Things that give me pause

If we had been around in 70 AD, I wonder how many Catholic conservatives would have bitched about the cowardice of the hierarchy and their cozying up with dictators when they fled Jerusalem rather than engage in a hopeless war against the Roman powers who destroyed the city? No, I’m not suggesting that Iraq is an instrument in the hand of God for judging Israel, nor am I saying that our attack on Iraq will be hopeless for anybody but Saddam, so just cool your jets. I’m simply pointing out that national interests are not always the same as God’s. For myself, I find that the charges of “traitor” and “coward” that routinely seem to be leveled at people who are not at all convinced that war with Iraq is just or something the church should endorse always tend to make me think of similar charges that were leveled at Jewish Christians during the sack of Jerusalem.

I’m also unsettled by a conversation I had a while back with a Catholic friend who more or less said that if war is a sin then we just have to go ahead and sin. That bothers me a great deal.

Believe me, I’d love to be unconflicted about this war. But there are some very troubling things said in favor of it and some very sensible things said against it too. Don’t look to me for moral guidance on this one. I’ve seldom agonized over something as I have over this war.