Can a Christian support the War in Iraq? It seems to me that we first must answer a more basic question. How can we reconcile following the Prince of Peace with any support of any war at any time?
Most of us agree that at least some wars are justifiable, even within the framework of Christian belief, while others are not. Just what is necessary for a Just War is not a question unique to Christians. In fact, the discussion strikes me as suitable for those holding most any belief, or those holding none. But it has been discussed by Christians for centuries.
Most students of the concept seem to accept seven requirements for war to be justly waged:
Probability of Success
- Last Resort
As I see it, most of the criteria required for a Just War are just not met by the invasion of Iraq.
It was not for a Just Cause, if the cause was accurately articulated by the administration. The reasons turned out to be bogus. Evidence seems to me compelling that the administration knew they were bogus.
Comparative Justice was not achieved, as defined by the Just War theory of St. Augustine, or as refined by Thomas Aquinas.
I do buy Legitimate Authority, although it is reasonably challenged by some knowledgeable people, including some backing the invasion.
Right Intention involves a leap of faith. The war was launched on pretext. I tended for a long time to give my President the benefit of the doubt on this one, but even then I felt that he should not have lied about the motives. Now I do not see any motives except the most crass.
Probability of Success is a real stretch. This is a matter of extreme negligence. I am sure those in the administration were confident of success, even to the point of arrogance. But due diligence was not even attempted as far as I can see.
Proportionality was not achieved. Suffering was much greater than any real wrong the horrible regime inflicted on the US. You could argue that the original wrong by Saddam was to the Iraqi people, but that is not why we invaded, and the Iraqi people seem to disagree with this criteria.
The Last Resort requirement was simply not met at all.
So the war in Iraq meets one of the seven requirements. And that one is disputed.
I do not believe Christians must be pacifists.
I do not see how a Christian who has thought about it can now support the war in Iraq.
The invasion fails the Just War requirements.
Trackback address for this post
No feedback yet
Leave a comment
|« Opportunity Lost on Iraq||A Cheer for Socialized Medicine »|