Here I am, teacup at my side, thinking numerous vague and unformed thoughts despite the late hour of the morning.
Friday morning is often one when I indulge and get a hard copy of the SF Chronicle so that I can linger over the movie reviews and see Bad Reporter in all its full-color glory. Getting the actual paper means I get a much better overview of the news; I never look very deeply when I'm glancing over headlines on the computer screen. So I miss things like stories about the woman complaining that her son's Fisher Price walkie-talkie picked up lewd CB discussions between truckers. Important stuff like that.
But I'm also still thinking about an article I saw online yesterday, in print today, about U.S. deaths surging in Afghanistan. As both my former parish and my current parish pray by name for those killed in Iraq, I'm now thinking about those in Afghanistan and how to remember them. I also find myself strangely affirmative of U.S. troops' presence there while thinking we probably should have focused our attention on Afghanistan from the outset, if we were going to have troops anywhere at all. And how do I reconcile this with my own personal desire to see the U.S. involved in something other than belligerance. I've become far more of a "just war" person than a pacifist as I get older, while hating the easy way in which just war theory is bandied about in self-justification.
Did you know that General Convention 2003 passed a resolution that "urge[d] dioceses and congregations to study and better understand Just War theory and pacifism as they apply to the situation of the United States in responding to contemporary international conflicts"? And further "commend[ed] 'Just Peace Readings' from the Office of the Bishop Suffragan for Chaplaincies of the Episcopal Church Center, and the website, www.episcopalchurch.org/chaplain, as an important resource in the continuing study of Just War"? Bet you didn't. I learned about that when our youth Sunday School studied War and Peace a few years back. As a result of that Sunday School, I learned about Just War theory and about this resolution
This was a worthwhile resolution and I'm sorry it was not more widely practiced. At least I never heard it was. Just War theory is a very important and very helpful way to think about war. It should not be dismissed out of hand because it has been used by those who seek justification for war, because that's not what it does. It's not facile. It's not simplistic. And it's worth a deeper look by everyone, and I think especially by people whose greatest and first desire is peace.
I'll come back to this.