There has been much publicity over Lt. Ehren Watada, as he is the first military officer to refuse to return to Iraq, for he believes it an unjust war. Lt. Watada was interviewed by talk show host Thor Tolo on the Seattle Christian Station 8200 KGNW, and the interview was replayed in '07. Carl Mease heard the interview replay in 2007 and was very concerned at the condescending manner in which Mr. Watada was treated by the talk show host. In response, Mr. Mease e-mailed the following letter to Mr. Watada, with a copy to interviewer Mr. Tolo. Mr. Tolo responded by reading the letter twice on the radio. Mr. Tolo wrote to Mr. Mease that, "I find parts of your note utterly absurd in baseless logic and an unwillingness to recognize the truer context of The Bible when it come to war, I must say it is well written and passionately put." This said, Mr. Tolo has not to date clarified what these points are. Regardless of background, the following is the letter sent to Lt. Watada. You be the judge of what the truer context of the Bible might be.
Dear Mr. Watada,
I was only able to hear the end of your interview with Thor Tolo on KGNW radio Wed. night, and was not at a phone to call in. So, I want to take this opportunity to comfort and assure you that although Mr. Tolo bills himself a Chrisitian talk host - he was not presenting the Jesus of the Bible. His brand of Christianity may be called some sort of civil religion, and may be the politically correct American version; but a reliance on the violent methods of the governments of this world, and all the evil that accompainies, is nowhere to be found in the teachings of the New Testament. After enduring the likes of Thor Tolo, I beg of you to please read the New Testament of the Bible and let the record set itself straight.
I would be surprised if an educated man such as Mr. Tolo does not know that the first three centuries of Christianity are referred to by historians as "the age of pacifism". This is because neither Jesus' disciples, nor their disciples for 300 years, considered violence to be a part of being "imitators of Christ" or "following in His steps". It was not until the 'unholy marriage' of church and State in the 4th century that aberrant theologies such as Mr. Tolo's began. These teachings/traditions led to the atrocities of the Great Crusades, and down to the present day idolatry within the American church.
Although you do not profess to be a Christian - I ask that you please read the scriptures, so that you are not left thinking that Mr. Tolo represents the teachings of the Lord Christ concerning militarism. For our Lord said that those who love Him would keep His commandments. As you read the New Testament you will see not only how often love of enemies and doing good to those who persecute us is emphasized, but Jesus said the next commandment to loving God, is to love one's neighbor. He drove this lesson home by telling the account of the Good Samaritan. The summary of the Good Samaritan account is that our neighbor is even the enemy of our culture.
Of course, you can already see that all this fits perfectly into the conviction you have been standing for, and are paying the price for. You are to be admired for your convictions, and willingness to accept the consequences for them. On the other hand, as you read the scriptures, you will see that acts of conscience alone will not put you at peace with God, for our Lord demands that we be perfect - even as the Lord God Himself is perfect. On our own this is impossible, for we have all come short of God's standards. This is why Jesus' blood sacrifice is the only way to cover our sins. A person whose sins are covered, repents and turns from sin because he is 'born again' and a new creation spiritually. This is all written clearly in the New Testament. Please read it so you can make an informed decision as to your spiritual walk and eternal destiny.
Because Jesus claims to be God, it has been said that he is either a liar, lunatic, or in fact God. After you read the scripture, let me know what you think of Him.
I might add that I came under the same conviction as you, while serving in the Marine Corps in Viet Nam in 1966. It was the atrocity of war that made made me question what I had been taught concerning "God and Country". In those days we were not forced to re-deploy or I would have been in the same situation you are. I searched for the Jesus of the Bible, and He found me. Through repentance and His saving blood, in 1970 I was set free from the bondage of religion like you heard from Thor Tolo.
Thank you for your time, and I hope that at the very least you know that Jesus did not teach violence/returning evil for evil, and would not use the arguments of the world to belittle what you feel so strongly about. More importantly, I hope you are challenged to seek the Truth in the Word of God.
Very truly yours,