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John McCain's Theology of War Is Wrong


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: mccain, media, politics, government, ethics, dishonesty, congress, americans, abuse, propaganda, lies, usa, war )

JL
- 567 days ago - sojo.net
John McCain angrily insisted on "right" and "wrong" answers to his questions of Chuck Hagel yesterday. As a theologian and a religious leader, I want to say that John McCain is "wrong."



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JL A. (275)
Saturday February 9, 2013, 9:06 am
John McCain’s Theology of War is Wrong
God's Politics Blog [1]
John McCain’s Theology of War is Wrong
by Jim Wallis [2] 02-01-2013 | 2:59pm

John McCain angrily insisted on “right” and “wrong” answers to his questions of Chuck Hagel yesterday. As a theologian and a religious leader, I want to say that John McCain is “wrong.”
image/jpeg iconMcCain waits to speak during a campaign visit to support former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Joe Raedle/Getty Images [6]
McCain waits to speak during a campaign visit to support former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

I watched the hostile questions that Sen. McCain asked Hagel in the hearings on his nomination for Secretary of Defense. The angry attacks from McCain were about the Iraq War, for which McCain was one of America’s leading advocates. Hagel had previously called the war in Iraq the biggest American foreign policy mistake since Vietnam. Obviously furious, McCain tried to force Hagel to say the last “surge” in Iraq, which McCain had made his cause, was right after all. Despite the aggressive and disrespectful questioning from his former “friend,” Hagel wouldn’t submit to McCain’s demands and said these questions would be subject to history — and to theological morality, to which John McCain has never submitted his views. In fact, his repeated desire to invade other people’s countries is offensive moral hubris.

Let me state some clear convictions from many of us in faith community. The war in Vietnam was morally wrong. The war in Iraq was morally wrong. And John McCain has been morally wrong on both of them. Christian judgments of war should always run a narrow spectrum — from the peacemaking ethic of Jesus which rejects war to the just war theology of Augustine and Aquinas. But even in the just war tradition, conflicts have to pass a number of moral tests and be the option of “last resort.” The burden of proof is always on those who support war to justify the taking of life.

Both Vietnam and Iraq failed those tests and were unnecessary wars of choice. Those wars were unnecessary, the terrible deaths from those wars were unnecessary, the enormous casualties were unnecessary, the painful family losses were unnecessary, and all the horrible costs were unnecessary.

And yesterday, we saw a politician who has based his entire political career on war furiously trying to force a potential Secretary of Defense to say that he has been right all along.

But McCain hasn’t been right in his endless promotion of war as the primary solution to our national conflicts. He has been consistently wrong and America has paid a very high price because of the ideological zealots of war that McCain represents.

After yesterday, I wished that the coming vote on confirmation could be the other way around; that America could somehow vote John McCain out of office and off the American political stage. The cost of McCain’s theology of war has been far too high.

The important discussions yesterday should have been about other critical issues: like how quickly and responsibly we can leave the endless war in Afghanistan, how we can address the real threats of terrorism in better ways than failed wars of occupation, what we should do about the real problem of Iran, and a very serious strategic and moral examination of our growing reliance on drones as a primary instrument of our foreign policy.

Instead, we saw old men defending their old wars. That was both very sad and morally objectionable. In the future, I would suggest the Senate Armed Service Committee call some religious leaders to their hearings to raise the questions that they need to hear.

Jim Wallis is the author of Rediscovering Values: A Guide for Economic and Moral Recovery [7], and CEO of Sojourners [8]. His forthcoming book, On God's Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned about Serving the Common Good, is set to release in April. Follow Jim on Twitter @JimWallis [9].

Photo: Joe Raedle [10] / Getty Images
 

Angelika R. (146)
Saturday February 9, 2013, 12:29 pm
what a headline, someone please tell me what exactly is a "theology of war" ?? Don't believe that existst.
I won't even read, probably spares me high blood pressure and speedy heartbeat ^^ I hate to even hear McCain's voice..
 

Mitchell D. (130)
Saturday February 9, 2013, 1:26 pm
Jim Wallis is so very right about McCain and the wars we were led into by malfeasant presidents lying to us, and this Atheist does not mind saying so.
Once again, the Gulf of Tonkin event never happened, and Bush's crap about Gog and Magog,in Iraq, of which he tried to convince French Pres. Jacques Chirac to join in the invasion of Iraq, was simply the ravings of a deluded mind.
Thank you JL.
 

JL A. (275)
Saturday February 9, 2013, 3:08 pm
You are welcome Mitchell. Wish I could send you a star for reminding us of the misinformation leading to two wars.

I can appreciate your protecting yourself from McCainisms Angelika.
 

Ellen G. (339)
Saturday February 9, 2013, 6:51 pm
McCain is no longer relevant and needs to go
 

JL A. (275)
Saturday February 9, 2013, 6:58 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Ellen because you have done so within the last week.
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 5:12 am
John McCain certainly is a hero in my eyes, and I actually don't see how he survived as POW. However, he has become such an angry old man, he is nearly senile, and from his days as POW, I can understand that, but now John McCain should retire. He is not looking so good with his ranting and raving and off the ball comments. Thanks JL
 

Ro H. (0)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 6:57 am
ty
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 2:22 pm
The only thing right about McCain is his politics. I agree with Gypsy...time for him to retire. Thanks JL.
 

Mike M. (53)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 2:47 pm
He is a angry man because his ideas for his America have not been followed.
 

JL A. (275)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 2:52 pm
Love your play on words Olivia! You are welcome Ro.
You cannot currently send a star to Gypsy because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Mike because you have done so within the last week.
 

Robert K. (31)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 8:43 pm
John McCain was probably the worst pilot in Navy history, graduated nearly last from the Naval Academy and if not for who his father was probably would not have graduated. He's another dunce like dumbya who got through school based on who his father was. It's clear why Barry Goldwater hated hin despite his father being his best friend. Goldwater claimed he was a man totally devoid of ethics.

He's an ignorant fool and always has been and always will be. Besides, many of those who were held in the POW camp with him claimed he was a collaborator with the North Vietnamese.

I think he was the real "Manchurian Candidate."
 

JL A. (275)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 8:51 pm
Thank you for adding your historical perspective Robert.You cannot currently send a star to Robert because you have done so within the last week.
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday February 12, 2013, 9:29 am
Isn't this what the military sets out to do with every one that joins? This nation is completely F'ed up.
 

JL A. (275)
Tuesday February 12, 2013, 10:21 am
You cannot currently send a star to Jason because you have done so within the last week.
 

Lynn Squance (231)
Tuesday February 12, 2013, 11:50 pm
McCain? Isn't that a brand of french fries? Well this one may not be french, but he sure is fried!

McCain and his neocon buddies will be the ruination of the US, along with all other Republican/Teabaggers. Theology of War, indeed!
 

JL A. (275)
Wednesday February 13, 2013, 8:32 am
You cannot currently send a star to Lynn because you have done so within the last week.
 
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