#Reborn4thJuly One Year Later: Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

*This week marks one year of my first book, Reborn on the Fourth of July, being available in print. This week and into next I will be posting and reflecting upon videos from the initial release.

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Jonathan and I go back a few years. He’s been a guide and mentor and I was incredibly grateful for his endorsement of my very first book (that he encouraged me to pursue). It reads;

Logan Mehl-Laituri’s testimony is a stark reminder of the moral cost of war. Every Christian who puts a ‘Pray for Our Troops’ sticker on their bumper should listen closely to these confessions of a soul who’s struggled to love God and country. At the same time, anyone committed to Christian nonviolence should reckon with this story of a soldier who sought to practice love of enemy. Logan is asking for the church to see its veterans. I pray we’ll listen.

Last year at the Wild Goose Festival, he offered these thoughts to the Church on the Fourth of July;

He and I were going to return to Iraq together in 2010 until his baby decided she was gonna be born then instead. It was there, in Iraq, seven years prior, when his views on July Fourth changed, as mine did about six years before – he as an activist against war, me as a combat soldier. He and I share a complicated perception of the fireworks set off every year for Independence day, the bombs they evoke do so more strongly for each of us than they do the average American. Jonathan reminds us that in loving our place (like America), we also must love our neighbors, including those other countries in the community of nations. This love is self-critical, it is not self-seeking or quick to anger. With him, I’d ask that the Church be honest about who and whose we are, for we cannot possibly love a place if we only see its strengths and look past its weaknesses.

To read more about my journey from patriot to pacifist (and back again, kinda); check our Reborn on the Fourth of July: The Challenge of Faith, Patriotism, & Conscience

2 thoughts on “#Reborn4thJuly One Year Later: Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

  1. Hi
    I just attended your seminar at Notre Dame, and you touched a bit on Eisenhower and military skepticism, but what are your (moral) views on the military industrial complex and think tank policies on globalization based on your experience in the army?

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