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Are there CO hawks in the Churches of God?
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Are there CO hawks in the Churches of God?
By Wes White
The writer and his wife, Nancy, attend the Church of God Big Sandy.

BIG SANDY, Texas--I was jogging past the home of my friend Moore Wright Thnu yesterday when I heard loud screaming coming from his living room. I immediately ran to the door and rang the bell.

When Moore opened the door he was red-faced with rage. Our conversation went like this:

Wes: Moore, what in the world is the matter in there? Is everything all right?

Moore: Did you hear what he called me?

Wes: Who?

Moore: Him! Look at the TV.

I looked at the image being transmitted by the Fox News Network.

Wes: That looks like the former governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura.

Moore: That's right. The unpatriotic rat.

Wes: Unpatriotic? Wasn't Ventura a decorated war hero during the Vietnam War?

Moore: Well, yes, but that's not the point.

Wes: Didn't he get a lot of medals like the Silver Star, Navy Cross and Purple Heart while serving in the U.S. Navy Seals?

Moore: Forget that part. I'm turning this off. I can't stand it anymore.

Wes: What is it you can't stand?

Moore: He called me a chicken hawk.

Wes: A chicken hawk? Why would he call you a chicken hawk?

Moore: A chicken hawk is a guy who had a chance to join the military and serve in combat but didn't. And, now that the guy is too old to serve, he's in favor of war and sending young men off to fight.

Wes: And you think he's calling you a chicken hawk?

Moore: Of course he is. He says I was chicken when I could have helped out during the Vietnam War, but now I'm a hawk when it comes to the war in Iraq.

Wes: Oh, I get it now. This is interesting. I know you have been vocal in promoting the war in Iraq, but I don't know anything about your personal history in the late '60s and early '70s. Did you serve in the military during those years?

Moore began stammering.

Moore: I was in the church at that time. We weren't allowed to join the army.

Wes: Really? I thought it was okay for you to enlist as a conscientious objector--a CO--and serve as a medic or in some other noncombat capacity. Did you consider that option back then?

Moore: I don't know if I want to discuss this. If you must know, Mr. Nosy, I was in the employ of the church back then.

Wes: I didn't know that. So did you agree with the church's teaching on military service back then?

Moore: Not really. But I went along with it so I could keep my job in the church.

Wes: Are you saying that, when you filed papers with Selective Service saying you didn't believe in carnal warfare, you didn't mean it?

Moore: Now see here, Wes. I didn't want to get disfellowshipped. Besides, Ann Coulter wasn't writing and speaking back then. I didn't have access to her profound insights back in those days.

Wes: Well, please help me understand all this. Would you serve in the military today if you weren't past the maximum age of enlistment?

Moore: Absolutely!

Wes: Would you say that young men today should sign up to help the war effort?

Moore: That's correct!

Wes: But you have three sons of ideal military age. Have you encouraged them to enlist?

Moore started stammering again.

Moore: What? Of course not! Why would I encourage my boys to join? You know that many Sabbath-keeping Churches of God teach against military service.

Wes: But this is not your belief. And your sons don't even attend church or keep the Sabbath. Why wouldn't you want them to enlist?

Moore: I just don't. Wait a minute. You're trying to trick me. You're trying to get me to admit that I don't mind Americans dying in war but I just don't want it to be me or my sons doing the dying.

Wes: Is this true?

Moore: Quit calling me a hypocrite. You're as bad as that Jesse Ventura. You're accusing me of being a chicken hawk. You need to just leave my house right now.

As I walked down the front-porch steps, the door slammed behind me. Halfway down the block I could hear Moore's TV was back on and he was screaming at Jesse Ventura.

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