Religion, Peace and Justice Revision Notes
(Bible verses are written in italics and other important words/phrases in bold for easy use.)
Christians generally believe that war is wrong and that killing people is not justified "thou shalt not commit murder". However, if there is an evil going on in another part of the world that needs to be stopped, there is a chance war will be seen as the lesser of two evils.
Christians, particulary Catholics, will often look at the Just War Theory to see if they think a war is justifiable or not. This was originally thought of by Thomas Aquinas but has more recently been added to by Catholic Bishops.
It says that a war is just if:
- It has been started by legitimate authority
- There is some good come out of it at the end
- The force used is proportional to the other side and no civilians are hurt
- War is a last resort
- The cause for the war should be just.
There is only one Christian denomination which declares itself to be wholly Pacifist (against violence in any form) and that is the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers. They are pacifist and are likely to be concientious objectors in a time of war (someone who refuses to fight because of their conscience or religious beliefs. However, there are also contingent pacifists who are people who refuse to fight in a war but will help in a factory or a field hospital, for instance. The Biblical justification for this is: "blessed are the peacemakers" from the Sermon on the Mount, "turn the other cheek" and "love your enemies".
Christians are always against Nuclear War as civilians are always hurt or affected negatively, a Christian may join the CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) to show their views on this subject, the group try and get governments to get rid of their nuclear detterants for the safety of humanity.
Christians should support war:
- In the Old Testament God says "prepare for war,…