Category Archives: Militarism and Christianity

Question from a viewer

Anyone have an answer to this? –Cammy

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Hello,
     I saw an interesting interview that a lady with your organization did with a gentleman named E. Michael Jones.  I really appreciated the interview, subscribed to the Youtube channel so I can see more, and read the manifesto and f.a.q. on your website.     

I am writing because I want to know if you know of anyone who has done a Catholic analysis of Proxy War.  I think that waging war by proxy poses a number of serious ethical issues that are relevant both to questions of Jus ad Bellumand Jus in Bello, which need to be analyzed separately from analyses of conventional war.  War by proxy seems to be the rule, and not the exception, and probably more so than at any other point in history (being what President Eisenhower cynically called “The cheapest insurance in the world”).  And while I do believe it is possible that a conventional war could be just, I have not been able to figure out whether war by proxy is malum in se.  I have strong suspicions that it is intrinsically evil.  If you can think of any articles or interviews that focus in this, and that could help me think through the many issues involved, I would be grateful to know.  If you can find someone with expertise, I dare to suggest that it would make a fascinating subject for an interview.  But I do not know of any Catholic moral theologians who have dealt with this issue.  If you find or know of any, please let me know.  And thank you for the work you are doing; these are important conversations that will have to continue to go on for as long as boys become men.  I am a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, though thanks to God not a veteran of war (as I do not believe that the wars fought in my lifetime have been just).       Thank you for your time.
Sincerely, [anonymous]

Email from a Viewer

Hi,

I’m enjoying your podcast and I particularly liked your interviews with Mike (EMJ) and Captain Carmody even though the latter was harrowing at times. There is another podcast on the Nick Turse book called “Kill Anything That Moves” that exposed what happened in Vietnam and the farcical My Lai “enquiry” which was using the truth to hide the wider truth and that was similar to the exposure of the “Abu Garib” torture incidents in Iraq. The lads discuss the conflicts of the 20th century using an unbiased and objective approach and, in the case of Yugoslavia, they get some of it wrong but most is accurate. I just thought it might be of interest to you (see youtube link). 

I’m reading a book at the moment entitled “The Remnants of War” by John Mueller that was written just after the Iraq and Afghanistan military interventions. Mueller proposes the contention that War between civilized nations is becoming less “popular” to such an extent that it’s becoming an anachronism. Mueller is a former (I think) policy maker who’s at Ohio University, (I think) where he lectures, and his book is preposterous because the glaring contradictions in the book with events back when it was written make his premise completely absurd. However it is useful in gaining an insight into these people’s ideas and thoughts which are fixated on World War 2 mythology. They want to present a picture to the public where Anglo America and the allies are the good guys and the enemy is “Hitler”. In Mueller’s book he wanted to portray Anglo America as part of a global police force helping to manage Governments all over the World to “police” the “thugs and outlaws” who “cause trouble”. I suppose that involves outrageous ideas like having an independent country and “stuff” like that.

My advice is to find out if World War 2, and indeed the previous War and the Spanish intervention etc were necessary. They came nowhere near meeting the conditions for Just War. The World War 2 myth is the most pervasively used lie and I recommend you to explore what really went on. Hitler had sued for peace and Churchill agreed and the decision to go to War wasn’t saving anyone apart from Churchill’s house. David Irving is controversial but he is undoubtedly an excellent historian and he uses genuine documentation and archived records. The myth of World War 2 continues to prevail and that’s deadly for all of us. That’s at the root cause of continued misadventures that have cost lives and disastrous consequences for the entire World. Hope you continue to seek the truth, raise consciousness and make people see that violence is counter productive and destructive for all who engage in it. Good luck with the podcast.

Tim’s podcasts are good too

Thanks

Attachments areaPreview YouTube video Kill Anything that Moves – My Lai and the Vietnam Death Squads (Myth20c – Ep112)Kill Anything that Moves – My Lai and the Vietnam Death Squads (Myth20c – Ep112)Preview YouTube video Nick Mason on the Cost and Consequences of U.S. InterventionismNick Mason on the Cost and Consequences of U.S. Interventionism

On Coming Home

“The Catholic faith tells us that we are sinners loved by God. I am a sinner who is loved. I struggle with both halves. I don’t always want to admit I am a sinner. What I went over there to do felt righteous. I believed in the cause, and even if I didn’t, I believed in my brothers. I believed in America, and even if I didn’t or didn’t know what America was, I believed in the Marine Corps. I believed in violence, in purpose, in our community, our brotherhood. I wanted to receive the sacrament of confirmation in the military service. I prayed for the opportunity to kill.” — Peter Lucier, America Magazine

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2019/05/17/soldier-i-was-loved-my-sins-now-i-must-repent-them?fbclid=IwAR1xnUW1kz0HxEmynJVflXgXYFIZFXSmydJwjkDssm-9N5VqcHw9jgGH2xk

Podcast Episode 4!

John Carmody served as a 2nd Lieutenant Platoon Commander in Vietnam from 1967-68, in an area called Leatherneck Square, nestled near the DMZ. He talks about the “unbridled brutality of war” and explains why it is “a sick process.” He also talks to us about his work with PeaceTrees Vietnam, his thoughts on PTSD and Just War Theory, and how he came to be the Founder and Director of the Center for Christian Nonviolence.

Rank: Captain

Decorations/Medals (awarded):

  • Silver Star (The only medals that are more prestigious than the Silver Star are the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross. Read his commendation below.)
  • Purple Heart w/2*
  • Combat Action Ribbon
  • Presidential Unit Citation
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Viet Nam Serice Medal
  • Viet Nam Campaign Medal
Lt. John Carmody’s Silver Star Citation

Peter Jackson’s Masterpiece is Here.

