“Trenches dug within our hearts, And mothers, children, brothers, sisters torn apart” — Matthew 10:35: “For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” “Wipe the tears from your eyes” — Revelation 21:4: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes…” “We eat and drink while tomorrow they die” A brilliant ironic take on I Cor 15:32 “If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” The “how long” cry is too frequent in the Bible to cover in full, but here are some prominent examples: Ps 6:3 “My soul is in anguish.
How long, O LORD, how long?” (This is the same line Bono says he used in “40,” too.) Ps 94:3 “How long will the wicked, O LORD, how long will the wicked be jubilant?” Habakkuk 1:2 “How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?” (submitted by Rev.
Sunday bloody Sunday is one of U2’s most political songs, its lyrics explain the horror felt by an viewer of the Troubles in Northern Ireland mostly focusing on the Bloody Sunday event in Derry where British troops shot and killed vulnerable civil rights protesters and bystanders. Modern Catholic thinkers do not have a theory of war’s beginning that coheres with basic theological beliefs of the Catholic tradition.
* Early generations of believer did create such a theologically and ethically logical view of the source of armed conflict; * A main reason for the loss of a sound theory of war’s genesis within the Catholic intellectual tradition is that believers have appropriated much of the political theory of secular liberalism; * Latest progress in Catholic theology as well as the field of international relations suggests a chance to correct the errors within the tradition’s evolution.
The Old Testament is filled with stories of God’s people fighting to do God’s will: Moses against Egypt (Ex. 14), Joshua against Jericho (Jos. 6), the family of Mattathias against the Greeks (1&2 Maccabees). The Lord asked Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ He answered, ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’ – Genesis 4:9 Acts of terrorism remind us of the challenge of peace that we as Catholics are faced with. Hostilities, excessive economic inequalities, contempt and distrust for persons, and unbending ideologies are all part of the injustices that ferment war (cf. Ex. 20:2-7). What is needed is a spiritual renewal throughout the world, a renewal that fosters solidarity and a sense of universal cooperation among nations.
All nations are called to a spirit of brotherhood and a desire for a universal common good. Social structures, attitudes, and hearts must change (GS 83-90). Unless we take up this challenge for peace, the world will inevitably enter a new dark age. Recent events have pointed to this sad reality. When the Commandments are ignored (cf. Ex. 20:2-17), when the love of neighbor and the love of God is ignored (cf. Mt. 22:37-40), when the golden rule of do unto others as you would like done unto you is ignored (cf. 25:31f), then wars become inevitable. God created a harmonious, orderly world (cf. Genesis 1&2).
Sin distorts this order and harmony. “Indeed, if the kind of weapons now stocked in the arsenals of the great powers were to be employed to the fullest, the result would be the almost complete reciprocal slaughter of one side by the other, not to speak of the widespread devastation that would follow in the world and the deadly after-effects resulting from the use of such weapons” (Pastoral Constitution, #80). To destroy civilization as we know it by waging such a “total war” as today it could be waged would be a monstrously disproportionate response to aggression on the part of any nation.
Just response to aggression must also be discriminate; it must be directed against unjust aggressors, not against innocent people caught up in a war not of their making. The Council therefore issued its memorable declaration: “Any act of war aimed indiscriminately at the destruction of entire cities or of extensive areas along with their population is a crime against God and man himself. It merits unequivocal and unhesitating condemnation.”
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