Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Just War II

As I said in my first 'Just War' blog, I reserve the right to re-think. Given two weeks or so to consider my thoughts on the violence between Israel and Hezbollah I think I have missed a major point. I am still concerned with the response by Israel, but I did not give enough credence to the point that this is a response. I am still concerned about the loss of innocent life due to Israeli bombing strategy, but it is important to note that Hezbollah strategy is primarily attack of innocents, and while Israel's bombing may be stepping into a gray area in just war theory, the outright attack of innocents by Hezbollah is stepping over a clearly marked line. Not only that but engaging in violence for the purpose of destroying another sovereign nation does not keep with just war theory. I am slightly embarrassed that these points did not occur to me sooner.
As I have stated in other blocs, that which is central to my Christian faith, the crucifixion leads me to pacifism. But how can one defend pacifism absolutely given the history of the nation of Israel, especially WWII. Who am I to say that pacifism is the answer? It certainly would not have been the answer for Jews at that time. And although the crucifixion is the central lens through which I interpret the rest of the Bible, there is certainly plenty of material (esp. In the OT) in which Israel needed to defend itself from attack.
So I suppose that I am drawing a very thin line of thought. I do think that one point of the crucifixion was to draw attention to the evil and futility of violence as a social method, a call by God for a cessation in violence in humanity. But there are times practically when one's life, family, nation must be defended.
still violence must be always be a necessary evil. It mustn't be glorified, as it seems to be among radical religious groups. It may be the best we can do but it is certainly not the ideal and not what God ever wants or plans. And so the invocation of God in these conflicts by any side is inappropriate. Prayers for peace, yes, but claiming God on any side in armed conflict is wrong. God is always on the side of the innocent, the abused and the oppressed. Therefore God is not on the side of the U.S., Lebanon, Hezbollah or Israel. God is on the side of any and all who loose their lives as 'collateral.' But that seems cold comfort.

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