Ron Paul on Chris Kyle: Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword

Ron Paul posted the following Twitter update earlier today:

Update: Ron Paul posted the following clarification on Facebook:

As a veteran, I certainly recognize that this weekend’s violence and killing of Chris Kyle were a tragic and sad event. My condolences and prayers go out to Mr. Kyle’s family. Unconstitutional and unnecessary wars have endless unintended consequences. A policy of non-violence, as Christ preached, would have prevented this and similar tragedies. -REP

From Wikipedia:

Live by the sword, die by the sword

The phrase is found in the Christian Book of Revelation, 13:10: “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” (Rev.13:10 KJV)

Commonly, the expression is understood to mean, “You can expect to become a victim of whatever means you use to get what you want.”

A proverb in the Gospel of Matthew, verse 26:52, describes a disciple (identified in the Gospel of John as Simon Peter) drawing a sword to defend against the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, but is rebuked by Jesus, who tells him to sheath the weapon:

Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword (Matthew 26:52, King James Version)

This exchange looms large in progressive Christian theories of violence and power.

  • Tony Pflaum


    Your insensitive comments about Chris Kyle, show you for the
    huge douche bag you really are.

    Tony Pflaum

  • Robert

    Mr. Kyle was an outstanding American Hero. He fought to ensure you ignorant and cowardly people could criticize him and other service members. You all want freedoms and liberties, but complain about the individuals who provide you with them. Just rest assured, when you enter Hell, for being weak and lacking honor, Mr. Kyle will not be there to greet you.

    • Brandon Polk

      I found your comment quite interesting. I was under the impression that my rights and liberties are given to me (provided) by God. Now I know that the American military provides me my rights and liberties. Thank you for the clarification.

      If I’m not mistaken, the reason the so many countries hate us is because we send our military into their lands and bomb them. On top of that our government typically installs dictators that oppress their people.

      How does this provide me freedom? How does this keep me safe? Make the world hate you seems to have the opposite effect.

  • French Canadian

    US Marine Questions Narrative Behind Chris Kyle Murder

  • John Mork

    Dear Dr. Paul,

    I have always aspired to be as much like you as I possibly could. You always have remained true to your stance on liberty and restoring our republic to reflect the values acknowledged by the constitution bill of rights and all the other founding documents. I just read the comment by you in regard to Chris’s death and I am disappointed, I figured that if you had anything to say about this man and his death it would be to console his family, commend his outstanding service and offer your support and prayers not make a comment like those who live by the sword die by the sword. He didn’t die fighting in a foreign country he died here at the hands of someone who suffered from mental illness. His family didn’t deserve that insensitive remark and I wonder how this statement echoes through the ears of all the active and inactive military men and woman who support you. I will always support the cause of liberty and all who are strong enough to stand up for liberty. I was a volunteer on your last campaign for president and I will continue to support you however maybe a little more effort should be put forth before making such statements publicly. Thank you for all your years of dedicated service to this country and opening my eyes to the evils of the federal reserve and other abuses by our government.


  • Darryl

    Dr. Paul:

    I, for one, understood the point you were making and refuse to have my reason or emotions manipulated by the media. Chris Kyle rode the machine gun to fame in the service of Empire, fully believing in what he was doing. Thus, he lived by the sword.

    In trying to help his friend, he took a mentally unstable man to a shooting range, still believing that “the way of the gun” was the right one, even in peacetime. His friend killed him. Thus, he died by the sword.

    Yours was not a statement of judgment, but of observation. Here’s hoping a few other people can understand your intent.

  • Michael Wartman

    I have long been a strong supporter of Dr Paul. I was disgusted by the treatment he received last year at the GOP convention, and have developed a strong distaste for all things republican since. The GOP as a whole is nearly as repugnant as the DNC. I understood why Dr Paul ran as a republican. I understood why we wouldn’t run as an independent in 2012. I have long stated that there is not a single issue I am aware of that I do not agree with Dr Paul, including foreign policy and the necessity of a congressional declaration of war.

