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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Monday, July 18, 2005

The One War, The Real War

This past weekend, my in-laws went to Mass in their home state of Wisconsin and were treated to the usual fare of what the New Oxford Review would call "Fr. Flapdoodle." In his homily he spoke on the War on Terror and the recent bombings in Great Britain. Then it happened; he made the statement that "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom-fighter." Another case of a priest not wanting to take sides. Another case of a "I don't know what's going through their minds, so I won't judge" mentality. God gave you an intellect, Father: #1. Acknowledge it. #2. USE IT!

Such a display of stercus should make any Catholic want to vomit. One has to wonder where Father learned his philosophy and moral theology. Did he learn philosophy or moral theology? Perhaps during his seminary years he was otherwise engaged in listening to the Strawberry Alarm Clock's "Incense and Peppermints," or perhaps he was going to a Mass led by a rather limp-wristed Jesuit and a light-in-the-loafers Lutheran minister back in '68--way cool, man! Revolutionary! Whatever, this lighweight's background, he was not being in the least bit pastoral--which is the favorite word of those who want everybody to hold hands and pretend that Jesus didn't get nailed to the Cross.

Did it ever occur to the padre, that there are soldiers and marines serving--some dying--in Iraq and Afghanistan whose parents are parishioners of his church? I suppose that it is ok to kill innocent civilians and children if you are a "freedom fighter." If this is the case, NOW, Planned Parenthood, NARAL are all freedom fighters. (No doubt this is the way they see themselves.) I digress. Father Schall, commenting on clerics and their views of the President and the war, put it well:

What is remarkable to the clergy about the president, I suspect — what confuses those who have no real responsibility to protect anyone — is that he can act on principle. The clerical world is a world of inaction in that Aristotelian sense that "thought of itself causes no action."

Putting the best possible light on the clerical voices, we might say that they have been helpful in making sure that the actors in war and peace make every effort to know the situation, the law, the principles, and the proper means. On the other hand, there seems to be a strange lack of reality coming from a quarter that has often spent the past decades warning us to see the actual problems. In part, we have absolutized "war" to the extent that it has become an abstraction of evil instead of an element in the analysis of justice.

War is sometimes necessary and as such cannot be evil, but rather a good. There are good guys and there are bad guys. The bad guys kill little kids. The bad guys murder themselves and innocent people. The bad guys are hell-bent on destroying our civilization. The good guys defend those who cannot defend themselves. The good guys are our brave men who stand in harms way so that others may not live in fear. The good guys are the true freedom fighters--those who fight to free the world of murderous and evil men who try to bind innocents with their chains of terror. So, Father, I reiterate once again: Acknowledge your intellect and use it. Begin by reading Fr. Schall's article (supra).