Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Just" War



I was checking out the Plain Truth site today to see what they had up.  Since the PT is no longer a COG publication it has lots of different writers and articles by nationally syndicated writers.

There was an article in the Sumner 2012 issue on "Just War or Just Peace?Just wars were talked about a lot in Armstrongism, and still is to this day.  It is also not an exclusive Armstrongite phrase either. Evangelicals and others love to throw it around too.  Just wars are the attempt to justify war ethically...

Just War Theory is an idea and tradition developed by philosophers (e.g. Aristotle and
Cicero) and theologians (e.g. Augustine and Hugo Grotius) in an effort to establish a
platform of ethics for war and peace. Just War Theory seeks to define ethical parameters
of justice in the context of war—the justice of resorting to war (jus ad bellum), just
conduct during war (jus in bellum), and justice in the peace agreements which terminate a
war (jus post bellum).

Armstrongism and a lot of Christianity use just war to gloss over the killing on tribes and nations in the Bible stories.  If God can do it, why can't we! It is used by nations today to justify the invasion of other countries and more.

The article goes into detail about what the American military did to Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

In March 1945, Tokyo, Japan, a city roughly the size of New York, is firebombed by American bombers. Fifty-one percent of the city is destroyed and 100,000 civilians are killed in a single night, burned to death. Fifty square miles of the city is burned to the ground.

Fifty to ninety percent of the people are killed by incendiary bombs in 67 cities before Hiroshima and Nagasaki are finally eradicated by nuclear bombs. Nothing about this resembles the proportionality that just war theorists require. Civilian deaths were not collateral to the bombing of military targets, but directly the object of the attacks. By the Geneva Conventions, it is a crime against humanity to bomb unarmed civilians.

General Curtis Lamay, who ordered the firebombing of civilian targets and ultimately the nuclear attack, said, “If we’d lost the war, we’d have been prosecuted as war criminals.”

Robert MacNamara, America’s Secretary of Defence under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, served under LaMay during the war against Japan. He confessed, “We were behaving as war criminals.

What makes it immoral if you lose and moral if you win?”
The author of the article uses a chart that shows the Japanese City fire bombed and its equivalent in size American city and the percentage of people killed.

2. If just war ethics have indeed been set aside, then wars in the name of any God and draped in any flag are a sham. By what blasphemy can the facts of this chart be attributed in any way to biblical justice or the Christian God? How can any nation simultaneously create and implement nuclear missiles, cluster bombs, or chemical weapons and claim to have the blessing of either Christ, Yahweh, or Allah? Across the board, such pursuits should be identified with no one but the Beast and his false prophets (those who lay hands of blessing on acts of destruction).

3. Modern warfare is neither “just” nor “holy,” even by the formal definitions of our theorists. Our bizarre justifications are only matched by our ability to see evil in “the other” and excuse ourselves
of the same evils by using different labels. Let those without WOMDs or a history of using them on civilians cast the first stone. As I said, the firebombing of Japan was a true holocaust…a sacrifice by fire
of victims who we knew were the bad guys. War makes bad guys of us all.

Read the article and then tell us what you think.

10 comments:

Douglas Becker said...

Just whatever happened to "My kingdom is not of this world," anyway?

Never mind: Armstrongist ministers are non voting Republican dog owners, happy to vicariously participate in a good rousing fight without any skin in the game. Millions can die, Billions of dollars of assets can be destroyed, but still, it was a just war -- something to get excited over until the Great Tribulation can get underway so their blood lusts can really be aroused.

NO2HWA said...

I have always found it hypocritical of Armstrongite ministers who all but demand that the country fight people who they think are against us. Yet, not one of these lazy asses would ever lift a finger fight for the country. They expect others to do their dirty work for them, just like they expect members to take care of them.

Byker Bob said...

I hate war. It ends up being so destructive on so many levels. On top of that, classic cars and motorcycles always end up getting destroyed!

The problem is, what do you do when a total madman is on the rampage, and appears to be on the verge of taking over the entire world, and subverting it to his agenda? He either refuses to negotiate, or systemically makes and breaks promises. You almost have to do something to prevent greater loss of life and to preserve freedom.

I believe that our generation has made some evolutionary progress in the ethics of wars. Teams of lawyers are often involved in carefully reviewing military escapades. Terms such as "surgical precision" are used, meaning that often the lives of uninvolved civilians are respected and preserved. And, war is often considered to be the last option, after negotiation and sanctions have failed. All in all, we are much safer living in the present.

Problem is, there are still rogue states, often led by madmen, and they will not listen to anything but war. I feel that war against such international bullies are totally justifable, if for no other reason, to preserve the peace for the largest possible number of individuals on the planet.

