Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Positive Religion

A soldier in Iraq is being granted conscientious objector status after he experienced a "religious awakening" and decided that he couldn't be a good Christian and a soldier at the same time.

"I have been trying to justify being a soldier and finding a way to do so while still being a Christian, because that is what I wanted to do since I was a kid," Barnes wrote in his request for conscientious objector status in December 2006.

"But I can no longer justify spending my short time in this world participating in or supporting war. ... I must try to save souls, not help take them."

When I talk about promoting "positive religion," this is what I'm talking about - a religious view that seeks to lift up society, bring people together, and promote peace. In Judaism, this is called Tikkun Olam, the moral obligation that we have to repair the world for future generations. This Christian soldier has decided that his own moral obligation to repair the world requires him not to participate in an unjust war.

That's positive religion.

1 comment:

  1. THIS is a soldier that I can salute!

    Good for you whoever you are.