Anti-war? Anti-Republican? Anti-what?

Protest holds sign at March 20, 2010 anti-war ...
A protester in 2010, so some have stuck with it.(Image via Wikipedia)

Last Tuesday the WSJ’s James Taranto in his Best of the Web feature referred to an interesting study by the University of Michigan concerning anti-war protests of the last few years.  Here’s a quote from a university article about the study (same as Taranto’s quote with a little more at the beginning):

Since 2003, the antiwar movement in the United States has had much to protest with Americans fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya, but the movement—which has dropped off sharply the past two years—may be more anti-Republican than antiwar, says a University of Michigan researcher.

A new study by U-M’s Michael Heaney and colleague Fabio Rojas of Indiana University shows that the antiwar movement in the United States demobilized as Democrats, who had been motivated to participate by anti-Republican sentiments, withdrew from antiwar protests when the Democratic Party achieved electoral success, first with Congress in 2006 and then with the presidency in 2008.

“As president, Obama has maintained the occupation of Iraq and escalated the war in Afghanistan,” said Heaney, U-M assistant professor of organizational studies and political science. “The antiwar movement should have been furious at Obama’s ‘betrayal’ and reinvigorated its protest activity.

“Instead, attendance at antiwar rallies declined precipitously and financial resources available to the movement have dissipated. The election of Obama appeared to be a demobilizing force on the antiwar movement, even in the face of his pro-war decisions.”

I mention it because (1) it helps to demonstrate that what seems to have people riled up is not always what is truly riling them up, and (2) some have accused me of political bias on this blog before.

On the first matter, it is telling that even though our current President has chosen to have America involved in a third area of the Middle East, many of the anti-war protesters who were virtually frothing at the mouth during the previous President’s tenure are oddly silent.  I smell me some hypocrisy (a leaven to be avoided, to be sure: Luke 12:1).

On the latter matter, some have questioned why I am not more vehemently “anti-war” on this blog and loudly decrying America’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.  At the same time, I have been accused of being anti-military, as well — so, go figure.

Regardless of accusations — and regardless of who is President — I maintain the same position: The only solution to America’s ills is to seek national repentance.  While I can understand and even sympathize with leaders who feel it necessary to risk the lives of our young men and women and can respect those who voluntarily place their own lives at risk in the service of their country, ultimately only God can truly protect America.  And, as I have said before, until the United States, as a nation, repents and comes under the shed blood of Jesus Christ, it will continue to experience the shed blood of its sons and daughters.  (You can read more thoughts along these lines in the link above and here.)

I pray that, unlike politically motivated “stances,” the message has been consistent.

5 thoughts on “Anti-war? Anti-Republican? Anti-what?

  1. Mark

    Well said, Mr. Smith! When my students ask me who I voted for, or which President I like better (between Bush and Obama), or which political party I support, I usually side step the question (since the answer is complicated and rarely has anything to do with my history curriculum). One thing I do tell them is that I have been surprised that many of the things I disagreed with President Bush are EXACTLY the same as what I disagree with President Obama. There are some differences, obviously, but so much is the same.

  2. Thanks, Mark! Actually, when I was a math teacher my students knew exactly how to get me off subject by asking religion-related questions, so you’re a better teacher than I am. 🙂 That said, maybe I should be on the lookout for folks in my congregation who might be trying to get me off subject by asking me math questions. Hmmm…

  3. Yes, you’ve been consisttent in your messages here; yes, you need to watch out for such tactics in class and in church; and yes, you remind me of the following Groucho Marx song… 😛

    And no, I am not surprised neither at the state of the anti-war movement nor at the inferred and probable cause of most of its fervor.

    A.A. Milne and his son Christopher (C.R.) Milne (the latter being the inspiration for Christopher Robin in the former’s “Pooh Books”) were both declared pacifists, yet both ended up fighting in the successive World Wars. It seems not so much hypocrisy as sensibility; the facts on the ground forced them to modify their stances (in effect, either prevent war or, if that be impossible, end it with honor as soon as possible).

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