I will admit that I’ve never heard “God and the military” in the two masters sermons I’ve heard in conservative churches, but it’s not because the concept isn’t just as true, but rather because conservative Evangelical churches rarely “go there.” Progressive churches and pastors will. In fact, it sometimes feels as if there is an Eleventh Commandment in many conservative American churches, “Thou shalt honor the military.”
But let’s suppose for a moment that Warnock is a pacifist, and he truly believes that Christians shouldn’t serve in the military. Is that a reason for him to drop out of the race, as senators Cotton and Blackburn demand? Should he be condemned and reviled for that belief?
Not at all. There is an ancient and honorable tradition of Christian pacifism. As a theological matter, I disagree with it, but I respect it.
Republicans need to be very careful about condemning religious beliefs that are outside of the secular political mainstream. After all, the majority of Americans don’t hold to conservative Evangelical ideas about sexual morality, salvation, or the complementary roles of men and women in church and the family.