Any military strike led by the U.S. will be painted by its critics as yet another instance of American power selectively deployed to advance its own interests. For this reason we should be working actively to create an international coalition that will stand alongside us in affirming the place of morality within the dismal chaos of war.
Let's not lose sight of the grotesque reality of chemical weapons. But what about military intervention? Can we make things better? War is evil. Assad is evil. But what is the likelihood of some targeted cruise missile strikes actually improving things? In the words of the philosophers, what is the reasonable likelihood of success?
From an Orthodox perspective there is no justification for war; even a war of defense is a lesser evil but is still an evil. The Orthodox Church, by faith and practice, believes that peace is normal and just. Therefore, war would be not only evil but it would be non-normative. We are to seek peace in each and every situation.
The limitation of conscientious objector status to those who object to all wars flies in the face of what the military itself teaches. Those who are told that in war, especially, keeping a moral inner compass is crucial. Yet, if they believe a war is unjust, they are trapped between having to face prison for refusing to deploy or sacrificing that moral compass to fight.
By G. Jeffrey MacDonald Religion News Service (RNS) For centuries, Christianity's theory of "just war" has helped religious and political leaders det...