    Regardless of what you may feel about our illegal perpetual war, our commander in chief at the time ordered our troops into combat. His administration, as well as the current administration prosecuted this illegal conflict. The members of our armed forces, which most of you claim to support, are deployed under order of the commander in chief.

    Chris was a soldier with a job to do. The same as any member of ST6 who took down OBL. He did not “murder”. To yours and my knowledge (Dr Paul may have privileged information), every one of his 160 confirmed and 255 unconfirmed kills was an enemy combatant. An individual intent on waging war with us troops. If he did not kill them, and nobody else killed them, they WOULD kill us troops. Regardless of their reasoning or any moral justification you think these people may have (which i’m not agreeing with or arguing), these were people engaged in armed conflict. Chris was a member of the opposite team. OUR team. the soldiers they wanted to kill were OUR soldiers. OUR friends. OUR family. You people seem to forget that.

    Dr Paul, This single statement, regardless of malice or intent, does not negate a lifetime of service to the constitution and the cause of liberty. I still hold the deepest respect for you and would wholeheartedly support any run for office on your part. Thank you for a lifetime of service.

  • FreedomsReigning

    Serve destruction, and be destroyed.

    There’s a very good reason the meek inherit the earth, and even during the process, they have nothing to fear.

    A covetous man should be afraid, because justice is coming for you. There’s no hole deep enough; castle tall enough, or life long enough to escape the consequences.

    A covetous man will take his destroyer with him wherever he goes. Even if he could somehow defeat death itself, using his creativity to build a cage around his mind, body, and soul, he’ll still lose, becoming a prisoner of shadow and dust.

    As it is below, so shall it be above.

  • Jeremy Reading

    Kudos to Dr. Paul! His “sword” comment exactly anticipated my response had the prevailing censorship of Twitter permitted it. But then that burr in their saddle– my troublesome Kindle trilogy, “The Hardscabble Zone”– must remain a nonentity in popular understanding as an always busy Archdemon Sama-el and his One-Worlders wreak havoc upon all aspects of Our Civilization.

  • sunaj

    I think Ron Paul is making a general statement about the effects of war, not a personal rant to the victim or family, I am a sportsman, NRA member and 2nd Amendment Supporter, and love to shoot and I also am a medic,
    and I can tell you clearly and honestly that if you are suffering from clinical severe mental depression you are not a candidate for handling a gun, period

  • Dave

    Kyle was an animal. Nick named the “Devil,” he murdered over 250 people by his own count with out remorse under the guise of patriotism and then profited from it by selling a book. Anyone who idolizes this guy needs his head examined.

    • Dave

      LOL Three people already “dislike” my comment about this self professed killer. I have to guess they also idolize the troops who killed children in the Wikileaks videos. Has been hacked by a bunch of neocons?

      • FreedomsReigning

        “Has been hacked by a bunch of neocons?”

        No. The liberty movement was hacked by a bunch of Anarchist fan boys, and now it’s time for some house cleaning.

        Anarchists are worthless to liberty because they don’t know why anybody needs to pick up a sword to defend it. They don’t why people create governments to begin with and even try to blame injustice on government. Anarchists are destroyers, liars and frauds, just like Ron Paul, and this is their Fan Boy site. An Anarchist can’t explain their broken and worthless ideas, because all they want to do is use people and destroy.

        I’m with Jesus on this one. Serve destruction and be destroyed. Justice is about stopping destroyers, and since Anarchists want only to destroy, I say we serve some justice.

  • C.J.Gruesbeck

    Mr. Paul ,I have supported you and discussed your ideas to many for several years now but in this.As a Christian there are times to speak and times to offer silence . Retirement was a good choice sir,as you can and have spoken with great wisdom I pray that God gives great strength to the family in mourning to forgive you for kicking them when they were down.And also I pray that the lord forgives you for using his word to inflict such pain on that grieving family. Your ideas have been inspiring sir but you may be dismissed,now go and quietly enjoy your retirement.

