Paul’s Perambulations

January 30, 2008

Unjust War and St. Augustine

Filed under: Peace,Religion — admin @ 11:34 pm

Most people associate Unjust War Theory with Aquinas, but Christian thinking on this issue originated much earlier with St. Augustine. The current Iraq War is clearly unjust according to principles espoused by Aquinas and other Unjust War theorists such as Grotius. But what would Augustine have to say today?  Although we cannot directly query him on the Iraq War today, his principles were meant to be timeless. When we see the vengence (e.g., execution of Saddam Hussein and threats of revenge on Osama Bin Laden) and lies (e.g., WMD) that characterize the current war, the war clearly does not represent a “benevolent severity” motivated by the “caritas” that Augustine requires. Nor was it ever declared by the proper authority, which is not a Bush “monarch” but our Constitution that requires that only Congress can declare war. All of the following text is taken directly from the references cited in parentheses: (more…)

January 5, 2008

What’s the power of a sign or peace button in this Iraq War?

Filed under: Peace — admin @ 4:55 pm

Wearing a button or posting a window sign may seem like a small thing, but little things can stand out when no one else is doing anything.  Yesterday Fran and I attended Villanova University’s annual holiday social event.  I was wearing my two usual “peace” buttons on my jacket lapel.  One says “Faculty against the War” and the other is a cross connected to a peace sign (a symbol that Jesus is the Prince of Peace).  A considerable number of faculty commented favorably on these buttons, but with a certain resignation often accompanied by ”But what can anyone do?”  Well, you can wear a button yourself.  But no one seems to be ready to take even that simple step.

I made a point of speaking with Fr. Donohue, the President of the University.  His eyes went directly to my buttons when I approached (this is the usual response that I receive from most people).  I introduced myself, and he replied “I like your buttons.”  I said “Have you seen the sign in my window in Tolentine Hall?”   His reply  “I certainly have.”  I went on to explain that I had informed the Office of Mission Effectiveness about this, because the sign conforms to the Villanova Mission Statement.  If you want to know what the deal is about this sign, check my website http://www.peacefulways.com/ and search for Jesus.

So perhaps more people are noticing and thinking than seem to let on.  The best we can do is to let our lives speak.  I realize there are some things bigger than I am, but there is nothing too big to question and to plant a seed.

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