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Just War

Christianity has had a horrendously complicated and shifting attitude to violent conflict. Here are five moments in Christian history that demonstrate our complex relationship with war. 1. The dogged pacifism of the early church. The early church had it tough. Facing persecution and violence from Romans and Jews alike, many early Christians were martyred for […] Read More

Baptists and other Christians responded in varying ways to President Barack Obama’s prime-time speech about proposals to confront a growing terrorist threat in the Middle East. Although previously authorizing limited military strikes and humanitarian efforts, Obama now proposes even more strikes and military efforts. The group often referred to as the Islamic State, ISIS or […] Read More

How should we deal with ISIS, an Islamic terrorist army who beheaded an American journalist, threatened Iraqi Christians with conversion or death, and slaughtered Middle Eastern Muslims? President Obama has promised to present his “game plan” later this week. Meanwhile, “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson offered his plan—and it sounds like Holy War. Fox News’ […] Read More

The White House’s lack of credibility on war in Iraq is both inherited and created anew. “The first mistake was going into Iraq, the second was getting out,” observed Catholic writer Russell Shaw. “The first of these blunders was George Bush’s in launching an unjust and unnecessary war. The second was Barack Obama’s in pulling […] Read More

War of Words Precedes Real War

Before a conflict begins on an international scale, there is always the “war of words.” Some of the most important words in global history involve presidents, kings or prime ministers framing the need to go to war. Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed Dec. 7, 1941, as “a day that would live in infamy.” In the movie […] Read More

Secretary of State John Kerry delivered his remarks regarding the potential use of limited air strikes in Syria and appealed to two basic justifications for a military intervention in Syria. First, something akin to the United Nations’ “responsibility to protect” initiative, and second, America’s “values and interests.” The U.S. government refused to intervene militarily for […] Read More

A growing number of Christian leaders are speaking out against military intervention in Syria while an increasing number of U.S. politicians are lining up in support of bombing the country. According to The Hill, 15 out of 100 U.S. senators currently favor striking Syria or are leaning in that direction. The Hill offered a list […] Read More

Last week saw an ebbing tide in the desire for military intervention in Syria. The British Parliament voted against a proposal to support intervention, a Reuters poll revealed that 53 percent of the U.S. oppose military action, and President Obama decided to ask for congressional approval before acting. This week has seen the tide shift […] Read More

“Just War” is a time-honored, moral tool for critiquing government war-making arguments. Rooted in Christian tradition, “Just War” provides understandable moral language that extends beyond the bounds of Christianity. And while government leaders might not explicitly cite “Just War” when evaluating the use of military force, “Just War” rules often appear in their framing of […] Read More

The common Western image of Islam as one large religion that spreads itself through warfare is primarily the result of the actions of Muslim leaders who, across the centuries, used Islam to gain power and territory, but who would have used any religion into which they were born for that purpose. They simply equated submission […] Read More