I Wonder Again About the


I Wonder Again About the Theory

Just war seems to me an irreconcilable verbal construction. Assume for the sake of argument that it were possible,. would it ever be possible to truly codify it. Let us pause a moment and consider--perhaps one might have just reasons for taking up arms, but I wonder if the end results of the conflict that resulted could ever be termed "just." Is any conflict actually conducted "justly?" It would seem to me that as soon as the first innocent dies, the "justice" of the cause has succumbed to the taint of human blood once again.

That said, I also wonder whether it is just not to oppose and depose a person who oppresses, represses, tortures, and kills his people systematically. Don't we have Biblical precedent for this (Judith, for example). I speculated a while back that it might not be all that great a sin to remove someone like Hitler who was slaughtering millions rather than to stand by and allow them to be slaughtered. Are there instances in which the good of the many outweight the good of the few. John da Fiesole said, "Never," in my previous discussion of this, and I must submit to the logic of it--but this is where I do not trust logic. I cannot imagine that God regarding the relative merits of say Hitler and his would-be assassin would place them in the same frame. (Sorry, John, all the logical arguments in the world will not move me from the intuition that love expresses itself sometimes in actions that do not seem very loving--a deep love for humanity might have driven an assassin of Stalin, and the world might have been a better place sooner.

So even apart from a just war--the meaning of which I find sufficiently slippery to be suspect, there are times at which we are given a choice of two evils--allow someone to continue killing, destroying, and terrorizing, or remove that person. Either one of them might be regarded as a sin. But personally, I would rather be complicit in the removal of a tyrant than in the destruction of a single innocent life.

This leaves aside the question of other recourse, which I do deliberately--this is academic pondering--or not academic, because I probably won't submit to the persuasion of reason on this but follow my heart. I honestly don't believe that a war can be conducted justly even if it has a just cause and these are two separate, hard issues. But sometimes war may be necessary for the security of the world and the freedom of a people. I am glad I am not in the place to make that decision. And I am overjoyed that I have the privilege of praying for everyone involved. Just, unjust, or whatever, prayer is the remedy now and always. Our Soldiers, the people of Iraq, their combattants, and even Saddam himself are all in need of our prayers. Not now nor ever will I speak a word against those brave souls who have risen to the call of our leader and responded as they ought and should. My debt to these men and women surpasses any repayment--regardless of what I may think of the circumstances. And as you can see from the last several posts, I don't know what I think. What a trial and what a great opportunity for growth, if only I can figure how to let God into it all.

Bookmark and Share



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on April 5, 2003 1:40 PM.

On the Question of the was the previous entry in this blog.

The Importance of Mysticism Check is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll