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A child’s imagination, fantasies, and make believe is a wonder to behold, but when grown men that should be holding down a real job instead of fantasizing they are in a revolutionary war against the United States government and use firearms to confront refugee children, their fantasy makes the traitors against America and cowards for laying in wait for child refugees fleeing violence in Central America.

The real money quotes come from the comments.

But what is the government waiting for? Are they waiting for people to be murdered before they act? This has already gone to far.

If anything like starts happening they need to be crushed with tanks and gunships. You can’t let these anti-American domestic terrorists get away with anything.

These folks are completely delusional if they think for one moment that they can successfully go up against a government with the ability to squash them like the roaches they are with all its firepower.

What?  Never heard of fourth generation warfare?  Without thinking clearly about it, the readers demonstrate first of all why such a movement is necessary (they would just as soon see their countrymen crushed under tanks and gunships), second that they have no conception whatsoever of what such a civil war would look like (how bitter it would be and how it would affect their own lives), and finally that it isn’t guns they oppose – it is guns in the wrong hands, or in other words, hands of those with whom they disagree.

I’ve always said that liberals and progressives (this web site advertizes that they are all about “real liberal politics”) aren’t libertarian or enlightened in the least.  All progressives are collectivists and totalitarians.  This is the sad and contemptible offspring of relativism.

For readers at Politicus USA, I won’t try to educated you on the finer points of the foundations for civil society, but I will simply say to you the following: You have no idea what’s coming, how bad it’s going to be, or how to stop it once it begins.  And there is nothing make-believe about men who are morally committed, called by God, and dedicated to the very end to ideals you treat as a mere punchline.

U.S. Military Focusing On The Right Things

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 11 hours ago

Illegal immigrants have been detected walking armed, in military fatigues and in “Ranger File” across Texas farmland.  Obama announced his much heralded intervention in Iraq to aid the poor Christians and Yazidis.  By his own account it has been a raving success.

The United States military has concluded that there are too few Yazidi refugees still trapped in the mountains of northern Iraq to warrant mounting a potentially risky rescue, the Pentagon said late Wednesday.

Military advisers who earlier in the day visited the Sinjar mountains, where as many as 30,000 people were thought to still be trapped, said that they found “far fewer” Yazidis than expected and that those who were there were in better condition than anticipated. Food and water dropped in recent days have reached those who remain, the Pentagon statement said.

Meanwhile, the Yazidis don’t exactly see it the same way.

Children trapped on a mountain by Islamic State militants in Iraq are drinking blood from their parents to stay alive, it emerged today.

Their horrendous plight was revealed after some 8,000 Yazidis were finally able to escape down Mount Sinjar where they have been under siege from jihadist fighters for the last week.

Those fleeing have made it to relative safety at a camp in Dohuk Province in Kurdistan, where they have told horrific stories of the 30,000 who have been left behind.

Sky News correspondent Sherine Tadros, who is at the camp, said: ‘One man has just told us how he saw four children die of thirst.

‘There was nowhere to bury them on the mountain so they just put rocks on their bodies.

‘Another man was saying the children were so thirsty, their parents started cutting their own hands and giving them blood to drink.’

Occupying the attention of the Pentagon, though, is hair styles.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the U.S. military has rolled back prohibitions on popular black hairstyles within its ranks, following months of fierce backlash.

Hagel said the military had spent the past three months reviewing the definition of acceptable styles in a letter to Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, which led a charge against the military’s decision to ban natural hairstyles like dreadlocks and twists.

“Each Service reviewed its hairstyle policies to ensure standards are fair and respectful while also meeting out military requirements,” Hagel wrote. “As a result of these reviews the Army, Navy, and Air Force determined changes were necessary to their Service grooming regulations to include additional authorized hairstyles.”

[ ... ]

The ban was also mocked in a sketch on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart called “Operation Black Hair.”

Well hell, if national policy consultant, expert and genius Jon Stewart thinks the military is just being too puckered, that settles it for me.  I’m sure glad to see that the U.S. military is focusing on the right things.  It makes me feel better.

Federal Judge Upholds Maryland “Assault Weapons” Ban

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

Washington Times:

A federal judge has upheld a package of strict firearms regulations that went into effect in Maryland last year.

In a 47-page opinion issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake said the law “seeks to address a serious risk of harm to law enforcement officers and the public from the greater power to injure and kill presented by assault weapons and large capacity magazines.”

