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kevbo's avatar

If you had to choose between working for a national defense contractor and an international evangelical ministry, which would you choose and why?

Asked by kevbo (25603points) August 21st, 2009

This is a hypothetical question borne of what seems to be my most immediate job prospects at the moment. Assume the salaries are equal, and that your job function requires faith in neither, but reasonably extensive knowledge of the subject matter (i.e. it will take up brain space).

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23 Answers

AstroChuck's avatar

Jesus, your giving me a choice to compromise my ethics and sell my soul or to compromise my ethics and sell my soul. Not much of a choice. Either way I’m screwed.

kevbo's avatar

Haha! One could also argue that your harvesting souls either way.

Grisaille's avatar

Mercs, all the way. At least they are being (reasonably) honest about their activities and how immoral it is.

Also, the intent of the organization doesn’t pollute the knowledge of the general population (just kills them).

kevbo's avatar

(by the way, it’s not Blackwater, since they are one in the same)

EmpressPixie's avatar

I find the defense contractors less disgusting than evangelical ministries, ergo would choose that. But honestly, I’d keep looking.

Lightlyseared's avatar

National defence contractor. It would easier on my soul.

YARNLADY's avatar

I worked for a Defense contractor and so did Hubby. I didn’t feel the least bit compromised. Where would this country be if it weren’t for Defense? It’s the religions of the world that have created the need for defense in my opinion.

Judi's avatar

I’m going on a mission trip with HELPS International in October. We are not going to evanglize, although it is a Christian mission. We are bringing Doctors and Dentists to the jungle.
My husband went to Jamica with them lat year and theyactually saved a guys life when they pulled his tooth. Our dentist friend said be would have been dead in a year.
So, if the ministry was one of service and not just a bunch of soul counters, baptizing heathens, then I would choose the ministry. If not, I would just get a good sturdy refrigerator box and find a cozy corner under a southern California bridge.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I’d take on the Defense contracting job. I wouldn’t be proud but I’d be informed to extent and could maybe do some intelligence trading :D

augustlan's avatar

Not much of a choice. But if I had to choose, I’d go with the ministry. At least I know their intentions would be good. I’d continue to earnestly look for another job while working for them though.

Jeruba's avatar

That’s such a tough one, @kevbo, and such a classic forced-choice question, that it is hard to believe you are really confronted with such a dilemma. GQ for you.

I really bought @EmpressPixie‘s answer. Then I read @Judi,‘s and I bought that one. GA for both. And Judi, given where you’re speaking from, I give you bonus points for your rational objectivity.

Ultimately I have to go with @augustlan. I’d rather be an undercover heathen among the evangelists than an undercover pacifist among the warriors. I’ve been resisting the evangelists for half a century and know how to do it.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@augustlan: I’m not sure that is true. I mean, really, at that point they are usually raking money in. I’m not sure it is possible that people who work in those organizations at the top really believe in the message as anything more than a money-making-message.

Jeruba's avatar

If I had to make a guess, @EmpressPixie, I would guess that those right at the top are mostly shielded from the unsavory business side of matters, and some of them may still be capable of propagating an honest message of faith and love. I think they do believe in it. I also think there are many true believers keeping the machinery going. Without a doubt there are cynical opportunists, but I don’t think everyone in those outfits has lost sight of benign intent. It’s not a lack of sincerity that bothers me; it’s wrong-headedness.

cwilbur's avatar

What would I be doing for either of them?

A job teaching music for the evangelical ministry is a lot more attractive than a job as a filing clerk for the defense contractor.

Bugabear's avatar

Defense contractor. I’d know i was doing the right thing.You get to see big things go boom. At least some of the time. Its also more interesting.

AstroChuck's avatar

edit: you’re giving me a choice…


wundayatta's avatar

I would hold my nose and join the ministry. I think it’s better to do good works than to defend against bad guys. It’s also more effective in the long run. I’d do my best to make sure that the evangelists were prepared to deal with the cultures they will find, and to respect them, when trying to help the people.

Just what kind of work is it, anyway?

kevbo's avatar

Hi all. I came across this article and rather than post another ire-inducing Q, I thought I’d just put it here since it’s related:

The ministry, by the way, produces and distributes audio versions of the Bible in nearly all languages so that illiterate or oral-tradition populations can hear the Word of God. The job is writing newsletters and reports for donors to the ministry. Seems benign at first blush but also smacks of cultural imperialism.

Judi's avatar

@kevbo, I couldn’t finish reading that article. It just pissed me off to much!

kevbo's avatar

Yeah, it’s a strange thing to think about.

Jeruba's avatar

I read it to the end, and now I’m all pissed off. Maybe I’ll take the defense job after all, collect the dirt, and be a whistle-blower. Then I’ll make a dash for the jungle with the missionaries.

Kraigmo's avatar

In a perfect world, Defense and Evangelism would still exist.

But in THIS world… Defense is often a codeword for Violent Global Corporate Welfare, and Evangelism is often a codeword for Theocratic Control Freak Authoritarianism.

Since you’re talking about this world though… I’d have to choose the evangelical ministry because of the chance would do some help to people. Particularly if it would be a social-works form of Christianity rather than a twisted form of dominant conservatism.

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