If Ayn Rand were a Christian fundamentalist, she’d be Bryan Fischer.
As the public face of the American Family Association, Fischer has cornered the market on crazy invective that sounds neither Christian nor pro-family, but more like the golden-calf worshiping of Rand and her cult followers. Fischer called for a whale to be ritually slaughtered once. But now he’s simultaneously taking on American society, womanhood, and soldiering. He says today’s Medal of Honor recipients are a bunch of girly men:
When we think of heroism in battle, we used the [sic] think of our boys storming the beaches of Normandy under withering fire, climbing the cliffs of Pointe do Hoc while enemy soldiers fired straight down on them, and tossing grenades into pill boxes to take out gun emplacements.
That kind of heroism has apparently become passe when it comes to awarding the Medal of Honor. We now award it only for preventing casualties, not for inflicting them.
So the question is this: when are we going to start awarding the Medal of Honor once again for soldiers who kill people and break things so our families can sleep safely at night?
I would suggest our culture has become so feminized that we have become squeamish at the thought of the valor that is expressed in killing enemy soldiers through acts of bravery.
Now, I’m an ex-naval reservist who ate a lot of Baskin-Robbins on an air-conditioned megabase in Baghdad, and I saw a couple of substandard soldiers receive Bronze Stars for writing press releases, so far be it for me to intone on the finer aspects of courage in combat. But I find it hard to imagine that anyone could throw a “wussy” flag at Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta. Or 1st Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez, a Marine who earned the Medal of Honor in Korea for jumping on a grenade and trading his life for that of his fellow Marines. To Fischer, self-sacrifice is feminine, impotent, and weak, and we should spurn it. We should replace the better angels of our nature with our lesser knuckle-dragging, village-destroying demons.
What would that entail? Ordering the US Navy NOT to be “a global force for good.” Telling Navy SEALs, Army Rangers and Green Berets, and Marines that they should NOT primarily be intelligence gatherers or civil-affairs experts or peacemakers. Nor should they vow above all to “never leave a man behind.” They should kill first and foremost. And when they kill, they should not do so instrumentally, in the service of some greater good that expiates the guilt of taking a life, but because taking the life of a supposed enemy is somehow good in itself. Anything less, to Fischer, is feminine and therefore unacceptable.
Taken to its logical conclusion, one imagines that killing women would be the highest ideal of a warrior. That would really take care of our feminization problem.
Like I said, I don’t know battlefield courage, so I don’t know about all that. One thing I do know a bit about, though, is Christianity, and Fischer’s sputtering is about the most un-Christian thing you could possibly permit to escape your lips. To say that killing is the highest virtue for any human being, much less a soldier in the employ of his (or HER) democratic republic, is a repudiation of the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, and every theistic calculation of just war theory recorded in the history of sentient consciousness. It is a usurpation of the powers of the Christian God and his son.
Even worse, Fischer’s got an elaborate answer for that whole but-didn’t-Jesus-prove-love-and-self-sacrifice-to-be-stronger-than-hate thing. “Jesus’ act of self-sacrifice would ultimately have been meaningless—yes, meaningless—if he had not inflicted a mortal wound on the enemy while giving up his own life.” Right! We wouldn’t want a Jesus who does wussy girly things like simply offering himself up for the sake of humanity. He’s gotta be a real man, and that means he’s gotta be killing something! Like humans’ sinful souls, apparently. You know, the sinful souls that make humans think it’s a good idea to do sinful things, like, um, killing.
OK, so I won’t really presume to know any more about the ways of The Lord than I know about combat. (That would be the sin of pride, right?) But it is my sincerest hope that, if He exists, the Christian God reserves a special form of eternal damnation for the likes of Fischer. By any modern secular standard, he’s just another anti-woman bigot. But by the standards of the faith of Jesus, he is a shameless idolator with a painful misunderstanding of grace. The more closely Christians follow Fischer’s reasoning, the further they stray from the tenets of their faith, and the better angels of their nature.