* World War II was generally seen as a
just war (at least, if you were on the side of the Allies). But, since then,
many church leaders have affirmed that the introduction of nuclear weapons
makes it impossible to label as “just” any war at all, because of the risk
of nuclear conflict. Here’s a suggestion: the advent of new high-tech,
precision weaponry – used in the last conflict against Iraq and in
Afghanistan – has reintroduced proportionality to warfare. Might it not be
time for these church leaders to give war a chance?
* When you start reading your Bible you
have trouble finding where the concept of a just war derives. As I wrote a
few days ago, in my commentary
Just War, Christians
and Iraq – Where Is the Justice in Not Attacking?, “it’s hard to avoid
the suspicion that Christian just war theory is simply an attempt to
circumvent the clear teachings of Jesus”.
* And yet God
loves soldiers. As
in Old Testament days, He still apparently
guides troops in battle.
* I have been fascinated to read the
doctoral thesis of Father Patrick Dolan, a chaplain to the Kentucky National
Guard. (Titled “Just War Theory in the Gulf War Debate”, it is not available
commercially, or online, but is apparently found in many seminary
libraries.) Writing about the last Gulf conflict, he says:
The use of power, whether it be economic
or military, served a spiritual purpose: it communicated with Iraq and its
people in their own spiritual language. Some have claimed that different
world cultures value different spiritual entities. Some examples
include…South Americans and other Latin cultures treasuring friendship of
one who is simpatico while Northern Europeans and North Americans
reverence truths….Power is the spiritual language of the Middle East. It is
not just an acquiescence to a “might makes right” state of affairs; it is a
reverencing of power – a holy attribute – as a sharing in one characteristic
of “the Almighty One”.
Military power as spiritual language!
That’s something church leaders anywhere can understand.
South Koreans welcome North Korea's nuclear bomb, the
spirituality of military power, and other reflections.
November 1st, 2002
Just War, Christians and Iraq – Where Is the Justice in Not Attacking?
Haven't the people of Iraq suffered enough?
October 29th, 2002
Does God Still
Speak to Soldiers?
In Old Testament times God spoke regularly
to Israel’s military commanders, directing their battles and bringing about
the defeat of their enemies. But what about today? Does God still take
September 21st, 2002
Can a senior military officer truly
follow Jesus and still be an efficient and effective soldier? An emphatic
“yes” is the answer from Major General Tim Cross of the British Army
September 13th, 2002
God loves soldiers. Christians should, too.
September 9th, 2002
Attack on Iraq – Just War or Just Plain Wrong?
The Anglican Bishop to the Australian Defence Forces says it
is time to rethink just war doctrines.
August 6th, 2002