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My Husband Is Defending Democracy

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posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:15 PM
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this is a very warm and powerful viewpoint of monica benderman, whose husband sgt. kevin benderman, has refused a 2nd iraqi deployment, and is widely discussed in the press.





by Monica Benderman

In a democracy, we are supposed to have choices. Our Constitution gives us those choices. Our Constitution is founded on the highest order of morality. As a soldier, my husband, Sgt. Kevin Benderman, has a sworn duty to defend his country and its Constitution. As a soldier, my husband therefore has a sworn duty to defend morality.
"Thou shalt not kill." After seeing the immorality of war firsthand, my husband has laid down his weapons to kill no more. What greater defense of our Constitution is there?
This morning my husband and I sat down together, away from every electronic communication device we have; we shared coffee and thoughts about the past three weeks of our lives. We are baffled that a decision, a choice that makes such simple sense to us, is causing such an uproar.
"Thou shalt not kill." We have heard it since childhood, but life, society, religious instruction all find a way to wrap a simple statement into myriad parables until the simple truth is unrecognizable, hidden in justifications, addenda, and codicils. Reality, the act of living it, not dramatizing it, not fantasizing it, not presuming its nature, just living it, gave us all we needed to unwrap the package and face the simple truth.
My work has been taking care of people who are sick or aged so that when it is their time to die, it is with dignity. I saw the true nobility of a life well lived, and a death that was proud; a declaration of peace, and respect for life.
My husband's work showed him the alternative, dying young, for a cause far less noble than life, and it will continue unless we learn to lay down our weapons in respect for all the soldiers who have given their lives for peace. He saw the worst; unnatural death brought about by the arrogance of people who dared to try to control life.
We are asked how someone who accepted his duty to train for war five years ago, two years ago – who served a combat tour – could now say he is against all war?
We respond with more questions of our own:
How is it that someone can profess to honor the veterans who have served in past wars, then leave their father or mother stranded in a nursing home with little regard for their care or emotional well-being? How can a country that allows this question my husband for wanting to honor the service of our veterans by fighting for peace in a war without weapons?
How can a pastor profess an understanding of true faith, say he speaks in God's name, teach others to walk the path of the "Prince of Peace," and yet claim the Bible, God's word, says that war is a necessity, the evil we must face before we can see peace?
How can a country that dares to profess faith question my husband's defense of God's teachings for laying down his weapons and choosing that same path of peace?
Some say the Bible is a prophecy. We say the Bible is a prophecy of what could happen if we make the wrong choice. The Bible says war will happen, not because it must, but because man will not walk the path of peace. Democracy gives us all a choice. We have made ours. We have made the only choice that maintains our integrity and brings us peace. We respect the choices of others, even when we do not understand them; democracy requires that. My husband is a soldier, sworn to defend our country's Constitution, and I have sworn to support him in that defense.
"Thou shalt not kill," simple words now. My husband has laid down his gun to raise a far more powerful weapon … he has made his choice to raise his hand in peace.


Right to Life...
...Iraqis have it, too




by Sgt. Kevin Benderman

I have come to the conclusion that the Creator does not want us to fight wars or to leave our brothers to die in hunger or disease, for we have been given the things we need to provide all men on the planet what they need to get by with in the world. I have been led to question some things about myself that I could change to better myself as a man.
Why should I not help another human being who needs what I can help them with? I have ignored that for far too long. I have turned my head when the homeless person asks for a little help. I have taken advantage of others when I should have been offering a hand up. I have done things in my life that I am not proud of. I have not lived a perfect life, so I do not claim to have the authority to tell anyone else how to live his or hers.
Some people are asking me why it is now that I have come to this conclusion that I can no longer take part in an organization whose primary purpose is to kill. People are asking how I can spend 10 years in the military and now want to get out, or how I can abandon the people that I have served with. I have to tell them that I saw the wrong way that I had been living and I needed to make some changes. Changes that will hopefully let me live a better life and allow me to be a better part of society.
I have learned that I have done things that are not to the benefit of mankind and that to continue in that vein would be detrimental to my growth as a human being. And now that I have seen the errors of my ways, wouldn't it be prudent to change the way I conduct myself? Why should I continue what I see as self-destructive behavior? And why should I continue a way of life that does nothing to alleviate some problems that have plagued humanity for far too long? If a drug addict learns that the drugs are killing him, then he is expected to stop using drugs. That leads me to ask the question, "If what I am doing is killing me spiritually, why should I continue?"
Some people claim that war brings peace. If that is the case, then why do we not have peace in the world? There have been wars as long as I have been alive, and yet we still have no true peace in the world. We are taught in school that we have had the American Revolution and the two World Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Grenada, Beirut, the Persian Gulf War, and now Operation Iraqi Freedom, and my question is, "When will it be enough?"
Do we want our grandkids to learn the "art" of war? Should we teach them to throw hand grenades and learn how to shoot the center mass of human beings in order to kill them? Or should we be teaching them to hit home runs and catch fly balls? We should teach them to throw the winning pass at the Super Bowl, anything but how to kill other humans. There are many things that should be shown to our young besides the "honor" of killing.
War should be left behind us in the memories of history. The people of the world should practice it no more. Better results in peace could be realized if we were to reach out to our fellow man with understanding instead of aligning them in our rifle sights. I know that this is a concept that will take time for people to understand, but isn't it time to start trying?
We have recently observed the day that honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Shouldn't we remember his words and try to live them? He had a dream that one day all the children of the world could live together. When will we try to attain that goal?
"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.'"
Why can't we take that hope for peace in our country and expand it to the nations of the world? It made sense then, and it makes sense now. All men are created equal.
And if all men are equal, why I am facing the possibility of seven years in federal prison because I do not want to kill another human being?