[ ... ]

Judge Blake, appointed by President Clinton, agreed with lawyers for the state, who held that assault weapons and large-capacity magazines “fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual arms.” She also pointed out that the plaintiffs could not produce a single example in which an assault weapon or more than 10 rounds of ammunition were “used or useful” in an instance of self-defense in Maryland.

The opinion cites statistics showing that ownership of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines is comparatively rare and yet they are “disproportionately represented in mass shootings” as well as the murders of law-enforcement personnel.

“Upon review of all the parties’ evidence, the court seriously doubts that the banned assault long guns are commonly possessed for lawful purposes, particularly self-defense in the home, which is at the core of the Second Amendment right, and is inclined to find the weapons fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual,” Judge Blake wrote.

These things simply aren’t true.  See my mass shootings research.  These incidents are primarily done with guys toting multiple firearms (usually handguns, but shotguns have also been used) and multiple magazines.  Reloading is quick and easy, as mass shooters know.

Furthermore, I can point to Mr. Stephen Bayezes for an incident where an AR-15 and multiple magazines had to be used in self defense.  This was South Carolina, but if the judge had turned to the pages of American Rifleman every month, she would have seen the multiple reports of people defending themselves using all sorts of firearms.  There are many examples in Maryland.

But this isn’t about self defense.  It’s just a continuation of the same sort of fabricated reasoning that grips our judicial system on guns.  The second amendment has to do with self defense only insofar as it pertains to amelioration of tyranny.

These are scary words for collectivist judges like her.  None of this matters.  She won’t get any of our guns, and if you are an owner of a weapon capable of holding more than ten rounds in the magazine, keep it.  If you turn it in, you are siding with the collectivists.  Maryland will pay for their sins.

Bricks, St. Louis Riots And Rules Of Engagement

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

Jim Hoft:

Protesters are chucking bricks from an Interstate 270 overpass. Police have shut down the interstate in north St. Louis County.
Police are moving people out of Ferguson

We’ve seen this before in Iraq.

More than one third of all Soldiers and Marines continue to report being in threatening situations where they were unable to respond due to Rules of Engagement (ROE).  In interviews, Soldiers reported that Iraqis would throw gasoline-filled bottles (i.e., Molotov Cocktails) at their vehicles, yet they were prohibited from responding with force for nearly a month until the ROE were changed.  Soldiers also reported they are still not allowed to respond with force when Iraqis drop large chunks of concrete blocks from second story buildings or overpasses on them when they drive by.  Every groups of Soldiers and Marines interviewed reported that they felt the existing ROE tied their hands, preventing them from doing what needed to be done to win the war …

This was eventually changed and our men were allowed to fire on insurgents throwing blocks from bridges and overhead passes due to the danger.  I am just wondering – to what degree would we allow that for ordinary American citizens who are under threat from blocks thrown from overhead passes?  Would we tie their hands more than we tied the hands of our Soldiers and Marines in Iraq?  If so, why?

Gentlemen, Prepare To Defend Yourselves!

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 2 days ago

Glenn Reynolds recently linked an article at World Net Daily where Christians are being told to weapon up and fight back against jihadist fighters in Nigeria because the government won’t protect them against Boko Haram and others who intend them harm.  This kicked off a conversation between me and my son over the response of the Christian church worldwide, a church I have variously called weak, pathetic, pitiful, disgusting and repulsive (I have that right because I’m a Christian).

I have [previously] asked when is the last time a reader had even heard a prayer in worship for Christians being slaughtered across the globe? (This week was the first indication that anyone cares, with a note from Leith Anderson, head of the National Association of Evangelicals, to pray for Iraq, after Christians have been slaughtered and driven from their homes for more than three years (and the church in Mesopotamia having disintegrated).  What?  No imprecatory prayers at all?  We’re too busy trying to disarm each other to pay attention to the suffering of Christians rather than our own comfort.  My son, in disagreement (of course) with the anemia of the global church, demands to know why we aren’t arming Christians across the world from the offering plate.

To this I explained that there are a number of complicating factors in such a proposal.  First of all, arming Christians in Iraq or Nigeria involves export of firearms which falls under a whole gaggle of federal laws.  To avoid that the church would have to find a weapons trafficker to get the arms to the Christians under attack.  In the unlikely event that a pastor anywhere had the stomach for this, the weapons cannot be gotten to the Christians now anyway.  They are surrounded and cut off, or scattered to the four winds as they run for their very lives.

