DEDICATED pacifist Jim Dowling has offensively described Our Lord as “… that great non-violent activist Jesus Christ” (CL, Letters 9/8/09).
As GK Chesterton sagely wrote in “The Everlasting Man”, anyone reading the Gospels “… would not find a word … about the wickedness of war … and all the rest of the familiar frenzy; indeed, not a word about war at all.
There is nothing that throws any particular light on Christ’s attitude towards organised warfare, except that he seems to have been rather fond of Roman soldiers …”
And when Peter drew his sword to protect Our Lord from the servants of the chief priests and Pharisees, Christ ordered him to sheath his weapon; not in condemnation of Peter’s violent reaction as such, but for the obvious reason so plainly expressed in the words He then spoke to Peter: “The chalice which my Father has given me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11)
No one of goodwill and sound mind would suggest that war is inherently virtuous.
Sometimes, however, it is necessary for the common good to protect the innocent and vulnerable against naked aggression.
Jim Dowling and his friends are quite free to embrace pacifism, which, by definition denies the concept of a just war.
But by protesting and blockading recent joint Australia-United States military exercises in central Queensland they go further, and are guilty of seditious and subversive acts by inciting our troops to mutiny.
Clearly, this extreme behaviour is motivated by secular political ideology.
In his letter, Mr Dowling tells us we don’t have to support the Taliban, or Saddam Hussein, or the US war machine. But in that sentence he adds the adjective “brutal” only once – in relation to the United States.
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