From: George Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Feb 24 2003 - 11:56:44 EST
Joel Cannon wrote:
> Walter Hicks said:
> > I would suggest that the difference between Joel and Glenn is not a
> > question of the Hubbert curve, but rather one of preconceived
> > philosophies. It is just the same old liberal versus conservative
> > outlooks (IMO) and has nothing to do with "WWJD".
> OK Walter, you are asking the question that I would like people to be
> asking and I find it being asked distressingly little. What would
> Jesus do? Would he be at the controls of a bomber flying over Baghdad
> and if he was there would he drop the bombs?
Or would Jesus have gone ashore at Normandy?
Which is to say - is WWJD going to be answered in such a way as to require
a pacifist or a justifiable war position? For the pacifist there's no difference
between fighting enemy combatants in order to defeat Hitler and bombing a city with
unavoidable deaths of innocent people in order to defeat someone who is arguably not an
There is certainly legitimacy to the WWJD approach to Christian ethics but I do
not think it is helpful to apply it simply to a decision for "war or peace" in general.
We have to deal with concrete situations - Hitler, Saddam, &c. & without trying in
anachronistic fashion to make Jesus a teacher of the justifiable war doctrine, I think
that that doctrine provides the best ethical guidance for Christians who want to love
their neighbors (all of them - including those who may suffer if war is _not_ fought) as
themselves. My "just war" post of 15 Feb goes into greater detail on this.
> "I demand a better excuse than revenge or oil for the
> prosecution of a war that is likely to do more harm than
> good, that will destabilize not only the region but also
> the world for years to come, and that will confirm...our
> country's reputation as an irrational and undisciplined
> - Rev. Peter Gomes, Baptist minister, Plummer
> professor of morals at Harvard, and Republican.
> He gave the blessing at Reagan's second inauguration
> and preached at George Bush Senior's inauguration
This statement by Gomes is incoherent and misrepresents the views of those who
favor war with Iraq to the extent of violating the 8th Commandment. Few proponents of
war - & certainly not GWB or Tony Blair - are offering "revenge or oil" as a rationale
for war. The arguments in favor of war are certainly debatable and I don't think myself
that it's wise at the present time, but I don't find this demonization of those who take
another stance helpful.
George L. Murphy
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