Conversation Corner
St. Francis of Assisi, Patron of Peace

Does the military action the U.S. is contemplating against Iraq meet the standards of a just war?


Date: 3/21/2003 11:27:30 AM
Name or Pseudonym: Chris
Subject: Jesus

One saying is:
"Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s"

With this statement Christ let us understand several things:
1.) a government can legitimately tax its citizens
2.) What we give to God is not of this world
3.) The Pharisees were still hypocrites and misused Scripture to further their own agenda.

One of the reasons a government taxes its citizens is to raise revenue for its military. This may seem like a stretch to some, but it didn’t appear that way to Sts. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and other Doctors of the Faith.

Having said that, I can’t help but get a little amused when people demand a direct correlation between "what Jesus said" and any situation in life with no Christological precedent.

Christ didn’t become man to lead us to war, or tell us which wars throughout history would be just ones. He became Incarnate to suffer and die; to sacrifice Himself so that we might go to Heaven. To assist us in our life’s first purpose He established His Church and all seven sacraments, and commissioned His Apostles to preach to and batize all nations. He gave us instructions pertaining to how we, as individuals, should live our lives. And His life is a perfect example. Christ did not necessarily focus on our lives in group situations; He did not create a narrowly defined set of rules by which a leader or nation should govern.

Christ tells us to turn the other cheek, yet He also drove the money lenders from the temple. Did He fail to follow His own advice, or are there indeed just reasons to take up arms and oust those who are evil? Being that Christ is God - always has been and always will be - He commanded the Israelites to attack and eliminate their enemies. God struck down Oza, Onan, and a host of others for their sins and injustices. God does not change; Christ is not God with some new ideological mandate, He is the same God as the God of the Old Testament.

God gives us freedom to practice religion because He gave us Free Will. But Christians have suffered religious persecution since the dawn of Christianity. The worldly-minded often confuse the word "ability" with the word "right," but a Catholic should know the difference. One of the good things about the US is that we have the ability to practice our religion as God demands. It is unfortunate that the US has implemented the many terrible lessons learned from atheist countries like the USSR where religion is deemed an enemy of the state. Canada has now decided that the Bible is "hate speech." How much longer will it be before before some idiot attorney in California attempts to accomplish the same here in the States? They may take away our ability to freely practice our religion, but they can never take away our right to do so.

The Chaldean Catholics in Iraq are quite often at odds with Saddam’s policies - Catholicism and Socialism are incompatible. you cannot be a Socialist and a good Catholic at the same time. That’s why the Chaldeans are persecuted in Iraq. Killing dissenters, whose religion puts them at odds with Saddam’s socialist government, by dropping them into plastics grinding equipment, is a clear example of Saddam taking away someone’s ability to freely practice his religion.

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