Justification for war?

A Moral and Theological dialog

By A.R. Schaffer



Item One – Augustine and Aquinas


    While religion and politics do not often mix, politics often uses the “just war” theology of Augustine and Aquinas as a basis for their justification of their declarations of war.  Aquinas established a three fold rule, based upon Augustine’s reasoning, as to determine if a war was just or not:

1, The authority of the sovereign by whose command the war is to be waged.


2, A just cause is required, namely that those who are attacked should be attacked because they deserve it on account of some fault.


3, It is necessary that the belligerent should have the right intention, so that they intend the advancement of good, or the avoidance of evil.  [1]


He also states:

“Those who wage war justly aim at peace, and so they are not opposed to peace, except to the evil peace, which Our Lord came not to send upon our earth (matt. 10:34) ‘We do not seek peace in order to be at war, but we go to war that we may have peace.  Be peaceful, therefore, in warring, so that you may vanquish those whom you war against, and bring them to the prosperity of peace” [2]


     In respect to these great thinkers we should point out that there logic is based upon a time of ignorance and superstition, and that they were a product of a thinking that believed leaders were somehow sanctioned with some type of Divine Authority. They also saw the church as the only administrator of goodness in the world.  But in today’s world, their simple logic cannot be applied to the complexities of war and society, nor, can their fundamental thinking that the church is always a tool of goodness; history has proved otherwise.  While their arguments may have been innovative in the times, the complexities of our world combined with our destructive potential, demand that we move beyond their thinking.


     In the first place, a democracy does not have a sovereign, because the people actually are the rulers (at least in theory).  God does not appoint leaders, the people choose those who represent them; therefore there can be no sovereign leader in a Divine sense in any democracy.  Leaders are human entities, designated by the approval of the people they lead, or by imposing their will over the masses.  There can be no claim as to any Divine right to proclaim war by a leader, or justification for it in God’s Name.  Such an idea is superstition at best and very dangerous as history demonstrates at its worst.

       This is compounded by the problem that a war in today’s world affects not only the warring parties, but very often the world as a whole.  Using such logic, there is no single authority that can grant such a directive except by a consensus of world leaders; and then, only as an absolute last and desperate resort.   But, theologically it must be remembered that men cannot proclaim God’s Will; therefore, such consensus could not be said to be a justification before Almighty God. 


   The next requirement of Aquinas states that a “Just cause” is necessary.  This becomes a very subjective argument.  Outside of the invasion of one nation by another, or possibly genocide of people, what could constitute a “just cause” that can be cited that would  justify the deaths of soldiers, innocent people and children, and the destruction of property and human suffering that war inflicts on all involved; especially, in light of our ability to wage war from the air and its potential to kill thousands in brief periods.

    Too often, one man’s “Just cause” is based upon cultural, regional, religious or philosophical ideologies.  It would seem ideological wars are not defendable in the name of theological or even moral values, as they make the assumption that one ideology, political system, religious belief structure, or value system is superior to others --- giving such a system the right to overthrow another.  Human history has proven there is no such system. All systematic thinking has positive and negative aspects to its reasoning, and too often the basic concepts of a thought system are distorted to support the views of the warring leadership.

       While many religious systems claim to have their authority from God, or contain God’s holy truth; none can cite proof of this by some Divine confirmation of this claim.  Most religious systems have some merit as well as flaws.  It would seem prudent to think that God relates to His/Her peoples according to their ability to relate to Him/Her, and that the only pure ideal is one based upon love and the sacredness of all life for such is shared by most religions.  If we attest to the fact that God is the Creator, than all of creation is of His/Her hand; thus, all is sacred.  The sacredness of life makes it imperative that war is avoided in every conceivable way known to the human intellect --- and that becomes the only responsible theological approach.  For theology to justify war is to stand in contradiction to the core of its basic precept.   


The third argument that Aquinas makes is perhaps the most absurd, being that it is actually contradictory.  The advancement of good can never be accomplished through evil, and killing of the innocent, even when so-called morally justified, is evil.  “The advancement of good” and the “avoidance of evil” in his argument are also so subjective as to be flawed in there very foundation.  Whose definition of “good” or “evil” do we use?  Our women in western cultures do not cover their faces and often expose much of their body, evil to many of the Islamic faith; does that given them the right to attack us?   Perhaps this is simplistic, but to the point!  Morals vary from society to society; consequently, subjective evil varies according to one’s culture.

