Quoting Clint Eastwood This Memorial Day

Written by Steve Pauwels on May 28, 2013

So we’re charged to remember and esteem these departed men and women in uniform, who they were and what they did; at least once yearly, with speeches and parades and television specials, sure. But beyond that, and far more meaningfully, by celebrating life – the ones we’re still free to enjoy and explore, in part, because of them; and the sacred principle of human life itself which they died preserving.

Their sacrifice has laid upon us and every future generation a holy obligation to cherish life wherever it makes a showing: in the womb, the rehab center, the prison cell, the nursing home. Packaged as broad-shouldered, lantern-jawed celebrities, statuesque beauties, giants of commerce or industry; or as “nobodies” who don’t strike us as having a whole lot to contribute to society – it all remains human life. Never to be treated, in any fashion, cavalierly.

A needed refresher for my fellow law-and-order-boosting, second-amendment-treasuring colleagues: sometimes bad guys do have to die, no doubt; sometimes they draw the ultimate penalty upon themselves because of their lawless choices. But the killing of another man, any man for any reason, is never a trivial matter.

Chortling about “exterminating” the “scum”, the “monsters”, the “psychos” quite scurrilously misses the point: slaying a fellow human being, even the worst of them under the most preeminently justifiable circumstances, never ceases being a regrettable necessity, at best. In a fallen world, taking the life of another made, in some measure, in God’s image is always nothing shy of the gravest of exigencies.

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How serious a matter is it? For over two centuries, multitudes of Americans have spilled their blood affirming the immeasurable value of the the liberty-rooted lives of their countrymen.

It endures “a he — of a thing killin’ a man”. Particularly when he falls – letting go of all of it – while fighting for me.

We hold these in our hearts and, prayerfully, reverence life in their names, this day and everyday.

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Steve Pauwels is pastor of Church of the King, Londonderry, NH and host of Striker Radio with Steve Pauwels on the Red State Talk Radio Network. He's also husband to the lovely Maureen and proud father of three fine sons: Mike, Sam and Jake.