  • Terry Carlson

    I have to agree that Ron Paul’s statements regarding Chris Kyle’s death were unjustifiable. Where do I go to get a refund for my Ron Paul t-shirt?

  • Dave

    I applaud you Dr Paul for saying what needed to be said! Anyone who believes they are invading another country to protect the US from goat-herders with guns is delusional. Most people who join the military are there for one reason… They need the money and private sector jobs aren’t available. The vast majority of young recruits come from impoverished homes who’s only opportunity to “earn a living” is the military. If we told the troops that their pay would consist of food and shelter how many do you think would remain? Would they work for the “honor of serving”? I’ll never understand the mentality of the people who say they don’t trust government yet “support the troops”. Think about it.

  • Good thing Ron says what he thinks, rather than censor himself. The issue of PTSD is one of the long lasting results at home of Bush’s War, and if Ron wants to throw out a little “I told you so,” so be it.

  • Brad

    I am a veteran that served in Iraq at the same time Chris was there. Naturally this was my reason to buy the book and read it and the book helped me deal with my own bouts of depression and PTSD. To me Chris truely is an American Hero and a personal inspiration. Ron Paul the comments you made just proved my feelings of you all along. You are an insesitive, out of touch, and an idiot. By the way, for me going to the range and shooting off a few rounds is very theraputic. F U Ron Paul

    • Dave

      Anyone who believes they are invading another country to protect the US from goat-herders with guns is delusional. Most people who join the military are there for one reason… They need the money and private sector jobs aren’t available. The vast majority of young recruits come from impoverished homes who’s only opportunity to “earn a living” is the military. If we told the troops that their pay would consist of food and shelter how many do you think would remain? Would they work for the “honor of serving”? I’ll never understand the mentality of the people who say they don’t trust government yet “support the troops”. Think about it.

  • Ed Librick

    you are an ASS ron paul

  • Dr. Paul,

    Leave comments about the Word of God to those who know what they are talking about. Your tweet about the cold blooded murder of a great American was truly one of the more inane, ignorant things I have ever heard in my 56 years.

    In context, the Lord Jesus Christ was saying that those who ‘live by violence,’ that being the criminal, should ‘die by the sword of the state’, that being capital punishment.

    Stupid, Dr. Paul. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid…

  • Liane Bathey

    I cannot believe that you would make a statement so hurtful and un-educated. Did you know that there are statistics that show that having a Veteran suffering from PTSD be able to go to a shooting range actually lowers their heart rate and calms them?? That because they have spent so much time carrying a weapon and in combat that when they return to civilian life, they find it difficult to adjust without one? I hope you spend a moment of your day thinking about how your stupid comment makes this Hero Chris Kyle’s wife and children feel. While you sit in your cushy office tweeting stupid comments because of MEN like him. How about you spend your time figuring out how to actually help our Veterans suffering from PTSD so Hero’s like Chris Kyle dont have to take that responsibility on themselves?

  • w

    Such a mean, nasty statement. To treat the death of such a good man in this way is contemptable. He saved the lives of many, many people and spent much of his time helping others since leaving the service. What have you done but spout idiotic statements for years.

  • Tmac

    RP – Perhaps a gun range is not the best place for a PTSD survivor. Who really knows? But certainly, Twitter is no place for your lazy ass comments on something as significant and painful as death let alone murder. If you are dumb enough, lazy enough, and careless enough to comment on life and death matters via Twitter, you are not wise enough to lead anyone.

    For Ron and others; some examples for future reference:
    Do not use Twitter to propose marriage to your significant other.
    Do not use Twitter to report a house fire.
    Do not use Twitter to tell you family of the death of a loved one.
    Do not use Twitter to report a crime.
    etc. etc. etc.