In July 2012, Patheos sent me a copy of Logan Mehl-Laituri’s memoir Reborn on the Fourth of July: The Challenge of Faith, Patriotism & Conscience to review, and thus was sparked a wide- ranging (unusually book-heavy, even for me) discussion of just war, martyrdom, the courage of enemies, and whether Hamlet is the worst person in Hamlet. I’ve collected all those loosely linked posts here.
- Can Lethal Resistance be Loving? – The initial book review, discussing Laituri’s decision to become a conscientious objector and his desire to ship out again with his men
- “That his heels may kick at heaven” – If Laituri is trying to find a way to offer lethal resistance morally, Hamlet has no such qualms. He’s not content to stop his enemy, but seeks to damn him
- A Martyr for All Seasons – If you’re reluctant to kill your enemy, when and how should you allow yourself to be killed by him/her? (Prompted by a reading of A Man for All Seasons)
- And What Did You Win with Your Death? – The difference between seeking death and just not finding the prospect of martyrdom salient enough to turn you away from your appointed path (plus a recommendation for Of Gods and Men)
- What Can You Do in the War? – Sourcing from Drew Gilpin Faust’s This Republic of Suffering to talk about how soldiers spot the difference between killing and murder (and what kind of sporting chance the other guy is entitled to).
- Brave Enough to Kill – Applying some of the Gilpin Faust text from the last post to the ethics of drone war. Is it reassuring that drone pilots experience PTSD?
- On Value-Neutral Bravery – We’re brave, and our enemies are brazen. Trying to parse a “it’s only brave if you’re right” definition. (And from there, we ended up in a debate tactics/gay marriage fight).
If you liked this sequence, you may want to check out an older posts tagged with “radical forgiveness.”