Recently I listened to this episode of Fresh Air concerning the Vietnam War. I was thunderstruck again with the related thought that some of the convictions held by hippies and other radicals were more righteous and godly than what many claiming christians stood for in that era. This particular episode was about a writer who had found documents detailing the atrocities committed by american forces against civilians throughout Vietnam. A publicly acknowledged one was the My Lai Massacre which I’ve heard of many times, but this author had found, researched and documented many, many more brutalities; like the following:
“It wasn’t odd for a helicopter to hover over people in a field until they got too frightened to stand still anymore. And they would make a break for cover, for a bunker, and then they would be gunned down. Sometimes troops on the ground did this, too. They frightened people into running and then used this as a pretext to kill them, and it was called in as a ‘guerrilla taking evasive action.’ … It was, in their estimation, a lot of times safer to just shoot first because they knew no one would ask questions later.” (Nick Turse)
And to think that most fundamentalist, politically conservative evangelicals proudly (some to this day) supported the Vietnam War in opposition to those ‘evil’ liberal/socialist, doping hippies… Now if you say, “but they didn’t know about those things” you have a slight point. But many nice american ‘christians’ also actively chose not to learn what truth could be found. Unlike this patriotic, God & country, anti-communist, pro-war crowd, the ‘godless’ civil rights/anti-war crowd were more interested in truth and justice than some so-called ‘christians’! So looking back, and limiting it to the scope of the Vietnam War, who were the ones calling for righteousness and who were the ones rallying for more immorality?