RE: Theological reflection on Just War

From: Joel Z Bandstra (
Date: Thu Oct 25 2001 - 11:55:27 EDT

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    It seems to me that you did not exercise quite enough trepidation in
    writing your recent post (copied below), or perhaps your purported sense of
    such was at a peculiarly low level by the time you typed your last
    sentence: "They have to do with a hypocritical and self-serving foreign
    policy and bully-boy military actions." This "blame the evil empire"
    attitude is not something that springs to my mind naturally and beyond
    that, such statements seem inappropriate to me. I am, of course, not
    implying that U.S. foreign policy is without error but I submit that you
    ought to, at the very least, provide some supporting evidence or clue as to
    what you mean by "bully-boy military actions" and such.


    -----Original Message-----
    From: Jonathan Clarke []
    Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2001 2:49 PM
    Subject: Re: Theological reflection on Just War

    Thanks for this most interesting piece which eloquently defends just war
    terrorism. I certainly agree that war can be waged justly, with the Gulf
    Falklands wars as two relatively recent examples. Given current events, I
    that some discussion is necessary, although I do so with some trepidation,
    the depth of feeling in the US towards the outrages of September 11 and the
    current anthrax insanity.

    Action against terrorists and terrorists organisations is certainly just.
    Whether bombing third countries who harbour or even give official shelter
    support to such terrorism falls under the cloak of waging war justly is
    matter. Groups that many would consider terrorist have sheltered and found
    support in the US, sometimes with official sanction. Does this give the
    countries who have suffered from the depredations of these organisations
    (Britain, Cuba, Nicaragua, Russia, Cambodia, to name some) the right to
    military action against the US? The present US military based approach
    terrorism seems very similar to that taken by Israel against the terrorism
    it has
    suffered in the last 20 years. It has seen the once famous Israeli
    machine humiliated and tainted by atrocities and not solved the problem.
    is a more dangerous place to live than it was 20 years ago.

    If there is any lesson that can be drawn from the past 50 years of
    terrorism and
    guerilla warfare is that containing with terrorism is a matter for police
    intelligence forces, backed up by judicious use of the military, when
    Dealing with terrorism requires dealing with the underlying causes for it.
    US should ask itself why is it hated to such an extent that people are
    to sacrifice themselves to kill thousands of its citizens. The reasons
    nothing to do with Brush's delusional nonsense about the US being hated for
    freedoms, wealth and power. There are other free, wealthy, and powerful
    countries out there who do not suffer terrorist outrages to anything like
    same degree. They have to do with a hypocritical and self-serving foreign
    and bully-boy military actions.


    Jon wrote:

    > Besides the ranting of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, I've seen very
    > in the way of theological comments on the events following Sept. 11.
    > However, Lutheran theologian David Yeago has a nice thoughtful article in
    > Ecclesia, the journal of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Thology
    > (CCET). It's entitled "Just War: Reflections from the Lutheran Tradition
    > a Time of Crisis:, 2001, v.10, no. 4, and is currently online at
    > Although written from a Lutheran perspective, it should be of interest to
    > broader theological audience as well.
    > And while you're visiting the CCET website, take note of the upcoming
    > conference. A while ago on this list (last summer?), there was
    > regarding Mary. CCET is sponsoring a theological conference "Mary,
    Mother of
    > God -- On the unique relationship of Mary to Christ and the Church and
    > place in the tradition of Christian worship, music, and the arts", to be
    > June 9-11, 2002, at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Previous
    > conferences by CCET have resulted in multi-authored books published by
    > Eerdmans, so I presume this one will also.
    > Karl
    > *******************************
    > Karl V. Evans

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