BB

Joe Moeller said...

Byker Bob wrote:

The problem is, what do you do when a total madman is on the rampage, and appears to be on the verge of taking over the entire world, and subverting it to his agenda? He either refuses to negotiate, or systemically makes and breaks promises. You almost have to do something to prevent greater loss of life and to preserve freedom.

I believe that our generation has made some evolutionary progress in the ethics of wars. Teams of lawyers are often involved in carefully reviewing military escapades. Terms such as "surgical precision" are used, meaning that often the lives of uninvolved civilians are respected and preserved. And, war is often considered to be the last option, after negotiation and sanctions have failed. All in all, we are much safer living in the present.

Problem is, there are still rogue states, often led by madmen, and they will not listen to anything but force. I feel that force against such intentional bullies is totally justifable, if for no other reason, to preserve the peace for the largest possible number of individuals in the church.

IF ONLY WE COULD REWORD THAT FOR THE CHURCH TO READ...


The problem is, what do you do when a total madman is on the rampage, and appears to be on the verge of taking a church, and subverting it to his agenda? He either refuses to negotiate, or systemically makes and breaks promises. You almost have to do something to prevent greater loss of souls and to preserve freedom.

I would hope that our generation can make some evolutionary progress in the ethics of churches. Teams of elected men involved in carefully reviewing church or doctrinal escapades. Terms such as "surgical precision" are used, meaning that often the lives of uninvolved members are respected and preserved. And, force, guilt trips and authority is often considered to be the last option, after negotiation and sanctions have failed. All in all, we would have a much safer church , living in the present.

Problem is, there are still rogue churches, often led by madmen, and they will not listen to anything but force. I feel that force against such intentional bullies is totally justifable, if for no other reason, to preserve the peace for the largest possible number of individuals in the body.

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Anonymous said...

IMHO carnal warfare is unjust however you look at it.
As a follower of Christ I'm of the view that our warfare is spiritual (Ephesians 6:12) and our sole means of offense or defense is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17). Even Christ Jesus told Pilate that his followers do not engage in carnal warfare (John 18:36).
We are, following His example, supposed to save life not destroy it and be willing to lose our own life for our faith rather than take another person's life (Luke 9:24, 56).
As Odysseus poignantly remarks to Achilles in Troy: "War is young men dying and old men talking."

James said...

Talking about war, I think all here should look at the link below and discover that American war criminals are still in business.

"Alleged hacked emails from defense contractor Britam reveal a plan “approved by Washington” and funded by Qatar to stage a chemical weapons attack in Syria and blame it on the Assad regime, fulfilling what the Obama administration has made clear is a “red line” that would mandate US military intervention."

Sounds like what the war criminal GW did to Iraq and all those nasty weapons of mass destruction. The question is, will the Prez and his minions go to congress with a declaration of war? No.

Barack Obama war criminal.

Anonymous said...

"Problem is, there are still rogue states, often led by madmen, and they will not listen to anything but war."

And the real problem concerning the US and the above statement is that we have a nasty tendency to support such madmen with millions of dollars of taxpayer money, and when they are no longer useful to us and go from "ally" to "evil madman," we are selective when choosing whom to depose, er, uh, I mean, "bring freedom" to.

It's a tricky business being the good guys.

Paul Ray


Anonymous said...

James,

Only Republicans can be war criminals. Modern Democrats don't engage in "war," only "humanitarian missions."

A pox on both their houses.

Paul Ray

Anonymous said...

"I hate war.... classic cars and motorcycles always end up getting destroyed!"

I worry more about the destruction of ancient manuscripts and artifacts.

(Although "Baby-NASCAR-Jesus" might have other kooky koncerns.)

Velvet said...

I dunno, the Church in Canada always regarded itself as a Peace Church -- that is why we had so many ex-Mennonite converts, after all. Members were also prohibited from entering any professions that would require them to carry firearms because of this.

And, yes, I am still a pacifist, but then I always have been, because of what I heard / read from the Church, not in spite of it. Never did I read any literature justifying war, it was always taught, when I was growing up anyway, that Jesus would return to bring peace, and an END to all war.

Of course, NOW the Americans' FAQ on their website bleats on about "the just war" so it seems the Evangelicals are agreeing with something the Church may have taught in the 1950s and 1960s, but then it abandoned? I don't know. All I remember is, I heard a lot from the pulpit about how we were a Peace Church, how the nations will beat their swords into plowshares in the Kingdom, etc. (That was even in one of the Feast films!)

The more I talk to people, the more I'm convinced that the Church in Canada in the 1970s and 1980s was definitely not perfect, but it was a lot better, and closer to the Biblical ideals, than the Church in other places was.