Glorifying Enemy Casualties
Has the Medal of Honor been feminized because it hasn’t been awarded lately for killing the enemy? Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association answers in the affirmative, lamenting that the medal has, during our recent conflicts, been given only for saving lives, rather than for taking them. The heroism of inflicting casualties has become passé, he says.
Adding sacrilegious insult to verbal injury, Fischer uses the image of Jesus on the Cross to support his glorification of enemy casualties: “The significance of the cross is not just that Jesus laid down his life for us, but that he defeated the enemy of our souls in the process.” Yes, Jesus conquered sin and death and defeated the enemy on the cross, but Fischer’s use of this image of the Cross as a weapon fails. Fischer misses the theological significance of the defeat of evil achieved by Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. He achieved his victory through sacred and loving self-sacrifice and not by killing the bad guys or sending a legion of angels into battle. He offered his own life in love and humility. Christ conquers evil by lovingly suffering violence, not by inflicting it.
In contrast to Fischer soteriology of violence, I offer Sr. Elia Delio’s refection on the mystery of Christ from her book, The Humility of God:
The mystery of Christ and our human lives are intertwined. Because we humans complete the fullness of Christ by our participation in the Christ mystery, we are called to be co-creators of the universe, to “christify” the universe by our actions of love. We are, as we said before, “little words” of the Word of God. So when all the little words of creation (us humans) come to the truth of our identity in Christ, when we allow God’s image to shine forth in us, then the mystery of Christ grows because God becomes enfleshed in us—until eventually God becomes all in all. We are called to “put on Christ,” so that the God who bends low in love bends low not in the historical person of Jesus alone but in Jesus risen—the Christ—in you and me in whom Jesus lives. God is humbly present among us because God is intimately present in you and me.
H/T: Andrew Sullivan