     A more universal definition of evil would be: that which violates the sacredness of human life or forcefully seeks to impose its will over that of another.  Evil is the antithesis of love.  War violates all these principles no matter what the reason.  Therefore, of itself war is evil; thus, when we resort to war we are not avoiding evil.

     The idea that goodness can be advanced by war just has no merit. Killing our fellow man can never advance goodness, for the act itself violates the sacredness of human life and there can be no advancement of goodness for those who have lost their lives, for their life has ended.   In World War II we may have stopped the advancement of Hitler’s egregious crimes against humanity, which by any humane standards were “evil”; but, it would be hard to argue the advancement of good was achieved. Mankind seemed to learn nothing from this devastating event, fighting several wars after it and filling their weapons arsenals with enough power to destroy humankind, certainly there was no goodness achieved here.   The families destroyed, the pain, the destruction, if avoided, would have been far more in line with goodness and its goals.  We may have stopped a civilized consensus of “evil,” but nothing was done to advance the cause of goodness in a lasting and meaningful way. After that War, the world then became divided into two opposing ideologies that only avoided serious conflict by a “Mutually assured destruction” mentality.  One may cite some benefits from that war, but the overall picture of the state of world affairs hardly moved in that direction.  The point here is that while there can be some human justification for war it is an absolute contradiction to say that the “advancement of goodness” was the objective. The very objective of war is to kill and destroy until one’s enemy surrenders; an objective that is contrary to all that is good.

      We must keep in mind that to Aquinas, the propagation of the Catholic faith was a cause of goodness, a so-called justification for the crusades.  There lies the danger in making any justification for war in the name of goodness.   So the idea of goodness cannot enter into the discussion of the justification for war.  War may become moral through absolute necessity, but it can never be cited as a tool to advance goodness or of a good cause.  And, while some national political systems may be better than others, there is none that have evolved so far as to be defined as goodness --- all have shown corruption and injustices. 


     “Be peaceful in warring” is yet another flaw in Aquinas’ arguments.  The contradiction of the statement speaks for itself.  And, if we could make war to be at peace, peace would have been achieved centuries ago.  The idea of war, no matter what the explanation, is to subdue and conquer; to force the enemy by inflicting damage and causalities to surrender to one’s terms, measured by any standard this is in total opposition to peace.  Surrender is the objective, not peace.  One of the United States’ arguments for entering World War I was that it was “a war to end all wars”.  Even if that were the only intention with utmost sincerity (which we are not claiming it was) it simply did not work.  In only a few short years, the world was at war again --- and how many conflicts have there been since then?    


Given the realities of the state of the world, we do need a modern justification for war in terms of “Just War” ideals based upon ethics, not theology, as there can be no theological justification for war, as war does not appear to be of the nature of God but of the invention of men.  It is men who have devised a way to settle their disputes by killing one another, truly the intent of any war.  God has given us the wisdom to avoid conflict and to settle disputes peacefully, if only we had the common sense to use it.


That being said, refining Aquinas’ reasoning one might offer the following guidelines to determine a non-theological moral justification for war (the difference between a moral and theological justification for war is explained at the conclusion of this thesis).


1, A consensus of world leaders, having exhausted every means available to settle the dispute, and using war only as the absolute last resort to settle the dispute.


2 A acceptable justification brought about by the aggression of one nation upon another seriously threatening its survival, or, the attempt of a nation to exterminate through genocide numbers of its peoples; or, an act so egregious that it is recognized by all peoples as a crime against humanity itself; and,   war must be construed as the only possible solution to the crime.


3, The intentions of the warring party must never be self-serving, but rather, serving the cause of liberation from the act of aggression or the resolution of the egregious act perpetrated against humanity.  It would be absolutely immoral for a nation to exploit any advantages it may obtain in a war.



