Defence Secretary Liam Fox is pushing through an Armed Forces Bill that will make no meaningful changes to the armed forces. Fox and his allies use gung-ho rhetoric about "supporting our boys" while neglecting the human rights of forces personnel.
Armed forces chaplains play a crucial role in providing pastoral support to people who face danger and death on a daily basis. But chaplains' independence is compromised by the fact that they are members of the forces themselves. Churches that take a stand on wider issues of peace and war are rarely willing to question the ethics of the armed forces. Why has this situation arisen? And how can we change it?
The programme of the Greenbelt Christian festival this weekend declares that disagreement is “essential to discovery”. This is an inspiring sentiment to hear in Christian circles, all the more so when it appears to be said with sincerity.
When Christians explore nonviolence, we do so with the legacy of Christian collusion with militarism hanging over us. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the confusion around Christian attitudes to the armed forces.