Medal of Honor will be awarded this afternoon to Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore
Giunta for his heroism in Afghanistan, and deservedly so. He took a bullet in
his protective vest as he pulled one soldier to safety, and then rescued the
sergeant who was walking point and had been taken captive by two Taliban, whom
Sgt. Giunta shot to free his comrade-in-arms.
This is just the
eighth Medal of Honor awarded during our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Sgt.
Giunta is the only one who lived long enough to receive his medal in person.
But I have noticed a
disturbing trend in the awarding of these medals, which few others seem to have
We have feminized
the Medal of Honor.
According to Bill
McGurn of the Wall Street Journal, every Medal of Honor awarded during these two
conflicts has been awarded for saving life. Not one has been awarded for
inflicting casualties on the enemy. Not one.
Gen. George Patton
once famously said, "The object of war is not to die for your country but
to make the other guy die for his."
When we think of
heroism in battle, we used the think of our boys storming the beaches of
Normandy under withering fire, climbing the cliffs of Pointe do Hoc while enemy
soldiers fired straight down on them, and tossing grenades into pill boxes to
take out gun emplacements.
That kind of heroism
has apparently become passe when it comes to awarding the Medal of Honor. We
now award it only for preventing casualties, not for inflicting them.
So the question is
this: when are we going to start awarding the Medal of Honor once again for
soldiers who kill people and break things so our families can sleep safely at
I would suggest our
culture has become so feminized that we have become squeamish at the thought of
the valor that is expressed in killing enemy soldiers through acts of bravery.
We know instinctively that we should honor courage, but shy away from honoring
courage if it results in the taking of life rather than in just the saving of
life. So we find it safe to honor those who throw themselves on a grenade to
save their buddies.
Jesus, in words
often cited in ceremonies such as the one which will take place this afternoon,
said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for
his friends” (John 15:13). So it is entirely right that we honor this kind of
bravery and self-sacrifice, which is surely an imitation of the Lord of lords
and King of kings.
However, Jesus’ act
of self-sacrifice would ultimately have been meaningless - yes, meaningless -
if he had not inflicted a mortal wound on the enemy while giving up his own
The significance of
the cross is not just that Jesus laid down his life for us, but that he
defeated the enemy of our souls in the process. It was on the cross that he
crushed the head of the serpent. It was on the cross that “he disarmed the
rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in
it” (Colossians 2:15).
represented a cosmic showdown between the forces of light and the forces of
darkness, and our commanding general claimed the ultimate prize by defeating
our unseen enemy and liberating an entire planet from his bondage.
We rightly honor
those who give up their lives to save their comrades. It’s about time we
started also honoring those who kill bad guys.
noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect
the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)