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: 4/2/2003 12:51:52 PM
Name or Pseudonym: Joseph
Subject: Should we play God, or do God’s will?


You raise some very important points, and I too share many doubts about the rightness or wrongness of this war, but I tend towards the latter.

However, I do feel that the morality of this war is being reduced to the simplest terms, and key moral questions are not being asked. Is killing innocents in the course of a war against Saddam’s regime justified in the name of human rights? Can we really see enough of the big picture to know with any certainty? Would you trade your children for a better political system or leader? Is life under Saddam better than no life at all? If not, shouldn’t that be up to the Iraqis to decide, instead of us? If freedom is really the reason to get rid of Saddam, shouldn’t we have already invaded Saudi Arabia (our ally), Israel (another ally), and China? Where would it stop?

Instead of focusing on Saddam (whom I’m sure God continues to allow to exist because all humans have free will and He will not take that away, no matter the cost), and what to "do" about him, maybe we should focus on Christ.

Did Christ ordain democracy (what’s that?) as the only acceptable form of government? Did Jesus ever call his followers to violently change the political systems of other lands? Did Jesus condemn slavery, which we would consider an objective evil? Did he ever call for the death of evil despots?

Perhaps suprisingly, the answers to all of these questions is no. Christian action in this world comes through the "little" things (which are really much more important than we would think). Christ implored us to love our neighbors as ourselves, to love and pray for our enemies and persecutors, to be peacemakers, consolers, and friends to those society abandoned. This doesn’t mean that we should roll over in the face of aggression, but I do feel that if America was a truly Christian nation, we would realize that violence, in this case, is clearly wrong. Peter, put away thy sword.

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