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Todays Checklist

Take up Darfur Now Peace and violence continued Just War Theory Introduction

Violencelove/hate

Where do you see a fascination with or interest in violence? Fans love violence

Violence what is it?

Violence refers to harming or destroying the well-being or existence of a person, group or community. The harm is not restricted to physical action; it can also be spiritual or psychological. Violence touches every level of human relationships, from the personal to the global, including our treatment of the earth.

Write this down

What is a just war?


Who decides when war is justified?

Is it permissible to fight for the Righteous? By what criteria do they judge a war?

Is war about justice or destruction?


Can good come from evil? Why does God suffer death and destruction in His name?

Does God bless conflict?

Just War Theory

St. Augustine, a 4th Century Doctor of the Church, set the bar very high. War should be the last, not first resort of nations. Many of his views are said to have influenced Thomas Aquinas, whose writings on the subject have come to be known as the "Just War Theory." As the Coalition powers continue their war of attrition with insurgents in Iraq, the Catholic Church and other religious denominations are expressing strong reservations on the morality of these actions.

Just War Theory


theory from Doctors of the Church

St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas

theory set out by Aquinas to make war and human dignity in war moral necessities

Wars throughout history


For centuries, different religions, cultures and countries have waged war for a variety of reasons:
money revenge hatred power

In the name of God

List as many virtuous reasons to start a war as possible.

grave, public evil, i.e., aggression or massive violation of the basic rights of whole populations

Just Cause: force may be used only to correct a

Blessed be the Lord m y strength, m y rock, w ho trains m y hands for battle, m y fingers for w ar.
Psalm 144:1

Operation Overlord beginsJune 6, 1944. The Allies fight to reclaim France from Nazi Germany.

A class poll

How many agree or disagree with the following statement? Direct annihilation of the enemys forces must always be the dominant consideration. Karl Von Klausewitz, 19th Century Philosopher

Proportionality: all subsequent conflict must be proportional to the original damage inflicted; i.e. torture cannot be used in a war, nor nuclear weapons. Also, only enemy combatants should be fired upon. Civilians should not be harmed in any way.

Arms may not be used in a futile cause or in a case where disproportionate measures are required to achieve success. War is acceptable only when there is a strong chance of imminent victory and minimal casualties.

Probability of Success:

A militia group in Nepal dispatches with a rival faction. The group acts as judge, jury and executioner.

White supremacists express their admiration for Hitler and declare a war of racial purification.

At the turn of the 20th Century, a lynch mob prepares to dispense justice

The grim result of vigilante justice

In Los Angeles the Crips and the Bloods battle for territory and supremacy.

Hundreds die each year.

Legitimate Authority:
Only a duly constituted public authority; i.e. a nations military or reserve units, may use deadly force or wage war. No vigilante or militia groups are morally justified to fight private wars.

Last Resort
War is only acceptable when all other peaceful means have been exhausted; i.e. diplomacy, sanctions, referenda

I t is easier to m ake w ar than to m ake peace.


Georges Clemenceau

Diplomacycountries meet in a neutral location; i.e. UN headquarters, and attempt to solve conflict peacefully

Trade embargo/economic sanctionsa group of countries withhold vital goods and services to force the offending country to comply with the general will.

What could a country or coalition do before engaging in combat?

I f there m ust be trouble, let it be in m y day, that m y child m ay have peace.


Thomas Paine

Blessed are the peacem akers, for they shall be called children of God.
Matthew 5:9

Peace I leave w ith you; m y peace I give to you .Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
John 14:27

Perhaps, in time, humanity will grow beyond its infancy and realize a lasting peace. Until then, the fighting will continue.

Choose any three questions and write 3-4 sentence responses for each.
1. Is it permissable to fight for a righteous cause? 2. Can good come from evil? 3. Who decides when war is justified? 4. By what criteria is a war judged? 5. Does God bless conflict? 6. Why does God suffer death and destruction in His name? 7. Is war about justice or destruction? 8. Is the use of torture in war a necessary evil? 9. Should a war be fought if there is no hope of victory? 10. Is a war that lasts many years, with thousands of casualties, a success?

Countering injustice

The prayer of St. Francis of Assisi Reflect upon the prayer

What is St. Francis response to injustice?

Writing your own prayer for peace

Journal entry

Write a journal entry (not to be handed in)are you at peace with yourself, others, friends, family, or other groups of people. What steps would you use in order to create a climate of peace in their particular situation?