In reality, there can be no theological justification for war.  War can only be justified in terms of human necessity.  War is either a product of defense, misunderstanding, or selfish pursuits of material or idealistic gains.  It is a human flaw which God has given us the intellectual tools and reasoning abilities that empower us with the ability to overcome differences.  To cite any cause of war in the Name of God amounts to blasphemy of the worst sort.  It implies that God is incapable or unwilling to render justice, and such asserts we can appoint ourselves to act as His/her agents. 

     War amounts to a human sickness that should cause shame no matter what its rationalization.  Think of the millions of lives lost in conflicts in the course of human history, all claiming justification for one side or another.  And history tells us that many of these conflicts could have been avoided.  For any religion to offer a theological justification for war is irresponsible, in that it provides a Divine purpose for any cause allowing human nature to make the action fit the criteria actually encouraging aggressive behavior.

     War, and the preparation for war, has also cost in terms of human resources that could be used to solve other injustices in humanity.  Think about the advancements that could have been made in feeding the starving populations of the world, the possible advancements in technology, medicine, and learning that could have been made if the same effort were put into these things that has been put into war and weapons.  Arms are so entrenched into our economic systems and way of life that they have become virtually impossible to remove. The profits to be made in such industries produce a high incentive as to actually encourage conflict.  The gains in self interest are so profound today that it makes any theology irresponsible to argue for justice for war in the Eyes of God, for such encourages individuals to justify their hostility by rationalizing  the cause to fit the criteria as is being done today.

     It should be the role of theology to offer a Divine perspective as best it can represent it, not to offer rationalization for barbaric and atrocious human behavior before God.  A cleric’s responsibility before God is to promote peace; not offer justification for war.  Justice and mercy are never served in violence, but only in peace that advances the totality of the human cause. 



Item Two – Paul and war


     Certain theological sects who shy away from Catholic Theology often cite the Bible as a justification for war, which will be covered more in the next section.  Of particular concern here is a passage used from Paul to justify war.


1.  Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

 2.  Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

 3.  For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.

 4.  For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

 5.  Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.

 6.  This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing.

 7.  Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              (Romans 13)


In particular verse 4 is emphasized to support the concept that not only war can be justified, but that the army, acting under  the command of the higher powers of the state, are agents of God so long as the state defines goodness in terms of their particular theological perceptions.  But like so often in these Bible citations it is what they leave out that brings into question their interpretations.  That same chapter goes on to say:


 8.  Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.

 9.  The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet,"  and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

 10.  Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. [3]


“Love does no harm to its neighbor” stands in stark contrast to the first seven verses of this quote.  Love was the primary directive of Jesus.  Here Paul’s reasoning is contradictory, as it so often is, in that if the COMMANDMENTS are summed up in “love your neighbor as yourself”, and love “does no harm to its neighbor”, and “love becomes the fulfillment of the law”; then, it would naturally follow that someone acting as an agent of the state inflicting violence upon others could not be fulfilling the commandments.  And, God would be violating His/Her own law if the state were empowered by Him/Her to dole out punishment as the whole of law rests in the command to LOVE.

     While morally and ethically a state may have rights to pass laws to maintain order, and execute fair punishment for infractions of that law, it is a dangerous absurdity to cite that the state represents any Divine Authority.  For theology to makes such assertions is for theology to speak the mind of God.   It also imposes the responsibility upon the theology (by the nature of the bias of its beliefs) to justify state acts because the state operates with Divine Authority. 


Item Three – The Bible and War


It becomes a flaw of any theology to cite the Bible as a Divine Source for its pronouncements, or for that matter any sacred work penned by the hands of men, especially when these works are used to incite justification for the violation of the “sacredness to life”.  Such works may contain Divine Inspiration but do not constitute the mind of the Creator; but rather, a human perception of such inspirations.  Such works may also draw upon metaphors to convey their point.  Language, translation and interpretation are also barriers to the absolute authority of such material.  ( Problems in Dealing With Revelation )

     The Bible is full of monstrous commands of war, supposedly by God.  But such commands also often violate God’s own laws to His/Her people.  Read Numbers Chapter 31 and ask yourself is this is compatible with the idea of an all loving and merciful God.  The entity giving direction here seems like a vengeful, vindictive, and punitive creature, much more like human reasoning than Divine.  If anything, such a story should convince a theologian of the dangers in assigning any man the right to speak on behalf of the Divine. Another example is in Psalms 137:7-9:


7.  Remember, O LORD, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. “Tear it down,” they cried, “tear it down to its foundations!”

