Monthly Archives: July 2014

Burning of Draft Cards

An article from a 1965 issue of Commonweal.

“Where the witness of the five men does help is in their insistence upon moral judgment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, not the government, not circumstances, not “credibility” nor the necessity of “honoring our commitments” nor “national interest” can release the individual from making a conscientious judgment on the particular events occurring in Vietnam. Every responsible citizen, and in particular every draftable male, must make this judgment today. Nor can he even make it once and for all; should circumstances change, he must be ready to reverse his position tomorrow.”

Should Catholics be the “new isolationists?”

Here are three articles by some very conservative Catholics who oppose any further U.S. military involvement in Iraq.

– from Hands Off Iraq by John Zmirak:

“Any war which we launched to meddle in the Middle East would fail at least one criterion for a just war: It would have no solid prospect of success. It would be as futile as Guy Fawkes’ bombing of Parliament, or a vigilante attack on an abortion clinic.

Because it would be unjust, it would be sinful. And so Christians should oppose it — on principle.”

– from Make Congress Vote On War by Pat Buchanan:

“Rand Paul is right. If Barack Obama wants to take us into a new war, with air attacks and drone strikes, or with ground troops, he has a constitutional duty to get Congress to authorize that war.

And if Congress does authorize a new war, at least the voters will know whom to be rid of this November.”

– from Another Pointless War? by Judge Andrew Napolitano:

“There is a lesson in this, and it reveals the power of religious fanaticism when resisted by unprincipled political force…

But the American military-industrial-neocon complex wants more war. We must resist them. We should gather all Americans in Iraq, take what moveable wealth is ours and come home — and stop searching the world for monsters to destroy, as that will end up destroying us.”

In 2002, Amr Moussa, then-secretary general of the Arab League, warned that the coming invasion of Iraq would “open the gates of hell.”

Now this “prophecy” is being fulfilled with a vengeance, and it is a good bet that the worst is yet to come. It is evident that the “unprincipled political force” of the U.S. government, which employed a vicious divide and conquer strategy to destroy Iraq and which is chiefly responsible for opening those gates, needs to be restrained from any further murderous interventions abroad. Catholics can play an important role in advocating a “new isolationism” or non-interventionism for the government which represents us. Hopefully that might also lead to a period of introspection and true repentance in this country for the evils committed in the name of “Americanism” at home and abroad.

War is Cute, Wink, Wink

Following the last post of babies and children dressed in camouflage, wrapped in flags, playing army, posing with dog tags, carrying guns and being indoctrinated by militant adults, we have more here in the “war is cute” category.

From Reuters: “Just as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe beefs up Japan’s military, the armed forces have turned to a 20-year pop idol for a softer touch in recruiting soldiers in a country that revels in all things cute.” “Cute Japan Pop Star Recruits Soldiers as Abe Boosts Military”

Will Japan’s Youth Go to War Because a Pretty Girl Told Them To?

Militarization of Children

Follow Cammy’s board Cute or offensive? on Pinterest.

Here I have curated some images. It is interesting to think about what we find “cute” and what we find “offensive.” North Korean children dressed up in military garb, riding around in a toy tank, will strike most as offensive and wrong; yet, a white American kid dressed up as a soldier standing by a toy tank for his military-themed birthday party, put on by his parents, will strike many as not only normal, but cute.

What would civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, who have seen their loved ones blown to bits by American tanks, bullets, bombs, drones, and guns, think of the fact that we dress our children up in military attire and decorate their walls with guns and their birthday cakes with grenades? They would think we are cruel, mad, barbaric people.

Looking at some of the photographs in the collection makes me wonder what is happening in this country, how we can be so oblivious to the truth of war, indifferent to the violence it entails, and desensitized to the human suffering it causes.

