Now a step further. Does loving your enemy mean not punishing him? No, for loving myself does not mean that I ought not to subject myself to punishment – even to death. If you have commidted a murder, the right Christian thing to do would be to give yourself ut på the police and be hanged. It is, therefore, in my opinion, perfectly right for a Christian judge to sentence a man to death or a Christian soldier to kill an enemy. I have always have thought so, ever since I became a Christian, and long before the war, and I still think so now that we are at peace. It is no good quoting «Thou shalt not kill.» There at two Greek words: the ordinary word to kill and the word to murder. And when Christ qoutes that commandment He uses the murder one in all three accounts, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. And I am told there is the same distinction in Hebrew. All killing is not murder any more than all sexual intercourse is adultery. Whern soldiers came to St John the Baptist asking what to do, he never remotely suggested that the ought to leave the army: nor did Christ when He met a Roman centurion. The idea of the knight – the Christian in arms for the defense of a good cause – is one of the great Christian ideas. War is a dreadful thing, and I can respect an honest pacifist, though I think he is entirely mistaken. What I cannot understand is this sort of semi-pacifism you get nowadays which gives people the idea that though you have to fight, you ought to do so with a long face as if you were ashamed of it. It is that feeling that rovs lots of magnificent young Christians in the Services [=Forsvaret] of something they have a right to do, something which is the natural accompaniment of courage – a kind of gaiety [=munterhet, lystighet] and wholeheartedness.
Fra C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity.