Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Christian Theory Of Just War 1

America and the Christian Theory of Just War
by John J. Dwyer article link
February 20, 2007 LewRockwell


... For my good friends, I must tell you that there is an impostor among us in this day. It presents itself as a lovely and inspiring and even holy thing, but it is actually a pretender, an idol, a damnable heresy. It seeks to swell our hearts with pride and sentiment and certitude, but in the end it demands the right to anything of meaning we possess in this world – our property, our lives, the lives of our children, our faithfulness to the teachings of the gentle and humble Savior who is the Redeemer of our souls and the Captain of our salvation.

This impostor has distorted our perspectives on world affairs, our own country, and our history. It has twisted American Christians’ understanding of our God and the Holy Scriptures He gave us. It has silenced our pulpits regarding that about which they should be aflame with righteous outrage and prophetic utterances, and it has made a lie before the nations of the world of the professions of our sacred rules of law and what George Washington, the Father of our country, called, "our blessed religion."

This impostor, this new god of Moloch, has demanded the deaths, mutilations, and moral corruptions, the mental and emotional devastation, of legions of our young, through multiple generations. Even as we meet here today, it multiplies the enemies of our nation and faith, and crafts a dark and uncertain future for our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

This impostor, this detestable fraud and rapist and murderer, is American nationalism. It births its crimes in a flag, baptizes them with the anthems of bands, and seals them with 21-gun salutes and the rantings of wealthy demagogues who have come no closer to a battlefield than a television camera or studio microphone.

This impostor is not patriotism, though it would pervert that too. The patriot says, "I love my country," works for its good, and defends it if necessary – against enemies within and without. He strives and prays not primarily that God will bless his country, but that his country will bless God. The nationalist, meanwhile, says, "My country is better than yours." "My country is the greatest there has ever been." "The greatest nation on God’s green earth." "They hate my country because it is so good."

Of all citizens, the Christian should be the most faithful patriot. He should bloom where he is planted, and be a blessing to the country where God has placed him, whether America or New Zealand or Sudan. Yet we in America, especially we in the Church of Jesus Christ, have become the most faithful nationalists. If you do not believe me, talk to Bible-believing Christians from other countries. They wept and prayed for us after 9/11, then stood dumbstruck, with gathering incredulity, as they witnessed what has apparently become our true national character, unfold bloodily, mercilessly, recklessly, on the world stage in the years since.

But be not deceived, my friends, this impostor, and others that claim the place in our individual and national life that should be filled only by Almighty God, were working their will through our actions long before 9/11. In fact, they were in no small way helping to craft 9/11, and other calamities large and small, before and after.

I believe we must confront our idolatrous reverence for American nationalism – for United States nationalism – to escape leaving those who follow us to a multi-generational lot constructed, whether we wish to admit it or not, largely of our own making. And we must face the consequences of our assumptions and attitudes and in order to understand first that they truly exist within us, and second that they actually result in the actions that are the history we shall create and leave those who come after us.

Today I shall discuss some sad and sorrowful events. But these are not my primary message. They are a firebell in the night that something is wrong in this country, and has been, perhaps for a very long time. History – "His Story" as I tell my students, the story of God calling out a set-apart people for Himself from every tribe and tongue, through every generation – can teach us much. And there is no missing the repeated pattern of powerful nations like ours crumbling from within and without after engaging in the sorts of actions I shall discuss in the next few minutes.

But though this portion of the talk may seem to concern bullets and casualties and crimes of violence, these are only among the many symptoms of the true problem. "Power tends to corrupt," said the devout Catholic Christian Englishman whom we know as Lord Acton – and "absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely." John Adams said that "our constitution is wholly inadequate for the governing of any but a moral and religious people." As sinful human beings, we are all prone to blindness, shortsightedness, arrogance, and greed. Ceaseless corporate yielding to such pursuits will bring ruin upon a nation. But humility, patience, and suffering faithfulness can bring blessing.

I believe we still have a chance as a nation to count for good for the long haul. Regardless of our national destiny, we have the opportunity as the Church to shine a beacon of light and hope to every nation. Lest we come too close to despairing today, we shall remember the wisdom given to us as precious treasure by faithful, suffering servants of God in generations past.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Mammon or Messiah research contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is presented without profit for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.