 8.  O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us—

 9.  he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.

New International Bible


Could one really lay claim that dashing infants against rocks is within the realm of the justice of God, or that such thinking is of Divine origin? 

     The reality is that theologians have been picking and choosing from the Bible to support their individual assumptions for centuries.  The Bible can be used to demonstrate a variety of points of view as demonstrated by the number of religions and their differing belief structures.  Based solely upon the Bible one can make a theological case “for” or “against” war depending on what they choose to quote. 

     But when one looks at a cross section of all religious beliefs, a clear cut consensus soon becomes apparent, an inspiration to most all faiths, and manifests itself repeatedly in inspired thinking, is the concept of the sacredness of life, particularly human life.  Furthermore, any theology that asserts that God created life, is asserting that every human being is created by the Will of the Creator making us all children of God, negating the superiority of one people over another.


When theology uses the Bible (or any other declared sacred writing) to justify or incite violence of any sort based upon any Divine Authority it has stepped beyond the scope of its limitations.  Theology, by its very definition[4] is limited. At best, one can only speculate on the Nature of God.  A flaw with religious thinking is they confuse faith and the speculations that build that faith, with absolutes, especially when it comes to scriptures that by their very ambiguity are often subject to the reader’s interpretations. In that monotheistic theology represents the idea of a universal Creator it must consider the effects of its teachings upon the whole of humanity above and beyond the faith system it is based upon.  Most Universalists’ Theologies already recognize the “oneness” of all creation and promote pacifism over violence.  


Item Four- Other spiritual support 


The distaste for war is also expressed in other religious concepts, particularly that war should be a tool of last resort.  A last resort means that every possible avenue has been already pursued to settle the differences.  Islam for example, like much existing Christian Theology, permits war in self defense:


Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits.  God does not love transgressors. (Koran 2:190)


If they seek peace, then you seek peace.  And trust in God for He is the One that heareth and knoweth all things.

(Koran 8:61)


The important part of this is that God knows all things, not humans; so in reality we cannot know the true causes of God.  And, there are peaceful means of fighting injustices, so the term “fight” itself could be subjective.  Those extremists who assert holy wars and proclaim God’s Will become as arrogant as their Christian counterparts. To assign human interpretation Divine Truth is to declare ourselves equal to God, an ideal blasphemous to Islam.  Even the greatest of prophets, it would seem, being human, would be subject to possible error.  One cannot have a “free will” theological position and assign any human Divine authority to speak as it would be necessary for God to violate the human free will.  And, logic would dictate that we cannot know the Will of God, when in truth, we cannot truly know the will of another human being.  One cannot cite God as the progenitor of all creation, claim that man is created in His/Her Image, and then set one aspect above the other and justify killing in His/Her Name.  The idea that a war can be Holy is an absurdity.    


The Eastern world religions also support the concept of either pacifism or war as a last resort.  Buddha himself did not provide any justification for war, and says in Pali Scriptures:


All tremble at violence,

All fear death;

Comparing oneself with others

One should neither kill nor cause others to kill.

(Dhp. v. 129)


Victory breeds hatred,

The defeated live in pain.

Happily the peaceful live,

Giving up victory and defeat.

(Dhp. v. 201)


The wisdom in these two statements needs no commentary.


     A common thread that is basic to most religious tenants is the sacredness to human life prohibits the taking of one life by another.  “Do not kill” is a universal ideal that humankind has riddled with holes in an attempt to justify outrageous and inhuman behavior.  The same logic that is used to apply to existing Christian justification war ideals could be applied to other religious ideologies that acknowledge the sacredness of life.   It is an absolute hypocrisy, and contradiction, for religion to state such a precept and justify certain killing in the Name of God.   If religion were responsibly representing God there would be no war, for leaders would be unable to gather the faithful to take up arms and fight for them.   

