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Bailing Out

June 8, 2015

Way back when I was in college the Vietnam War was going strong.  As it did the number of American troops sent to Vietnam kept rising.  When it got past 500,000 and showed no signs of stopping it made many of us on campus nervous.  You see, in those days there was a military draft and all young men were subject to it.  But, if you were in college, you were exempt.  So all my friends and I sat there watching the war from afar and pontificating on it – until we got close to graduation.

We knew that once we graduated we’d lose our 2C exemptions and be subject to being hauled off and sent to war.  In this day and age where the armed forces are all voluntary it is hard to convey the uncertainty, even anxiety we all felt.  Many, including those who opposed the war, might find themselves fighting it.  In an effort to introduce a degree of clarity the government introduced a draft lottery when I was a college senior.  Dates were pulled out of a hat (or barrel or something) and where your birth date lined up in the sequence of the draw gave you some clarity as to your chance to be called.  Get a low number and you were sure to go; get a high number and you were safe.  The unknown middle was still there.

And so it was, on an April night in my senior year, my five roommates and I sat listening to the radio as the numbers, in ascending order, were called out.  We talked about what we would do if we got a low number.  We also decided that whoever of the six of us had the highest number would pick up the tab as we all went out to a local bar.  (Ok, Ok, I know, but I wasn’t a Christian then.)

As it turned out the undeserved providence of God fell heavily on me that night.  My birthday came up 362nd so I was as safe as could be.  Even better, one of my roommates was 364th so I wasn’t required to shell out for the party.  In my first ever effort at being gracious I did agree to split the tab however.  I guess I was so happy that nobody was going to be shooting at me that I felt magnanimous.  (As it turns out, going overseas to be shot at was only deferred.  I got shot at as a missionary in 1989.)

But there were two of our team that had low numbers.  As a result they started debating taking what was a fairly common step at the time – fleeing to Canada.  One of them eventually did.  I lost track of him about ten years later and he was still vowing never to return.  The interesting thing was that none of us who were safe; who were unaffected due to our high numbers, even remotely considered leaving the country.

I thought of this last week when I read this article where a guy by the name of Joseph Farah said that “there are millions of Christians, Jews and others who would pull up stakes and move to another country that honored the institution of marriage as it was designed by God – a union between one man and one woman.”  He also was hoping that at least one state might secede so that these millions didn’t have to travel so far; so that they could all pile into the seceding state.

So, here is my question for Mr. Farah – what other sins that are tolerated here will make you want to emigrate?  Just keeping it in the sexual realm, are you willing to leave because the country tolerates marital infidelity?  Sex outside of marriage?  Pornography?  Or, what about this list: “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him, haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”  Proverbs 6:16-19.

I continue to be perplexed by the way we have elevated one thing we think is sinful so much higher than others.  I’m pretty sure that Mr. Farah won’t get millions to go with him.  I doubt 100 will.  I sure am not interested.  Unless of course he could get Hawaii too secede, I might go then.  But I do wish he’d explain why this, among all other issues, is such a big deal.  And, if he is up to it, can he also explain why two guys down the block, which seems to have nothing to do with him, makes him want to bug out as much as being forced to go to war made my friend leave.


From → Christianity

  1. You’ve touched on a key aspect of the rapid success of the cultural shift toward accepting same-gender marriage. Unlike looking at a high draft probability into a dangerous, collapsing war, it’s low risk. It doesn’t threaten the sanctity of anyone’s “traditional” marriage more than divorce and non-monogamous sexual activity already have. Additionally, it doesn’t cost society as a whole (sorry about you half-dozen bakers and florists) any money to implement, and offers instead some moderate economic benefit to states that legalize.

    Believe it or not, my draft number was 365! As a result, I didn’t even bother going to college, but worked for a few years instead.

  2. Trinity member permalink

    Invisibile Mikey: You say it doesn’t cost society any money, and actually provides some for those states that legalize. What brings you to those conclusions?

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