sources:
dahrjamailiraq
salon
anti-war
cnn


i belive if more people in the world,
were thinking like that,
there would be less wars,
and less suffering.
even a single man can make a big change.

but

the american administration fails to realize,
that the needs of people should be served
before their own self-interests!




posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:17 PM
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I'd court-marshall his butt. when he signed up, he was signing up to be an instrument of war. he was trained to kill and survive. what did he think it was, the boy scouts ?



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:24 PM
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Originally posted by radagast
I'd court-marshall his butt. when he signed up, he was signing up to be an instrument of war. he was trained to kill and survive. what did he think it was, the boy scouts ?

did you serve ten years in the army?
were in fighting in the streets of iraqi cities?
did you see all the terrors of war?

i guess he did see all that.
and he decided to stop.
he has the right to choose, doesnt he?



People are asking how I can spend 10 years in the military and now want to get out, or how I can abandon the people that I have served with. I have to tell them that I saw the wrong way that I had been living and I needed to make some changes. Changes that will hopefully let me live a better life and allow me to be a better part of society.



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:26 PM
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Court marshal, dishonorable discharge then throw him in jail. How many soldiers will die because he has abandoned his duties and isn’t doing his part? He should be tried for murder.

What kind of “man” makes an oath to his country then turns tail and runs at the first sign of trouble? A coward, that’s who.

I’m sure he will sneak off to Canada where he will be welcomed with open arms. They can have him.



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:32 PM
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deny ignorance.

increase tolerance.

and NEVER judge a man,
if you havent walked in his shoes.

that is all i can say to you...



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:32 PM
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"HAIL HIGH AND HOLY KING"??

How high does a Holy king need to be??!

"Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me."



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:33 PM
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Or did you mean "Hong Kong, King Kong?"



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:35 PM
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Yeah, put him in jail, hang him.... no wait, hangings not good enough.....etc...etc....

Get real people.
He has shown a sh1t load more backbone by his actions than any of the US leadership and their suited advisors who only send others to die, not to participate themselves.

Maybe some of the armchair warriors on here would like to rush out and sign up to take his place or are those deriding his decision and calling him a coward too cowardly to do so themselves?



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:36 PM
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Originally posted by fourth horseman
"HAIL HIGH AND HOLY KING"??

How high does a Holy king need to be??!

"Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me."



Thats called "Sarcasm"



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:38 PM
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I am against war. I am against war over oil. I am against war over religion. That is why I never volunteered for military service. I am extremely grateful for the sacrifices of those who do.


with that said, this individual is basically going awol.



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by Britguy
Maybe some of the armchair warriors on here would like to rush out and sign up to take his place or are those deriding his decision and calling him a coward too cowardly to do so themselves?

great comment!

im sure the "armchair warriors"
will be tomorrow ready to enlist,
at the closest u.s. army recruitment center.
.
.
.
if you belive in santa.



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:45 PM
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And if all men are equal, why I am facing the possibility of seven years in federal prison because I do not want to kill another human being?



You think he might have thought of that BEFORE taking a job that has killing people in the job description?

But at least he is staying here and standing up for his decision.

I can respect at least that much



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:45 PM
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Well, I spent 11 1/2 years in the military myself and yes I am not proud of all the things that I have done, but I can speak from experience.
There are a couple of things that need to be noted here.
1) Yes this is a democratic society (civilian) it is not that way in the military either here in the US nor in any country around the world. You follow orders period. Not following orders are grounds for a court martial. The military cannot operate on a democratic basis and never will.

