Pastor Harry Reeder: Our military is weakening and here’s why we need it strong
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Listen to the 10 min audio
Read the transcript:
TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, I’d like to cover two stories with you today. The first, out of World Magazine, “Navy Calls Off Search for Missing Sailors.” “The U.S. Navy, last Friday, ended the search for three sailors missing since that Wednesday when a transport plane crashed in the Philippine Sea.”
Harry, this is the third fatal accident for the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet in 2017.
DR. REEDER: Right. There have actually been a number of non-combat deaths, in general, in our military and also a number of non-combat deaths, in particular, as to the 7th Fleet, which has had numerous issues from collisions to the inability to respond to particular situations.
Tom, I think what is pretty evident here is, for the last ten years, we have attempted to fight a two-front war in the Middle East, we have attempted to respond to the growing tensions in the Pacific, we have attempted to respond to a number of other situations with a volunteer Army and Navy and Marine Corps – a volunteer military service – and we have attempted to do it without proper funding.
Now, many people can remember the sequestration debates in which mandatory cuts were going to take place across the board in the budget and that would apply to the military and I think we’ve now got the consequences of it.
Our technology is starting to lag behind. We’ve all read the stories of how they’re having to, basically, scavenge certain planes in order to keep other planes in the air and we have a shortage of fighter jets, transport planes, etc.
And then there is just a lack of dependability in terms of the mechanical abilities of our ships, our planes, our tanks, everything and the result has been the loss of life.
This last year, the number of non-combat deaths in the 7th Fleet has more than doubled. It is an astounding number that’s absolutely unnecessary.
In a Christian world and life view, you are ready to deal with the issues of the sovereignty of God – the Lord gives life and the Lord takes away life – but you also have the responsibility of man and that is to not unnecessarily expose our military personnel.
We have these fine young men and women who volunteered to serve our country and, well, we have a responsibility, Congress, in particular, has a responsibility, and the president, as commander-in-chief, has a responsibility to properly fund their equipment and their training.
Some of this is traced back to lower standards of training – they don’t have the equipment for the training – and there has been the lowering of standards of training because of social experimentation that’s taking place in the military.
All these things are now distilling into, first, the unnecessary loss of life due to maintenance issues, due to training issues, due to the decision to not properly fund our military. And then, secondly, that affects our readiness.
With the increasing threats of China and its significant buildup of its navy, with what is happening in Asia with North Korea and China, as well as the issues that continue to face us in the Middle East, and the fact that we have a volunteer army demands that we give proper training and proper maintenance.
One final thought on this is you have to realize we’re in a fallen world. A Christian world and life view affirms the role of government to protect its citizens. The best way to protect its citizens is to make peace whenever possible.
And I know people do not believe this because it seems to be counterintuitive, but a nation’s commitment to have a clearly superior military force available that is properly trained and properly armed, that becomes the greatest deterrent to other people bringing war against you.
Now, as the Book of Proverbs says, “The mighty have to have a restrained spirit.”
We’re not having a strong military to be imperialistic, but we’re having a strong military so that others would not provoke or do anything that would cause us to have to respond militarily because of the overwhelming force.
Then, we need character-based leadership that always uses the military appropriately and not indiscriminately and not imperialistically.
Tom Lamprecht: Harry, let me take you to Story No. 2, a federal judge, last week, blocked a Texas law protecting unborn babies from dismemberment abortions. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel placed a permanent injunction on Senate Bill 8, calling the legislation “unconstitutional.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton vowed to appeal Yeakel’s decision. “We will defend Senate Bill all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary,” he said. Before the ruling, Texas was the eighth state to block the procedure.
DR. REEDER: Yes, our own state of Alabama has such a law and, as was mentioned, eight other states have that law. And I have tried to understand the judge’s reasoning. He basically says it’s unconstitutional in that it imposes limits that should not be imposed upon abortion.
The whole ludicrous thing is that abortion ought to be illegal but, instead, it has been legalized in our society and its legalization is responsible for 60 million deaths of unborn infants on the altar of inconvenience and in service to the sexual revolution of trying to get rid of what sexual promiscuity produces, and that is the consequences of, “unwanted pregnancies.”
Tom Lamprecht: Harry, this is not just about abortion, but it is dealing with how the abortion takes place in a most cruel and unusual way. We have legislation that says certain execution forms are cruel and unusual punishment, but yet look what we’re applying here.
DR. REEDER: Exactly, Tom, and that brings us to the second element of it: In trying to understand this ruling, the question becomes, “Why would you make this ruling because the law has protected what needs to be done in the context of abortion in terms of the saving of the mother’s life?”
However, the other aspect of this, Tom, is we already have a law declaring that you cannot sell body parts, so other than the protected practice of dismemberment for the purpose of saving the mother’s life, why would you declare unconstitutional a law that affirms a present law which is abortion cannot be done to sell body parts and, therefore, dismemberment should not be a part of the process unless it is a strictly medical necessity in the midst of the abortion to protect the life of the mother?
There is no sense in what he has done other than a backdoor protection of Planned Parenthood that has, as it has been revealed, an internal industry going on of doing certain abortions in a certain manner to deliver the body of the child to be able to sell the body parts, themselves, at a later date.
I’m glad to see that the State of Texas is going to appeal it and, hopefully, the Court of Appeals will remove this irrational ruling by this judge, as well as affirm what now stands in place for eight other states.
Tom, the thing that ultimately strikes us in this is the utter confusion and chaos that comes when you abandon a basic principle of a Christian world and life view, which is the sanctity of life.
Why are we even having this conversation except that we have descended into a culture of death and the most fundamental right of the religion of the sexual revolution and secular progressivism is to protect abortion as the instrument to erase unwanted consequences to the sexual revolution that’s taking place?
And the callousness that we now express concerning life – first, the life of the unborn, then the life of the born that are unwanted that continue to be unwanted, and then those at the end of life who also have become inconvenient – anyone that becomes inconvenient, no longer is there the call to uphold the sanctity of life.
Instead, there is the increasing movement in the culture to develop the progressive world and life view in which any life is expendable, ultimately, if it gets in the way of the sovereign self and my own gratification and convenience in life.
But, praise the Lord, Tom, we’re moving into a season in which One came to give His life so that we could have life – not only a physical life, but life eternal. We’ll talk about that tomorrow.
Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.
This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.