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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

blessing the bombs

If you are a Christian, or if you are at all curious about the relationship between war and Christianity, please read this speech given Father George Zabelka in 1985. That was the 40th anniversary of the year they dropped the Boxcar and the Enola Gay on Japan, back when Zabelka was an air force chaplain who blessed the airmen and never thought twice about it...until many years later, when he grew to completely regret it and speak out against civilian slaughter and war in general. Here are a few excerpts, but do yourself a favor and read the whole apology by this witness for peace.
War is now, always has been, and always will be bad, bad news. I was there. I saw real war. Those who have seen real war will bear me out. I assure you, it is not of Christ. It is not Christ's way. There is no way to conduct real war in conformity with the teachings of Jesus. There is no way to train people for real war in conformity with the teachings of Jesus.

The morality of the balance of terrorism is a morality that Christ never taught. The ethics of mass butchery cannot be found in the teachings of Jesus. In Just War ethics, Jesus Christ, who is supposed to be all in the Christian life, is irrelevant. He might as well never have existed. In Just War ethics, no appeal is made to him or his teaching, because no appeal can be made to him or his teaching, for neither he nor his teaching gives standards for Christians to follow in order to determine what level of slaughter is acceptable.


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