     President Jimmy Carter sums up the reality of this nicely when he said, “There may be necessity for war, but it is always evil.” Evil is always the misuse of God’s Being and thus can never be justified in His/Her name no matter what human moral justification we may invent or criteria we might establish.  This ideal should be central to all who recognize a higher power or purpose to creation.




There can be no theological justification for war


     No War can be justified theologically.  To do so is to put God’s stamp of approval on a human atrocity, a misuse of the very gift of life.  War would also be contradictory and violate the almost universal religious premise of the SACREDNESS OF LIFE. 

    God created man, He/She did not create war.  War is a human invention that God has given us the intellect, direction and communicative skills to overcome; particularly in our modern age.  Too many of the causes that lead to the evil necessity for war are a result of our own refusal to acknowledge and treat the economic and social problems often leading to war.   So long as we have exploitation of one people by another, hunger and starvation, extreme inequality, and indifference to these problems war will remain in humankind’s history.  It is the role of religion to address the injustice of these problems and encourage working towards their solutions.  

      A secondary cause of war is born in the arrogance of the absolutism of varying ideologies; religious, political and philosophical in nature.  Here too, acknowledgement of our human intellectual limitations could go a long way in solving human disputes; and instead of leading to war in such disputes, we could learn from each other and advance the whole of human knowledge and the human cause itself.  To encourage such ideals is not only the role, but the duty of religion.

    War cannot be justified in the Eyes of God because we have been empowered with the ability to rise above it --- it is only the lack of human determination that fails us.  In the end, all war disputes are settled in some manner, but only after people decide there has been enough bloodshed, destruction and suffering.  It would only be logical to assume that God would have us settle such disputes before such a folly.

     To assert there can be justification for war in the Eyes of God is to assert we can know the mind of God; it is to assert that God approves (under certain human reasoning) of man’s inhumanity toward one’s fellow man; it is to assert there is justification for the slaughter of innocent human life.  Such assertions should be contrary to everything a responsible religion should stand for.   It is the role of theology to discourage and prevent war rather than justify or condone it.  One should think that it would be a logical and safe theological conclusion to assume that a Divine Being would desire us to rise above such violence being extremely disappointed by such human madness.


Religion and war


Even when a war may be morally justifiable it is the role of religion to encourage peace, condemn the death and destruction and come to the aid of the suffering incurred by either side.  It is the duty of clerics and theologians to condemn any assertion that God is on the side of any participating party in any conflict, even if there may be human justification for it.  To use God for a justification for participation in any act of human violence, especially those acts that are designed to kill and destroy, is to reduce God to a human level of reasoning and psychologically reduces the human dignity of one’s enemy.  Religion must acknowledge that from a Divine perception war should not exist.  If humanity truly accepted the “sacredness of life” and lived respecting the rights of others war would not exist.  God rises above conflict and can never be cited to condone it.  


Moral acceptability differs from theological


     Unfortunately, the human condition remains as such that nations may need resort to war and under extreme circumstances it could become morally acceptable to do so.  Moral acceptability differs from theological justification in that in theology recognizing the “evil” of war it removes the idea that God can be on any side committed to the destruction of life for any reason, even a moral one.  If human beings accepted the complete responsibility for war, as well as its consequences; just perhaps there may be a little more incentive to settle a dispute through peaceful means.  There may be more incentive to address the problems that may lead to war.  And, war could never be fought under the banner of righteousness, holiness, or with Divine sanction.


Moral justification for war

     Moral justification for war should be extreme in its guidelines and admit to, rather than seeking justification, for the death, human misery and destruction which are always the result of war.  There should be no celebration in victory; but rather remorse and sadness that human beings had to resort to such barbaric and atrocious behavior to achieve an end.  Morally war can only be justified through human weakness that creates its necessity; never can war be righteous or honorable, for such should be shameful to the human condition.


     Moral justification to war should contain the three elements stated above and repeated here:


1, A consensus of world leaders, having exhausted every means available to settle the dispute, and using war only as the absolute last resort to settle the dispute.


2 A acceptable justification brought about by the aggression of one nation upon another seriously threatening its survival, or, the attempt of a nation to exterminate through genocide numbers of its peoples; or, an act so egregious that it is recognized by all peoples as a crime against humanity itself; and,   war must be construed as the only possible solution to the crime.


