RMM responded eloquently and passionately to part 6 of the preceding postings on "The Promise of Peace," and I appreciate the depth of thought and the commentary. That I did not immediately respond had much to do with processing what he wrote rather than agreeing or disagreeing with the content.
I recognize the pain implicit in what he wrote, and I have written in earlier blogs about the dichotomy in the abortion debate and my own struggle in that arena. But conflating abortion with war does not clarify the larger discussion of war itself. I do think that he was agreeing with the premise of "The Promise of Peace," but wanted to use the broader discussion to get to his own impassioned critique of abortion. He wrote "It must be conceded by all that war and it’s nature is subjective and variable. We speak of a war on drugs, on crime, on women, on poverty. But we all know that true war, real war involves human bodies and blood."
I respect RMM's advanced study in philosophy and theology, but I think the idea that war is "subjective and variable" is problematic, and one of the reasons war has for so long been considered an acceptable solution to human conflict. It is true that we "speak of war on drugs, on crime, on women, on poverty," and I think that is corrupting to the horror of war and softens the idea of war, and allows us to think of war as just another way of dealing with a problem.
What goes on with the problems of drugs and crime, and the weight of patriarchal societies on women, and the plight of the poor in no way compares to what happened in World War II, or in the Civil War, or in any of the innumerable wars perpetrated for reasons and etceteras.
The point of what I was trying to write is that war is NOT the answer to any of those problems. War is a rejection of reason, it is a failure to find a solution, it is the law of the jungle at best and the desire of only the worst of those who claim to be human.
We have huge moral and ethical dilemmas to face in this 21st century as science advances the frontiers of cloning, genetic engineering and stem cell research, as we sort through the religious, philisophic and ethical boundaries on abortion, the right to life, the right to die, but equating those hard choices with those who suffered and died as a result of WWII is a disservice to their memory and a tacit validation of war as a useful and somewhat benign device for settling disputes.
Living in the United States, RMM has the unique opportunity to make a difference in the moral and ethical decisions we make; there was no opportunity to voice that opposition in Nazi Germany. There might have been but for WW1, which eventuallly led to WWII.
That is the point I was laboring to make. And further, as long as we as a human race allow that war is a valid choice for solving problems, that larger rationale writ small underpins the right of each of us to solve our own problems in a similar fashion, with violence and force.
Our children learn from what we do, not what we profess. Many of us have for a long time told our children to behave, to get along, to refrain from hitting and other forms of violence and destructive behavior, while at the same time embracing violence and destructive behavior on an international scale.
There are better behaviors we could embrace and hence, teach, our children. It would be interesting to see what the world would be like if we spent as much time preparing for peace as we spend preparing for war.