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Showing posts from May 28, 2016

For Most Countries, At Most Times, People Looked at Military Service with Dread

C.S. Lewis, best known for The Chronicles of Narnia served in World War I in the British Army.  He was a citizen of Northern Ireland and was not subject to the draft, but volunteered to serve. He was badly wounded twice and between battles lived in cold, muddy trenches.  During the first year of World War II, Lewis spoke to a pacifist society at Oxford with the title "Why I Am Not a Pacifist."  Most of the speech is technical, but he gave a haunting summary.  

He describes the life of a soldier on active duty in a war:


All that we fear from all the kinds of adversity, severally, is collected together in the life of a soldier on active service. 

Like sickness, it threatens pain and death. 

Like poverty, it threatens ill lodging, cold, heat, thirst, and hunger. 

Like slavery, it threatens toil, humiliation, injustice, and arbitrary rule. 

Like exile, it separates you from all you love. 

Like the gallies, it imprisons you at close quarters with uncongenial companions. 

It threatens eve…