This is Pastor Tim’s newspaper article which appeared in the Evening Leader on Monday, March 7, 2022
I hate war. I hate the idea of war, I hate the theory of war, I hate that war happens. If there was one thing that I could wish out of this world, war would be my first consideration. The only thing that I find more terrible than having to kill someone to defend the people I love is to kill someone in the name of taking their stuff. But the reality is, we live in a world where war exists, and it is one of the things we humans are incredibly good at.
We glorify and glamourize war. I would bet there are more movies made about some kind of war than of any other topic. We love movies about struggle and perseverance. If you have read my articles for any length of time, you already know that I have enjoyed many of these movies. But in the real world, where we all live, soldiers who die don’t respawn, there are no special effects, and there is no off switch. That is the reality of war.
I have spoken to many veterans through the years and war is nothing like we have seen in movies. I remember a story of one man who was a part of a team of soldiers who rammed a tank into a building to save a man out of captivity. I heard another story of a soldier who told me about a German soldier he shot and killed. He had carried that memory around with him for decades. My own grandpa told me about a time he was in a town in Germany and they hid in a church where there was a large statue of Jesus made out of gold. None of the soldiers would touch the statue because they believed it was wired to explode if anyone moved it. This is the reality of war.
I was in high school in the early 90s when Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm were happening and there was real fear that the draft would come back. I know, looking back on those conflicts, there was no real risk of that happening, but it was a fear we had at that time because we had no idea how big or how long those conflicts would go on.
I don’t want this war in Ukraine. There is nothing macho about it and we don’t need to look at it with some kind of national pride. This is Ukraine’s war and as of the writing of this article, I have to say I am very proud of the brave stand that Ukraine is making. I am willing to give all the humanitarian aid we possibly can, I will even give out of my own pocket for it. I am praying every single day that there will be peace. Not peace because of surrender to Russia and the bully Putin. I mean peace because the bully no longer exists.
Whether or not the United States goes into this war, I am leaving that up to people far wiser than me. But what I can tell you is that those leaders who are making this agonizing decision will be in my constant prayers, and I hope they are in yours. But if the powers that be decide that we need to intervein, then I pray that we don’t go the course of gradual escalation. I don’t want escalating sanctions because that only hurts the poor people in Russia, not the tyrant dictators. If we decide to intervene, then I want shock and awe.
If the decision is made to send American Soldiers into this conflict, then I pray that they are going in for no other purpose than to make an example of Vladimir Putin. I want the response to be precise and well organized so that if anyone else wants to use war to accomplish their goals, they will realize that is a losing and costly decision. If we are going to do this, then I want the longevity of this war to be measured in hours and this point made abundantly clear: unprovoked violence will receive a 10,000-fold response.
If this is not the course we are willing to take, then I beg the powers that be to keep us out of the conflict all together. Let the humanitarian aid go in and save as many as we can and do everything possible to get people out of harm’s way. If we aren’t going in to win, then let Putin have the ground, we’ll take the people.
I don’t know what the right answer is. But I do know that if we are going to send troops in, then let them win this war quickly. If that isn’t our resolve, then we need to sit this one out.