But we’re not talking about the Lord of the Rings! They Shall Not Grow Old is a magnificent, haunting film by Mr. Jackson. Highly recommended for history buffs, movie lovers, audio/video tech enthusiasts, progressives, libertarians, liberals, conservatives, especially Catholic conservatives. In fact, just about everybody should see this movie. It’s rated R (for scenes of war violence and gore) but parents should give serious consideration to watching it with their older children. Part of being a mature adult is to have some grasp of the realities of war portrayed here. This documentary is a powerful antidote to the usual cinematic and cultural glorification of violence that Americans are exposed to everyday.

WW1 has been called “the greatest cataclysm in human history,” leading inexorably to the destruction of Christian civilization. It’s important to know something about it because when we survey the societal wreckage around us, it’s a good starting point for those who want to think about “where things went wrong.” This film is a wonderful technical and humanitarian achievement, but it is limited in that it is strictly about the British experience, it has no discernible political viewpoint and, somewhat strangely, contains practically no references to spiritual values among the millions-strong army of Christians. It’s now out on DVD, but seeing it on the big screen with a large audience is highly recommended, so if you get a chance to do that, jump at it.

Here are excerpts from three thoughtful and provocative reviews/commentaries by Catholic writers.

From “The Veneer of Civilization Slipped Away” by Jeffrey A. Tucker:

“The narrative is genius storytelling, somehow taking this ghastly, complex, ignored series of events with strange beginnings and turning it into a deeply engaging human drama about the mystically evil event we call war which baptizes mass murder and death in the cleansing waters of patriotic fervor.”

From “‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ is a Powerful, Beautiful Picture of the Ugliness of War” by John Zmirak:

“Instead of gray ghosts, the soldiers shine forth luminously as men like you and me. The decades melt away, and we can see ourselves in these men in the trenches…

These British men give us a glimpse of the Christian civilization which existed before the Great War, which that savage strife did so much to hollow out and destroy.”

From “CHRIST or DEATH: The Choice of 1914” by Hilary White:

“The result of this rejection of Christ the King has been a descent into chaos that can now only be answered by the rise of the all-powerful State, backed up by the death-machines.”

Don’t miss this movie and please tell others about it.

I have a better idea

Maybe this should be “examining the role that churches play in propagating war”?

 

Faith and Duty

The Role of Spirituality in Times of War

Presented by the Archives of the Archdiocese of New York

Saturday, December 15, 2018 @ 4PM

This panel discussion will examine the role that faith plays in times of war. Beginning the conversation with the rise of the chaplain corps during the First World War, a group of academics, religious, and current duty military will speak about the importance for caring for the spiritual well being of soldiers in the face of the horrors of war.

Faith and Duty at the Sheen Center

 

 

Christians and the Temptations of Nationalism

“When in the 1950s I asked my (then orthodox and rigidly catechized) American Catholic students: ‘Are you an American who happens to be a Catholic, or are you a Catholic who happens to be an American?’ all of them chose the former.”

“When Germany invaded Russia, Hitler ex­pected Catholics to support his ‘crusade’ against atheistic Bolshevism. No matter how wrong the ideas and the practices of Commu­nism, Jaegerstaetter said, this was but another invasion wrought upon innocent people. There was nothing in the practices and doctrines of Nazism that was preferable to those of Communism.”

The following article is very relevant to our times even though it was written in 1992. It is reposted with the kind permission of the folks at the New Oxford Review — D.F.

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The “God and Country” Trap

Christians and the Temptations of Nationalism

By John Lukacs
November 1992

John Lukacs is Professor of History at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia and a Contributing Editor of the NOR. His latest book is The Duel, 10 May-31 July 1940: The Eighty-Day Struggle Between Churchill and Hitler.

This article is adapted with permission of Ticknor & Fields from his book The End of the Twentieth Century, forthcoming in early 1993.

The decline of religion, and of the influ­ence of the churches, became more and more evident during the 18th century, at the end of which it seemed as if that decline were irre­versible. (In 2,000 years of history, the prestige of the papacy was never as low as in 1799.) Then there came an unexpected Catholic and ultramontane revival; but the decline, by and large, went on during the 19th century, and continued during the 20th. Even some atheists and agnostics regretted this on occasion: Orwell once wrote that the greatest loss for Western civilization was the vanishing of the belief in the immortality of the soul. That is a difficult subject, because it is not as ascertain­able how men and women (how, rather than how much) believed in the immortality of the soul 250 years ago. But Orwell was right when he wrote that faith and credulity are different things.

Most people (including intellectuals, theo­logians, ecclesiastical historians) think that the decline of religious belief has been due to the rise of the belief in science. That may have been true in the 19th century, but even then the evidence is not clear. The decline of re­ligious belief did not necessarily correspond to the rise of belief in science. Samuel Butler’s vehement rejection of Darwin did not lead to the recovery of his religion. Henry Adams’s discovery of the Virgin did not lead to his re­jection of his own mechanistic-deterministic view of history. Now, at the end of the 20th century, many people respect religion as well as science, together; but respect for the former is faint. This has something to do with the fact that we have declined to a stage lower than hypocrisy, the problem being no longer the difference between what people say and what they believe; now the difference seems to be between what people think they believe and what they really believe.

Actually, the great threat to religious faith in our time — more precisely, to the quality and meaning of faith — is nationalism. The democratization of the churches has led to that; but that is only secondary to the demo­cratization of entire societies. The primary element is that the religion of the nation, the sentimental symbols of the nation, are more powerful than religious faith, especially when they are commingled. Nationalism, I repeat, is the only popular religio (religion: binding be­lief) in our times. That won’t last forever; but there it is. Continue reading