Senior chaplain in Helmand province: 'We kill to defeat evil'
Padre Mark Christian said killing 'to defeat evil' was 'morally permissible'. He leads today's Remembrance Sunday service in Lashkar Gah, where hundreds of soldiers will gather to remember not only the fallen of past wars, but also their own friends, colleagues and brothers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
We only see their faces for a few seconds on the news, but they are quickly forgotten amidst the glitz of X-Factor. Parliament hears their names routinely read out each week by the Prime Minister, and their heroism is quickly subsumed to party political point-scoring. But those who live in the warzone face the reality of death every day.
The Padre said: "In a perfect world, the world that God intended for us, we would all live at peace with each other.
"But we don't live in that world, we live in a fallen world where evil exists and it is the obligation of all good people to confront evil and to defeat it where they can.
"Unfortunately that necessitates us in doing things like killing, which in the abstract is wrong.
"But when you are doing that to defeat a greater evil I think it is morally permissible but it requires our soldiers to have a very, very high degree of understanding of morality."
Politicians have largely ceased seeing things in terms of good and evil: everything is relative. Cranmer wonders if, just occasionally, our solidiers ask themselves if that which they are fighting to defend is worth dying for. Why die to bring liberty and democracy to Afghanistan, when liberty and democracy are in peril in the United Kingdom?
By confronting the evil abroad, we take our eyes off the evil at home.
Or we simply cease to call it evil, and so it ceases to be.