3 The intentions of the warring party must never be self-serving, but rather, serving the cause of liberation from the act of aggression or the resolution of the egregious act perpetrated against humanity.  It would be absolutely immoral for a nation to exploit any advantages it may obtain in a war.


Going beyond basic Justification


But any moral justification must go beyond these things especially in modern warfare which becomes impersonal and often involves massive civilian causalities.  It is the responsibility of military leaders to minimize the use of force, limiting casualties to military personnel who have volunteered to defend the cause.  It is only natural that a nation would seek to reduce the casualties of its military; but to do so at the expense of innocent men, women and children is immoral, in that, (voluntary) military personnel accept the risks involved in war knowing fully well its potential, while the civilian populations are bystanders to that which they cannot control.  Ethically, only absolute necessary force should be used that would create the minimum number of non-military casualties. 


Political and military leaders are also aware that there may be unscrupulous people serving in the military and that unlawful consequences such as rape or torture are conceivable during war.  Such acts, morally, become their responsibility unless they have taken every precaution humanly possible to weed out such deranged individuals and every effort is made to apprehend and prosecute such violators.     



No moral justification for certain types of wars


     There can be no moral justification for wars waged as punishment, revenge, or pre emptive in nature; for such can be construed only as acts of aggression.  Wars of punishment fail the moral test on the grounds that they are punishment of masses for the acts of few.  They inflict too much unnecessary suffering on the innocent.  It is the responsibility of those who have the authority to punish, to hold accountable, only those who have committed the grievance.  Revenge is immoral in that it serves no useful purpose, is self-serving and only promotes more hostility.  Preemption is immoral in that it violates the principles of justification in that it is highly unlikely that preemption can ever fulfill the requirement of “last resort”, even if a threat may appear imminent.  One simply cannot be certain about future events and fear alone cannot justify war! It also fails to fulfill the self-defense justification and is not of itself the result of any egregious act.   


Moral responsibilities of the victorious


If one is to claim any moral justification to war, responsibilities do not end in victory. Every effort must be made by the victor to ensure that food, shelter, medical attention, warm clothing and any other necessity of life is distributed to the defeated party.  It is the responsibility of the victor to repair and restore civilian buildings, infrastructure, housing, and services that served the civilian population’s needs previous to the war and that were interrupted or destroyed because of the war as a result of the victor’s actions.  Apologies, and reparations should be made to innocent civilians who suffered loss and death as a result of the victor’s actions.  The defeated military should be treated respectfully, justly, and humanely.  A victorious nation should refrain from celebration of the victory because there is no cause for celebration in any achievement caused by inflicting hardship, death and destruction. And finally, the victorious shall strive to allow the defeated to self-govern as soon as it becomes possible for them to do so.  Such responsibilities might serve as an incentive for a nation to settle a dispute peacefully.  


War only as an extreme


The moral justification for war should be so stringent that it virtually makes war an unacceptable social pursuit except in the most extreme of cases.  The moral criteria for justification of war should deliberately be costly and stringent as to encourage alternative solutions.   Politicians and leadership are too quick to resort to war these days to settle differences, punish the masses for the acts of few, or launch an offensive out of a perceived threat.  The threshold of tolerance for war by religion, and the public in general, is far too low due to dependence on outdated philosophies and theologies that could have never envisioned the destructive forces that human kind would create. Religious standards must reflect the realities of war, and ethical standards need to reflect he horrors that war brings about.

    The concept of war itself is insane.  It defies both human logic and violates every survival instinct we are endowed with.  It pits strangers against each other under the direction of leaders who are most often far away from the realities of its horrors.  It perpetuates hatred and justifies violence.  War is not justifiable religiously; and, ethically a shame that any justification becomes necessary.  It is the role of religion to help us evolve beyond war so an ethical contemplation becomes unnecessary.


  God, grant us the strength to move forward and give us the wisdom to rise above such human failing.







[1] Taken from Summa Theologica, Part II of Second Part, Quest XL, article 1, tr Fathers of the English Dominican Province

[2] Ibid

[3] New International Bible

[4] The study of the nature of God and religious truth; rational inquiry into religious questions.