On the other hand, fifty thousand young American boys died in Vietnam and, frankly, nothing worthwhile was accomplished by their wholesale slaughter. Fifty thousand young men in their late teens and early twenties were used as cannon fodder by double-minded politicians who asked these boys to fight an unwinnable war—a war that was unwinnable because our leaders would not allow them to fight. I came out of that generation and, believe me, I shudder as I stand at the graves of twenty year old boys from my neighborhood who were shipped home from Vietnam in black body bags. What a waste!
In Romans 13:3-5, the Apostle Paul tells us that God gives governments the authority to use force against evil doers. Had it not been for the United States military, Nazi Germany would have overrun all of Europe while the imperial warlords of Japan would have devoured the vast expanses of Asia. My father’s brother died in World War II. While his death was tragic, his death was not in vain. I am thankful that American soldiers, sailors, marines, and aviators fought and subdued the evil Axis powers.
As to the rights and wrongs of pacifism, I am not a good enough man to give you a definitive answer. What I can tell you is that, personally, I believe our nation should never enter war without just cause and provocation. And if a man’s conscience is truly seared by the taking of human life, he should be a pacifist. But be mindful of this—the freedom we enjoy, even the freedom to be a pacifist, was purchased by the blood of those who were not pacifists.