It is “morally corrupt” to excuse terrorism, the theologian William J. Abraham writes.
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Abraham hails the just war tradition for morally justifying the defense of the innocent from terrorists and other aggressors. He questions the “maximalist” view of just war that potentially applies suffocating “moral straightjackets” especially inadequate against an unconventional enemy. The “minimalist” stance relies more on “informed judgment” and more adequately understands just war teaching not as a stringent code but an evolving tradition. “Dealing appropriately” with terrorism requires adopting the minimalist view “without apology.” It must not “cut military and political action loose from morality” but understand the “world is shot through with evil and sin; people deliberately and systematically reject the full resources of grace in their private and public lives; the default position in human life is war not peace.”
The church’s role in public counsel over war and peace is “modest,” Abraham writes. At its best, he suggests, the church “bears witness to a World that stands above our political realities; and that World calls us to a judgment that puts all our temporal interests in their proper place in the life of eternity.”
Shaking Hands with the Devil offers an unusually authentic Christian realism for addressing war and peace from a broadly classical orthodoxy. Irish Methodists are not often renowned for their influence on America Christian thought. But hopefully this particular one at Southern Methodist University will make a plucky splash with his challenge to sloppy thinking about the War on Terror.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?