War: Just war and religion


Vincent Littrell wrote about just war and religion. Robert Whealey comments: Islam, Christianity, Bahai, all believe in the "Oneness of Humanity,"  It is all beautiful in theory.  But war breaks out frequently in all religious communities, when it comes to practical political and economic decisions that must be made. In 1914, it was easy for any German, Frenchman, Briton, Austrian, Russian after 18 to 60 years of training in their own country to believe that they were fighting a just war. Usually the clergy having more national education than religious, soon forget their theology and become propagandists for the just war. The Islamic Turks joined the fray in 1915 and stayed in longer than the others, until November 1923.  Theologians tend to live in an ivory tower, monastery or seminary.

RH: This is an important subject. The US and Britain are among the few countries to allow pacifists to avoid military service. However, why did people go to Canada to avoid the draft?  Could they have simply said they were pacifists?  To show that they were good patriots, many Quakers went to the battle front, serving in ambulances. The military draft in various countries would be a very WAISworthy subject. We could also study the attitude of the clergy in various countries and religions. When an Islamic country goes to war, would preaching pacifism from the pulpit be allowed?  I think not.

Wobert Whealey writes: Ronald Hilton rightly tells us that within Christianity, toleration of interpretations of the Bible prevailed after long struggles+ in parliament, ib Congress, in the Courts.  Ireland remained the last hold out for fanaticism into the 1990s. The Jews of America, historically  one of the most tolerant groups, have since 1948, 1967 to some extent turned to an intolerant Zionism.  Hopefully this  peaked in 1982 when American Jews began to question Begin.  Jewish and Islamic intolerance feed on each others fears in the Middle East. In the US, a Jewish alliance with evangelicals in the South is feeding fear and intolerance.  The neo-conservatives, in alliance with the Republican Party in the Southern States, have been playing with fire. Hopefully others have seen "Frontline" (4/12/05) on PBS. It was a portrait of Karl Rove, who exploits evangelical gullibility.


Ronald Hilton 2005

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last updated: June 9, 2005