2) Unless things have changed greatly since I left the military in 1990, there is the "contentious objection" status of a military member. This designation, identifies that member as someone who has objections to fighting / killing. A military member can call for this designation at anytime. Military leaders do take this into account when identifying who shall be sent to the front I can tell you. Think about it. if you were over there, and the guy next you is a contentious objector would you trust him to cover your back? Yes, it will make a living heck for the rest of his time in the service but it is an option that this guy decided he did not need to follow.
3) In the end though, if the need is great enough, the contentious objector, will by military law be required to go back to the frontlines if so ordered.
I think this guy, was first trying to make a name for himself by going to the press and through the civilian court system first before following the correct and accepted actions for military members. he may in fact be a born again christian, but he needs to follow orders and follow procedure.
It is a totally different world in the military than it is in the civilian world.



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by Souljah

Originally posted by Britguy
Maybe some of the armchair warriors on here would like to rush out and sign up to take his place or are those deriding his decision and calling him a coward too cowardly to do so themselves?

great comment!

im sure the "armchair warriors"
will be tomorrow ready to enlist,
at the closest u.s. army recruitment center.
if you belive in santa.


That man swore an oath to serve, thats the difference between him and civilians. He is letting the people he swore to protect down. Period. See Souljah, were I come from (USA) people are FREE to swear or not swear that oath to protect the country. This coward CHOSE with his own free will to serve and commit to that oath, and then let his countrymen down when it was time to fight. Thats the point. If he has issue's with fighting, he should never had made the committment. But it seems that committment to you is meaningless.

I really, really hope some young brave soldier isnt someplace fighting for you, that would be a shame and a waste...





[edit on 27-1-2005 by skippytjc]



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by radagast
I am against war. I am against war over oil. I am against war over religion. That is why I never volunteered for military service. I am extremely grateful for the sacrifices of those who do.

if you are, who you are saying you are,
then why are you judging this man,
a veteran who has fought this war,
war, which you are so against?

i dont get it....




posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:49 PM
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Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't this the same guy who failed to get CO status because he told the board members that he would pick up a weapon and defend himself/his base?

For someone to preach that they are against killing in all forms, I found that to be a pretty damning quote. Let's not also forget that he finally filed his claim one WEEK before his unit was to ship out.



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:52 PM
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Originally posted by Souljah

Originally posted by Britguy
Maybe some of the armchair warriors on here would like to rush out and sign up to take his place or are those deriding his decision and calling him a coward too cowardly to do so themselves?

great comment!

im sure the "armchair warriors"
will be tomorrow ready to enlist,
at the closest u.s. army recruitment center.
.
.
.
if you belive in santa.


I agree. If you're so pro-war, get out there and enlist.
I think this guy will (and should) be court marshalled, that's his sacrifice. I don't know what he was thinking about before he signed up: it would be fun? poor bast**d


He should be charged with murder? for not killing?



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:53 PM
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Originally posted by skippytjc
Court marshal, dishonorable discharge then throw him in jail. How many soldiers will die because he has abandoned his duties and isn’t doing his part? He should be tried for murder.

What kind of “man” makes an oath to his country then turns tail and runs at the first sign of trouble? A coward, that’s who.

I’m sure he will sneak off to Canada where he will be welcomed with open arms. They can have him.


I totally agree... That’s why we should hang George Bush... He run and hid in his bunker when the planes hit the tower... and how many life’s has he ended through his bad decisions???

YEAH... HANG HIM HIGH



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:55 PM
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In a democracy, we are supposed to have choices. Our Constitution gives us those choices.


He gave up those choices when he enlisted at least for the duration of his sign up.
He was made fully aware of both the benefits and the obligations of military service when he signed up.
If he is so against killing of any kind...perhaps choosing professional killer was not the wisest career choice?
That's kind of like a hooker complaining about the morality of sex.
Sure, everybody just loves the benefits, free housing, food, just saving up your money, house loans, free medical, etc. But when Uncle Sam comes to collect, suddenly you're born again? Nope, doesn't work that way. You sign up to be a professional killer, and collect the pay for it, then you show up to do the job. Simple as that.



posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 01:56 PM
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Originally posted by undercoverchef

Originally posted by skippytjc
Court marshal, dishonorable discharge then throw him in jail. How many soldiers will die because he has abandoned his duties and isn’t doing his part? He should be tried for murder.

What kind of “man” makes an oath to his country then turns tail and runs at the first sign of trouble? A coward, that’s who.

I’m sure he will sneak off to Canada where he will be welcomed with open arms. They can have him.


I totally agree... That’s why we should hang George Bush... He run and hid in his bunker when the planes hit the tower... and how many life’s has he ended through his bad decisions???

YEAH... HANG HIM HIGH



I wont argue on that one. I think we should send Dubya to Canada with the rest of the cowards who hide from thier duties.




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