Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

“Kill, Kill, Kill Without Mercy”

Speaking of Mike Broadway and his fine blog, he has a briefer piece, Making Killing a Habit, that questions whether or not the increasing cases of post-traumatic stress disorder, and domestic violence by returning soldiers is connected to the way in which they are now being trained.  Studies after WWII found that a large % of American soldiers on the front lines either would not fire or would not aim to kill. So, the military changed its training methods after that. Now in subsequent wars our soldiers (and marines) kill much more effectively and this may be a partial reason why we have so many fewer fatalities among our soldiers–but may also be why they are involved in more atrocities (civilian killings) and in domestic violence, homicide,  and suicide when returned to civilian life.  Check out Mike’s reflections and enter into dialogue about this at Earth as it is in Heaven.


July 28, 2009 - Posted by | war


  1. I recently read about a group of soldiers from Colorado, who told about their random killing of civilians in Iraq. It seemed as if they approached it rather casually at the time. They told of others who did the same thing. Our military and our civilian population have reduced the “enemy” to subhumans, who “deserve” to be killed. They have brainwashed soldiers into the kill or be killed attitude. Everyone is the enemy, so kill them first.

    Comment by Ralph | July 28, 2009

  2. The argument is that on the battlefield there “are no civilians” and it’s the other side’s fault they’re fighting in cities.

    It should be pointed out that the military still trains in battlefield-type scenarios that simply don’t exist anymore. They don’t get police-type training where they learn to distinguish between threats and non-threats.

    Our soldiers are basically international police forces now.

    Comment by Steven Kippel | July 28, 2009

  3. Michael I cannot think of a way that violence or killing makes a person a better person, but I can think of a lot of negative consequences. If you watch the boob tube aka telly it seems that war and mayhem are glorified.

    Comment by Paul | July 29, 2009

  4. Yep, but I thought this would be a dialogue over on Mike’s blog, not mine.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | July 29, 2009

  5. Here’s a fascinating story about a British soldier from WWI (who only died just recently) that demonstrates the natural disinclination of conscripts to kill people: when charged by a bayonet-wielding German, and low on ammunition, he still intentionally fired his pistol at the man’s feet and legs.


    Comment by Greg Yost | July 29, 2009

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