A good summary statement of where the Christians are at the moment might be this: they waited too late to think about self defense.  They waited too late not because of the mistaken notion that the jihadists would have mercy on them, but because there is a basic sickness in the worldwide church.  This sickness, which is the root cause of the problem, is anti-intellectualism and bad hermeneutics.

Christians justifiably hold high regard for what the Scriptures teach.  But failing proper interpretation and application, unlearned Christians are at the mercy of teachers and pastors who have been brainwashed at liberal seminaries in the art of form, source and redaction criticism, and deconstruction.  Many seminary professors no more believe what the Bible teaches than my dog believes in Newtonian physics.

The Bible gets (intentionally) conflated with social action and a thousand other things, and one consequence of this, just to bring this around to the main subject, is that Christians the world over are in large part pacifists.  The honorific title of “Prince of peace” governs the interpretation of words like “My kingdom is not of this world,” “turn the other check,” and “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.”  That He can become angry and jealous and full of wrath are seldom discussed.  It’s what theologian John Frame calls an “exclusive reduction” of God to one characteristic, like “God is love” (which is poor hermeneutics) versus an “emphasizing reduction” (which can be temporarily useful for teaching).  Passages are ripped out of context without regard to the rules of hermeneutics or other passages of the Bible and the need for logical consistency.

But despite bad hermeneutics, there is no unmitigated promise from God to protect His people without regard to their foolishness, if they will only trust Him for their provisions.  In order to prove this notion false all one must do is find a single example where Christians were killed en masse.  Such an example isn’t hard to find, as it is estimated that Hitler killed some three million Christians during his evil reign in addition to the millions of Jews, including some half a million clergy.  Another instance of Christians perishing at the hands of evil men can be taken from Stalin’s starvation of the Ukraine, what may be called the holocaust by hunger.  Christians were certainly among the seven million souls who perished in the Ukraine in the 1930′s.  So David’s comment that he has never seen the children of the righteous “begging for bread” (Ps 37:25) must be a normative statement rather than a promise.  In fact, the entire approach to interpretation of the so-called “wisdom literature” in the Bible is different from say, didactic (Romans and Ephesians) or apocalyptic (Revelation) literature.

I am afraid there have been too many centuries of bad teaching endured by the church, but it makes sense to keep trying.  As I’ve explained before, the simplest and most compelling case for self defense lies in the decalogue.  Thou shall not murder means thou shall protect life.

God’s law requires [us] to be able to defend the children and helpless.  “Relying on Matthew Henry, John Calvin and the Westminster standards, we’ve observed that all Biblical law forbids the contrary of what it enjoins, and enjoins the contrary of what it forbids.”  I’ve tried to put this in the most visceral terms I can find.

God has laid the expectations at the feet of heads of families that they protect, provide for and defend their families and protect and defend their countries.  Little ones cannot do so, and rely solely on those who bore them.  God no more loves the willing neglect of their safety than He loves child abuse.  He no more appreciates the willingness to ignore the sanctity of our own lives than He approves of the abuse of our own bodies and souls.  God hasn’t called us to save the society by sacrificing our children or ourselves to robbers, home invaders, rapists or murderers. Self defense – and defense of the little ones – goes well beyond a right.  It is a duty based on the idea that man is made in God’s image.  It is His expectation that we do the utmost to preserve and defend ourselves when in danger, for it is He who is sovereign and who gives life, and He doesn’t expect us to be dismissive or cavalier about its loss.

This same sort of thinking can be applied on a larger scale to states and nations as so expertly done by professor Darrell Cole in Good Wars (First Things), relying on the theology of both Calvin and Aquinas.  But this is a bridge too far for some Christians who are just now dealing with the notion that they might be in danger.

And danger it is.  If it isn’t out of control SWAT teams in wrong address raids or home invasions by felons, Christians might begin to think about the possibility that jihad will show up on our own shores (jihad version 4.0 includes mass executions, burying people alive and beheading of children).  And if it isn’t that, consider that illegal immigrants have been seen walking armed and in military fatigues in tactical formation (“Ranger file”) across Texas farmland.

But the most pressing danger isn’t ISIS, or felons, or illegal immigrants.  The most pressing danger is the intransigence of the global Christian church in refusing to weapon up and defend themselves.  The Christians in Iraq waited too late, have lost their homes and all of their belongings, and are on the run or sitting on a mountain top thirsting to death (and thirst is a bad way to perish).  I just don’t how to say it any clearer than my favorite actor, Sam Elliot.  If you won’t listen to me, listen to him.

Prior: Christians, The Second Amendment And The Duty Of Self Defense



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