Duke divinity school explores ministering to veterans

Posted November 9, 2011

— Many veterans are haunted by the horrors of war as they try to return to life at home.

Starting Friday, Duke Divinity School is hosting a two-day forum, called After the Yellow Ribbon, to help address those veterans' needs. 

Logan Mehl-Laituri, an Iraq war veteran and Duke divinity student, said he organized the conference to help others deal with the moral questions that struck him after combat.

"What do I do as a Christian? And there's also a number of questions that surround what do I do as a human being who has had to think and consider killing another human being," Mehl-Laituri said.

Web only: Veterans deal with killing after war Web only: Veterans deal with killing after war

"The Christian tradition simply is non-retaliation," said divinity student Rev. Alan Felton, who served with the National Guard in Germany in the 1908s.

"No matter how justified that killing might seem in the moment, in the heat of the moment, it will never undo the evil that was done," he said.

Organizers said the After the Yellow Ribbon forum will help pastors explore how to minister to a nation at war and to the problems of service members and veterans. The forum runs Friday and Saturday in the Goodson Chapel at Duke University.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Nov 10, 2011

    What makes these guys think they are qualified to counsel anyone about anything? They wouldn't even be able to get an entry-level job as a social worker.

    Maybe all these war guys need is an ear, but why bring religion into it? Nothing has caused (and continues to cause) more pain, suffering and death on the planet as religion. Hmmm...maybe religious leaders ARE qualified to counsel killers after all.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Nov 10, 2011

    @espaced, so you don't think there is anything wrong with killing another human as long as it's considered "war"? Really? Well, that explains why there have been so many religious wars and why the religious are usually the last to object to killing others in foreign lands.

    And, I'm sure you appreciate the other side "doing unto others" back to ya. They only want to follow your mantra as well as you seem capable of. (shrug)

    Oh, and none of my bibles have a little asterisk next to the Shall Not Kill command for war killings...does yours?

  • espaced Nov 9, 2011

    "The Christian tradition simply is non-retaliation" Non-retaliation? Against the desperately horrible evil that goes on in this world? I think perhaps the message is mixed here. Christ wants us to not "retaliate" for revenge. In the defense of goodness and innocence, protection is not called retaliation. Christ was not a Precious Moments meek little lamb. He came to throw over the tables of those who valued money above honor. For us to imply that it is any way wrong for a soldier to fight, for us to demean the sacrifices made by saying that while a soldier's job is necessary, deep down it is evil - that is what is wrong here. For a non-Christian, death may be the ultimate evil, but surely Christians know otherwise.