The Effects of a Just War (Shane Claiborne)

I love listening to Shane Claiborne speak of God and peace. What are your thought on the following video?

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  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing this, Kurt!

  • Kind of bold. Bonhoffer was wrong? Putting neoconservatives aside, the leaders of our nation have always gone to war as a last resort. He talks about the women and children in the shelter that was hit by a Smart Bomb. This is tragic. He fails to mention how many people are saved, set free, released, by war. By just war. It’s so easy for someone to play the bohemian, with the milky compassionate voice of peace; it’s much harder to be a leader and have to make a choice. Because a choice of pacifism, always means allowing  murder to continue. If the US was neutral in WWII, more innocents (yes, women and children would have been murdered). I hate war. I believe Jesus does too. But this guy gives a simplistic (albeit trendy) remedy for very complex world affairs.

    • chris haw

      You are kidding yourself to think that Iraq was a last resort. That is a bald faced lie. We asked the weapons inspectors to leave in the middle of their duties, didn’t act with decent multilateral support, and rushed into that war without a half-decent plan. You can get a bit of mileage out of the “liberating” notion–though in Iraq and Afghanistan you can’t get as much there as you would hope–but don’t follow the logic of defensive violence backward into inevitable violence. Furthermore, you’ve wrongly associated his active peacemaking and critique of war-logic with a sort of armchair passivism, by concluding it means “allowing murder to continue.” More murder has occurred as a result of the US invasion (both by our forces and the ensuing anarchy) than under Saddam’s regime. Thus, it would be just as good to not only do active peacework in Iraq as he did (while we sat on our asses) but to also publicly drawback support for further US-led murder through prophetic utterance. “Allowing murder to continue” is indeed one of his concerns, but he doesn’t play into the fallacy that we, the good guys, are immune to committing murder–as we have. Comparatively, I think the “simplistic” accusation lands elsewhere.

      • @3c010140278dca186b73f1752f724974:disqus , I couldn’t agree more.  Thanks for commenting on the site!  Your book… well, life changing.  When you guys came to Fresno a few years back, thats what pushed me over the edge to have the courage to fully embrace my Anabaptist roots.  Thanks for that bro.

    • Ian

      So often Romans 13 is used to justify war but remember what Paul said tight before that in 12:21. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Consider carefully how it is worded. To overcome evil with evil is not an option, because to do so is to be overcome by evil. The only thing that can overcome evil is good.
      One thing people forget by saying that war is the only sure solution to solve the problems of violence, is not only that that is totally contradictory, but they forget that our God is a God of miracles and that He overcame death itself by being killed.

  • Great video… his points are spot on in regards to hitler and our role in these atrocities.

  • The Just War Theory is an unjust presumption and redemptive violence is a curse. Just War Theory is presumed that it is the correct and justifiable thing to do in the wake of conflict. Just War is unjust because innocent people are killed and the redemptive violence only continues. War is sin, whether it is just or not. And, all Christians should refrain from it.

  • Joe McClurg

    “Putting neoconservatives aside, the leaders of our nation have always gone to war as a last resort.”
    Viet Nam – last resort?  WWI-last resort? Banana Wars-last resort? Indian Wars-last resort?
    What you call a simplistic remedy is indeed, simplistic. But, it is the kingdom remedy. Where Kingdom and world diverge, we are to follow Kingdom ways.

  • mark

    This is an interesting video and an  enlightening thread of comments. Given that I am (most likely) younger and less knowledgeable on the subject than the others on this thread, I would like to clarify one point and bring up a question for the comment of others.

    First, I think using Iraq as the poster boy for a just war seems a little unfair (and Vietnam, the Banana Wars, etc.). I think that many Christians would happily argue that this war is not just, even if the supporters of the war would label it so. The existence of unjust wars cannot disprove the potential existence of a just war.

    Given that one of the most obvious examples of a potentially just war is WWII, my question concerns that war. Claiborne made an excellent point that Nazi Germany was supported by bad theology. There is a strong argument that if German Christians would have confronted Hitler earlier, the Nazis would not have risen to power. I do not doubt that God’s truth and love would have staved off the rise to power.

    My question is, after Hitler rose to power, what were Christians both inside and outside of Germany supposed to do? Do you believe that no one should have fought the expansion of the Nazi military?

    **This is a side note and can be totally ignored, but I have one problem with Claiborne’s criticism of Bonhoeffer. His argument for why Bonhoeffer’s action were wrong was that Hitler went forth with a “new vigilance,” and that it encouraged his mania and purposes. It appears that Bonhoeffer had a choice to make: try to kill Hitler, which would end his reign, or not, in which case he would continue with fanatical expansion and genocide. The end result of non-action and failure is pretty similar (genocide, etc.), the only difference being that Hitler would have a renewed vigilance. That seems rationally worth the risk. That criticism doesn’t seem compelling.

    • Bonhoeffer’s assassination attempt took place on July 20, 1944. By that point the Holocaust was well underway, Hitler had conquered western Europe, and was at war in Russia and Africa as well. The idea that Bonhoeffer was somehow responsible for some of Hitler’s atrocities escalating just doesn’t fit the timeline.

      It did lead to a massive purge of the conspirators and their allies, which was terrible, but predictable from any failed attempt of that scale (it wasn’t a stand-alone action, but rather was poised to go hand in hand with a military coup).

      I’ll say that the rest of Shane Claiborne’s points have a lot of merit. Especially his points about how our soldiers are suffering, some of them suffering moral crises, others suffering wounds and permanent impairment. As a nation, we’ve gotten way too lax about asking them to go die for us.

      My current position is not pacifist, but certainly very skeptical of military actions done in my name.

      Let’s just say I don’t think anything going on right now rises to the level of Hitler, and I’d honestly rather be a little less safe from terrorist attacks than have people being killed in my name and with my tax money.