Once again we hear of kids being massacred at a school by a man with a gun. Most people I know who live in Britain rather than America are horrified and puzzled by the American obsession with gun ownership. The statistics clearly point to drastically reduced gun related deaths when there is strong gun ownership control. But strong government control is anathema to many citizens in the ‘land of the free”.
Viewed the situation from the outside, I and many others, can be judgemental of our American cousins. We are actually in danger of being hypocritical, bearing in mind how much money Britain makes by selling weapons around the world. Continue reading “Guns, Kids and the Arms Trade”
If you have read any of my blog posts then you will know that I care deeply about justice for the powerless and for the voiceless of this world. The principal of justice is very important, but we need to be very careful about how we apply justice. How often have we heard people effected by crime cry out, “We want justice” when they really mean that they want revenge and to see perpetrators suffer. This may be a natural response but as followers of Jesus we should not seek revenge and retaliation. Continue reading “Beyond Justice”
Is war ever justifiable? I contend that there is no such thing as a ‘just war’. We must ask the question: “What does Jesus say about fighting for King, country, empire, freedom or democracy?” Can violence overcome evil, even if it is the lesser of the two evils, and is it morally acceptable?
We live in a society in which the law intervenes if we injure, hurt emotionally or physically, or kill another human being. Yet in war, our soldiers are encouraged to kill soldiers and civilians, all in the name of patriotism! What sort of logic says that if I go to another country and kill people I would be jailed or executed, but if our politicians declare war I can put on a uniform and be encouraged to kill.
The ‘just war’ theory was invented when the emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. It has been used throughout history by the ‘Church’ to legitimise killing, suffering and devastation. During the middle ages the priesthood would tell their Kings that their evil plans were justified because the other side were even more evil. Continue reading “Just war theory, non-violence and Jesus”