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Selective Service System

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Selective Service System

Post by CheeseKing on Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:43 pm

I was sent a letter today that commanded me to register with the Selective Service within 10 days or face being fined or imprisoned. If we use up all our volunteers, they will draft the 18-25 year-olds to fight in any conflict the government wants us to fight in. The war could be unjust, we could have no supplies, I might be placed in a position where I could most certainly die for a useless cause. By signing such a document, I am allowing myself to be government property whenever the government feels like using me and I can't back out of it. What do you guys think about that?

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Re: Selective Service System

Post by TheWylff on Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:07 am

I don't like it, frankly. I agree. If the US government decides to try and take over the world, or a certain part of the world—call it war on terror, call it whatever—we wouldn't have a choice but to go and fight. I find it disturbing that we can be owned like that and no one is really speaking up about it. And another thing—if you desert the army, you could be killed if you are caught. But if you are a murderer? You might get life in prison. Does that make sense?
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Re: Selective Service System

Post by Legolas Greenleaf on Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:22 am

CheeseKing wrote:I was sent a letter today that commanded me to register with the Selective Service within 10 days or face being fined or imprisoned. If we use up all our volunteers, they will draft the 18-25 year-olds to fight in any conflict the government wants us to fight in. The war could be unjust, we could have no supplies, I might be placed in a position where I could most certainly die for a useless cause. By signing such a document, I am allowing myself to be government property whenever the government feels like using me and I can't back out of it. What do you guys think about that?

I had to sign up too. I did it online though.

However they are not likely to use up the volunteers. There have been a few times, WWI (I don't know about WWII), Korean War,… I don't think you're in much danger though.
I can understand your disgust with at not being in control. However I believe that the principle is a good one. Maybe it doesn't work the way it should with our corrupt government but I don't think it's wrong.

I heard a Pastor say that when he was in the military he was an officer and a new soldier came up to him. He said, "Sir, as a christian soldier I will decide if the war I'm called to fight in is right and whether I'll fight." The Pastor told him, "Well, it is my duty as your christian officer to shoot you if you desert."..... Something like that anyways. What I'm trying to say is that I believe as a soldier it's not up to them whether they're fighting a just war or not. Once their enlisted the motives and "rightness" of the war is the responsibility of the commanders. A christian soldier must obey orders those who issued the command will be held responsible.
There is an interesting line from Henry V. I can't remember the exact quote right now I'll tell you when I find it. King Henry is walking through the camp in disguise just before the battle and he talks with some of the soldiers. Someone I believe says something about hoping the cause is right. Another soldier says it doesn't matter because the king will answer for their sins. King Henry replies with something about each man being responsible for his own sin but the king is responsible for the lives of those who die in an unjust cause. Again, I don't know if I'm remembering the quote quite right. I'll try to post it when I find our Shakespeare book.
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Re: Selective Service System

Post by BrianEschen on Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:47 pm

In our country, we have the option of opting out of military service for religious reasons. Hence it is perfectly lawful according to the laws of our land as well as the laws laid out in Scripture to only fight in a just war as described in Scripture. It is necessary however to go to a church that officially holds to that position. I believe that it will be important in future years to be prepared for such a case because of what they are doing to women (sending them into combat). I can picture a day when women and men will be drafted. We need to be ready for such a case. Because of this, I think it would be a valuable endeavor for the leadership in each church to articulate a position on just war and drafts guided by Scripture. According to the Bible forced conscription is unlawful (see Deut. 20). No
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Re: Selective Service System

Post by Legolas Greenleaf on Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:03 pm

I seriously can't see women being enlisted anytime soon. Because even I don't think they are technically not supposed to fight in frontline combat type position. Of course that doesn't always keep them from the front lines…
I don't know where people are in denominations in this forum. However you may be interested to know that the PCA has officially said that it is biblically wrong for women to be in the military except maybe in supporting positions. A surprising step on their part especially considering there are a lot of female soldiers in the PCA.

I don't think you get from Deut. 20 that forced conscription is unlawful. Yes it gives a list of those who should be allowed to go home but I don't think that passage would forbid forced conscription.
One of the passages I think of when I heard this issue was in I Samuel (don't know the reference) where Samuel tells them that the king will take their sons for his wars. Would you argue that that was something wrong that the king would do?
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Re: Selective Service System

Post by BrianEschen on Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:54 pm

As far as forced conscription goes, there actually does seem to be some sort of discretion left up to the individual as a civil ruler has no way of knowing a person's heart . . . "Deu 20:8 And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren's heart faint as well as his heart."

That being said, I do think it unchristian for a man to neglect his duty to defend his country and family. Fear should not be an option to prevent a Christian from doing his duty. In fact historically, it can be demonstrated that the best warriors are Christians (ie Oliver Cromwell, George Washington, Thomas Jackson, Robert E Lee, Alvin York etc). My only point is that you can not force people to do it. That is unlawful.
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Re: Selective Service System

Post by Legolas Greenleaf on Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:55 pm

What if no one wanted to fight though? Is there a better way to form an army? Or as the purpose for the SSS suggests there are not enough willing soldiers? Is it EVER right to force people to fight? It seems to me that it may be best in some cases though not very nice to be sure.
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Re: Selective Service System

Post by BrianEschen on Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:00 pm

In the end when you are talking about right and wrong, God's Word needs to be the final standard. Often pragmatism forces people to do things they at the time thinks would be best, but in the end you must reap what you sow. It is as Marshall Foster says, "You don't break God's law, God's law breaks you." I am open to hearing biblical arguments for forced conscription.

. . . after further pondering, you could actually say that forced conscription is lawful as long as the parameters are set by Scripture. Hence if you were a man, not recently married, not just starting a business, not afraid, etc, then it seems probable that you could be forced to serve in the military given it is a just war.
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Re: Selective Service System

Post by CheeseKing on Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:01 am

So as long as I am drafted and forced to fight, its ok to fight in an unjust war?

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Re: Selective Service System

Post by BrianEschen on Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:44 am

CheeseKing wrote:So as long as I am drafted and forced to fight, its ok to fight in an unjust war?
If you had no other option . . . I would say yes, it is okay to fight in an unjust war. Those forcing you would be morally culpable and not you. I could be wrong though. What do you think?
In our country (I'm not sure of others) there is still the option for churches to prevent their members from fighting in unjust wars and therefore saving their members from the prospect of needlessly putting their lives in danger. I think it is time we started fighting this battle.
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Re: Selective Service System

Post by CheeseKing on Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:50 pm

I didn't know churches were able to prevent members from going to war. I'll look into it. I think I agree with you. This is more reason to reform our Congress and Executive branch, for we can't afford to have any more unjust wars.

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