Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Pacifist VS Soldier: Parables On Justification

For some time I have, by email, conducted a debate with some very assertive pacifists. Although I know we will not convert each other to even lean towards the others' points-of-view. I have continued this debate so that I might define, for myself, the issues of "just war", the best rules for a warrior, how much force should be used to stop a clear-and-present attack on innocents and to prevent future such attacks.

Below you will find two parables dealing with "justification".

Luke 18:9-14 (New International Version)
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about[a] himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'

13"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

14"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

The Parable of the Pacifist and the Warrior

Two men went to a Church to pray; one a committed-and-absolute pacifist, the other a simple warrior.

The Pacifist stood up and prayed: 'Lord Attend me and the fact that I limit my earnings and life-style so I do not pay taxes to support military, police and those sinners who use force against others such as that murderous warrior over there; I surely know Your Mind and intentions as to the use of force; I even know that our Father truly told Moses that the Command was "Thou shall not kill" and NOT "Thou shall not Murder1'; O' Jesus the Christ please aid me in the perfection of myself."

The warrior bowed low and whispered "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Please forgive me my trade. The only excuse I have for such is my intent to protect the innocent, in which occupation I have never intentionally attacked those innocents and only those who attacked them, my comrades and this poor soul. Please allow me Your Grace as will allow me to put my body between the agents of the Evil One and their victims. I dare to offer my blood, limbs and life in that service, in Your Name for the age-of-ages."

Now, who was justified?


1 comment:

Bonum, Verum, Pulchrum said...

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
John Stuart Mill
English economist & philosopher (1806 - 1873)