Sunday, February 3, 2013
Chris Kyle, American Sniper: Some thoughts upon news of his murder
Last year I read "American Sniper: The autobiography of the most lethal sniper in U.S. Military History", which is the account of Navy Seal, Chris Kyle. It was a fascinating read with him recounting how he became a Seal and served in multiple tours of duty in Iraq. He has over 160 confirmed sniper kills during his military career with an estimated 180 actual kills.
War is such a dicey ethical dilemma. I believe there is such a thing as a just war. Whether you think U.S. troops should have been in Iraq or not, the situations Kyle and our other soldiers were in aren't very difficult to judge. They were clearing cities of armed, attacking, insurgents. Kyle killed insurgents that were trying to kill our troops. In my view, he was justified in carrying out his orders in the situation he was placed. He was exceptionally efficient at what he did.
Tonight word came out of Texas that Kyle was murdered along with another man while at a gun range 50 miles south of Ft. Worth. The details are sketchy at the time of this post, but it appears a lone gunman shot and killed him and the other man at point blank range. I am sure we'll hear more about the circumstances soon.
Hearing of Kyle's death made be go back to "American Sniper" and read what he said about Christianity. In my view, Kyle was an American war hero. He gave testimony to simple faith in Christ. I will post what he says at the end of his book. It's not the most biblically accurate statement you'll hear, but the core, essential, element- belief in Christ- seems clear enough. Check out what he wrote:
I don't spend a lot of time philosophizing about killing people (in the war). I have a clear conscience about my role in the war.
I am a strong Christian. Not a perfect one- not close. But I strongly believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible. When I die, God is going to hold me accountable for everything I've done on earth. He may hold me back until last and let everybody else through the line, because it will take so long to go over all my sins. "Mr. Kyle, let's go into the backroom..."
Honestly, I don't know what will really happen on Judgement Day. But what I lean toward is that you know all of your sins, and God knows them all, and shame comes over you at the reality that He knows. I believe the fact that I have accepted Jesus as my savior will be my salvation.
But in the backroom or whatever it is when God confronts me with my sins, I do not believe any of the kills I had during the war will be among them. Everyone I shot was evil. I had good cause on every shot. They all deserved to die.
My regrets are about the people I couldn't save- Marines, soldiers, my buddies. I still feel their loss. I still ache for my failure to protect them.
(excerpted from "American Sniper", p. 497-498)
Chris Kyle, 39, leaves a wife and two children...and hundreds (if not more) thankful fellow soldiers who he kept watch over during wartime.