Wow, so many elements under discussion–US foreign policy, Islam, emotional responses to stressful stimuli, pacifism vs just war theory, nonviolence, self-defense, ethics of Jesus, OT ethics, early church history, Adventist history, citizenship in kingdom of heaven vs national govs, and so much more.
Many comments from different perspectives reveal historical study, philosophical reflection, and personal engagement. For others who are interested in these topics but who haven’t yet gone beyond personal reflection, I recommend a few readings (these are about Christian ethics, not foreign policy):
Two complimentary books on history and thought by a Mennonite and a Catholic — Christian Attitudes to War, Peace, and Revolution (Yoder) & Christian Attitudes Toward War and Peace (Bainton). Two complimentary books on ethics by a Mennonite and a Catholic — Love Your Enemies: Discipleship, Pacifism, and Just War Theory (Cahill) & The War of the Lamb: The Ethics of Nonviolence and Peacemaking (Yoder). Two additional chapters from Yoder’s The Politics of Jesus — Ch. 10, “Let Every Soul be Subject: Romans 13 and the Authority of the State,” and Ch. 12, “The War of the Lamb.”
Three articles on various elements of the above discussion that support the side of pacifism (not passivism) and nonviolence — (1) “Military Service in the Church Orders” (Alan Kreider [Mennonite] on early church history, Journal of Religious Ethics, 2003, 31, 3, 415-442). (2) “Christian Nonviolence” (Walter Wink [Methodist] on Sermon on the Mount, Z Net, Dec 17, 2004) — http://www.zcommunications.org/christian-nonviolence-by-walter-wink. (3) “Does Following Jesus Rule Out Serving in the Military if a War is Just?” (Greg Boyd [Baptist]) — http://www.gregboyd.org/essays/kingdom-living/does-following-jesus-rule-….
For those interested in early church thought, the quotes below may be of interest, though they lack historical and theological context and are no substitute for the analysis in the books listed above:
I’m not saying these materials answer the debates. I just think some people who really care about these issues might benefit from more data to work with. And I’ve offered Christian sources of a certain flavor to be sure, since books like Just and Unjust Wars (Walzer) weren’t on the list. Also, I have not yet read it, but I hear good things about What about Hitler? (Brimlow).
With many biases and much to learn, Jeff