Monday, December 17, 2012

Fr. James V Schall on Pacifists

A Jesuit priest asks:

When I saw the “War Is Not the Answer” sign, I said to myself, “what is the question to which war is not an answer?” Is there no question to which war is the only sensible answer? Must we be pacifists and draw no lines in the sand? Does nothing ever need defending? Can we choose not to defend what needs defending and still be honorable? If war is not the “answer,” what is? How do we rid ourselves of tyrants or protect ourselves from ideologies or fanatics who attack us with their own principles and weapons, not ours?

Confronting evil is an act we must do, and conscientious objection is in relation to evil.  It is where we start. Our counsels of war are chaired by Jesus. It is odd a Jesuit writes a major piece and refers not once to Jesus.  But what the good reverend is advocating is have someone else confront evil, not himself.  Pass it off to others, as in 1 Samuel 8.

And this curious comment -

The answer to the question of why a Muslim man or woman will blow himself or herself up is not simply political or military. Aristotle said that if someone is willing to die in the process, no one can really prevent him from trying to kill us. Augustine had a similar problem with the fourth-century schismatic Donatists. A Muslim who blows himself up along with 15 others can pretty much rest assured that this type of weapon will not be used against his own people.

If we can simply drone kill from Denver, why would we send in suicide bombers?  In WWII the first people to suicide bomb by crashing their planes into ships were USA pilots who could not otherwise get their risible weapons to work. Frustration drives people to crazy ends.

Now the Jesuit has a unique view of USA weapons:

Nuclear and conventional weapons, in fact, have become so accurate, so downsized, so controlled, that all the elements of the just war theory devised by the most scrupulous moralist are in place and in operation. One might even argue that current American weaponry is constructed the way it is precisely in order to live up to just war concerns. 

So just war is built into the nuclear bomb?  This moralist is too scrupulous for that. We might pardon this line since it was written in 2004, but it is sad this topic is not up for debate in polite circles.  If one sells out, one can expect fame and fortune in this life.

Feel Free To Email This To Three Friends.

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