On Peace and Order

From Pacem in Terris (1963):

165. The world will never be the dwellingplace of peace, till peace has found a home in the heart of each and every man, till every man preserves in himself the order ordained by God to be preserved. That is why St. Augustine asks the question: “Does your mind desire the strength to gain the mastery over your passions? Let it submit to a greater power, and it will conquer all beneath it. And peace will be in you—true, sure, most ordered peace. What is that order? God as ruler of the mind; the mind as ruler of the body. Nothing could be more orderly.” (69)

The Prince of Peace

166. Our concern here has been with problems which are causing men extreme anxiety at the present time; problems which are intimately bound up with the progress of human society. Unquestionably, the teaching We have given has been inspired by a longing which We feel most keenly, and which We know is shared by all men of good will: that peace may be assured on earth.

167. We who, in spite of Our inadequacy, are nevertheless the vicar of Him whom the prophet announced as the Prince of Peace, (70) conceive of it as Our duty to devote all Our thoughts and care and energy to further this common good of all mankind. Yet peace is but an empty word, if it does not rest upon that order which Our hope prevailed upon Us to set forth in outline in this encyclical. It is an order that is founded on truth, built up on justice, nurtured and animated by charity, and brought into effect under the auspices of freedom.

168. So magnificent, so exalted is this aim that human resources alone, even though inspired by the most praiseworthy good will, cannot hope to achieve it. God Himself must come to man’s aid with His heavenly assistance, if human society is to bear the closest possible resemblance to the kingdom of God.

169. The very order of things therefore, demands that during this sacred season we pray earnestly to Him who by His bitter passion and death washed away men’s sins, which are the fountainhead of discord, misery and inequality; to Him who shed His blood to reconcile the human race to the heavenly Father, and bestowed the gifts of peace. “For He is our peace, who hath made both one . . . And coming, He preached peace to you that were afar off; and peace to them that were nigh.” (71)

170. The sacred liturgy of these days reechoes the same message: “Our Lord Jesus Christ, after His resurrection stood in the midst of His disciples and said: Peace be upon you, alleluia. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.” (72) It is Christ, therefore, who brought us peace; Christ who bequeathed it to us: “Peace I leave with you: my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you.” (73)

171. Let us, then, pray with all fervor for this peace which our divine Redeemer came to bring us. May He banish from the souls of men whatever might endanger peace. May He transform all men into witnesses of truth, justice and brotherly love. May He illumine with His light the minds of rulers, so that, besides caring for the proper material welfare of their peoples, they may also guarantee them the fairest gift of peace.

Finally, may Christ inflame the desires of all men to break through the barriers which divide them, to strengthen the bonds of mutual love, to learn to understand one another, and to pardon those who have done them wrong. Through His power and inspiration may all peoples welcome each other to their hearts as brothers, and may the peace they long for ever flower and ever reign among them.

172. And so, dear brothers, with the ardent wish that peace may come upon the flocks committed to your care, for the special benefit of those who are most lowly and in the greatest need of help and defense, lovingly in the Lord We bestow on you, on Our priests both secular and regular, on religious both men and women, on all the faithful and especially those who give wholehearted obedience to these Our exhortations, Our Apostolic Blessing. And upon all men of good will, to whom We also address this encyclical, We implore from God health and prosperity.

Given at Rome, at St. Peter’s, on Holy Thursday, the eleventh day of April, in the year 1963, the fifth of Our Pontificate.

Pat Tillman Anti-War?

Worth Fighting For? by David Swanson is a great article about a book by a former soldier, Rory Fanning, who walked across the United States to raise money for the Pat Tillman Foundation after leaving the Army Rangers as a Conscientious Objector. There is reason to think Pat Tillman turned against the war and had planned on using his fame as a platform to speak out against it upon his return, and so naturally there is reason to suspect that his death was not an accident. Of course, we can’t be surprised to hear this:

“Fanning recounts a conversation with a military chaplain.  Fanning made the case that the whole war was unjust.  The chaplain made the case that God wanted him to do it anyway. “