War & Peace

Just War Theory is a mode of analysis that lists criteria by which war may be considered righteous before, during and after its execution. The criteria to consider before a war are: declared by legitimate authority, just cause, right intent, reasonable hope of success, last resort, and announcement. The criteria to consider during war are: non combatant immunity, proportionality of damage to good that will result, limitations on weapons and tactics. Young scholars in [...]

Jim Wallis 09-15-2008

The presidential tickets in this election on both sides of the aisle have lots of "personality;" some of the candidates have even been referred to as "rock stars." John McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis has said that "this election is not about issues, this election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates." That has been widely interpreted as a prediction that the election will be about personalities more than about issues. That would be a tragedy. [...]

Jim Forest 09-11-2008

The recent Georgia-Russia mini-war in and around South Ossetia was definitely not a religious war, but it serves as a reminder that religious identity doesn't even come in third place when issues of national identity are at issue. While the battle raged, the majority of participants -- and casualties -- were Christians on both sides.

In both countries, the Orthodox Church [...]

Jim Wallis 09-11-2008

Seven years ago this morning, airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in rural Pennsylvania. The next day I joined with a few others to draft the following statement. In a few weeks, more than 4,000 of America's religious leaders of all faiths had signed it and it was printed as an ad in The New York Times.

Seven years later, as we remember that day, it is appropriate to reflect on this statement and to wonder how the [...]

Peace is a respectful, harmonious, and cooperative relationship between groups and nations. Peace is the serenity that comes from clarity, the assurance that the truth will reveal itself, even if only in part. Biblical wisdom teaches us that "there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed nor hid that shall not be known" (Luke 12:2). Violence arises from fear born of deception. Scratch a conflict and find a lie. Love rejoices in the truth and perfect love, complete, [...]

Ryan Rodrick Beiler 08-29-2008

Coinciding with the visit of a dear friend who's spent the past few years working in Afghanistan for both development NGOs and (non-U.S.) government agencies, the DVD of Charlie Wilson's War recently arrived from Netflix. My friend recommends it. Also, I [heart] Philip Seymour Hoffman. And I can tolerate Tom Hanks in appropriate doses. But an

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9).

Peacemaking is an important responsibility of people who follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Christianity requires that we, ourselves, become the living, breathing, flesh-and-blood manifestation of the teachings of Jesus. Our calling is to a radical obedience to Jesus' call to follow him (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship). The teachings of Jesus are extreme [...]

Ryan Rodrick Beiler 07-30-2008

Some compelling quotes from a recent Rand Corp. study caught my eye in today's Washington Post -- the emphasis is added:

The Bush administration's terrorism-fighting strategy has not significantly undermined al-Qaeda's capabilities, according to a major new study that argues the struggle against terrorism is better waged by law enforcement agencies [...]

Mark Russell 07-11-2008

Recently, I had the unique opportunity of meeting with four Iraqi evangelicals at a conference in a country near Iraq. They were young church leaders. Despite the circumstances in their country, they were upbeat and gracious. Having never been to Iraq, nor having personally met an Iraqi, I was eager to hear their perspectives on current events. My conversations with them helped me understand to a greater degree the true complexity of war.

One of them was a church planter in a large [...]

Andrew Wilkes 07-08-2008

Recently, I participated in a conference call based on a report from The Task Force For A Responsible Withdrawal From Iraq. The report argued that the United States can and should do the following: quickly withdraw American military forces from Iraq, "carefully pursue diplomatic remedies for the Iraq crisis," and "generously give to help rebuild Iraq in the long run." For the policy wonks, the report offers

Janna Hunter-Bowman 07-04-2008

Its been months since I´ve written anything about the current events in Colombia. But I can't let "the hug the country has been waiting for" slip by without comment.

My infant daughter Amara and I were at the deli counter when the news broke. A current ran through the grocery store causing eruptions of joy. Ingrid Betancourt, former Presidential candidate, the three U.S. contractors and 11 others kidnapped by the FARC guerrilla group were freed this afternoon.

See reports in

Jim Wallis 06-12-2008

Beliefnet invited Jim Wallis for a "blogalogue" with David Klinghoffer, author of How Would God Vote? Why the Bible Commands You to Be a Conservative. Here's Jim's response to David's first post, "Let's Clarify the Politics of the Bible."

Thanks for your post, David. I'm looking forward to this discussion with [...]

Administrator 06-10-2008

Following is an interview with Michael Christoffersen, director of Milosevic On Trial, a documentary I watched at the Tribeca Film Festival, which demonstrates the horrors that can happen when religion becomes intermingled with empire.



What attracted you to want to follow this entire trial?


By coincidence, I did the documentary Genocide: The Judgment [...]

Amanda Hendler-Voss 05-23-2008

On May 20, The Jerusalem Post reported that "a senior member in the entourage of President Bush" said during closed meetings that Bush and Cheney "were of the opinion that military action against Iran was called for." The White House denied the story, which claims that the reservations of Secretaries Rice and Gates are the remaining levies holding back the floodwaters of war. [...]

Gareth Higgins 05-19-2008

President Bush's remarks, made last week in Israel, suggesting that anyone who wishes to talk with a violent enemy is the contemporary equivalent of a Hitler appeaser, are so wide of the mark, patronizing, and simply untrue that they must be challenged.

The fact that he used the emotive context of Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations as the background for these comments is an abuse of an already misused people. And implying that Sen. Obama wishes to appease terrorism is not [...]

Logan Isaac 05-13-2008

My fingers have been tapping out of control for more than a month and a half now. Don't worry, though -- I am not falling to the symptoms of my own PTSD just yet. At the completion of the Winter Soldier event, all Iraq [...]

Brian McLaren 05-09-2008

All of us remember this day, where we were when we heard the news, our feelings, our fears. There has been a lot of controversy about how the memory of this day has been or is being used or misused for political purposes, but I always come back to one of my life mottoes: the best antidote to misuse is not disuse -- it is proper use.

In many ways we have run from the feelings of that day ... grief, grievance, unity, confusion, dislocation, vulnerability and solidarity. In [...]

Becky Garrison 05-09-2008

The following is an interview with Abigail Disney, producer of the documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell, which recently won the award for best documentary feature at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival.



What sparked your interest in wanting to make a documentary about Liberia?


The fact that the newly [...]

Shane Claiborne 04-02-2008

Here is a brilliant video from an action around the 5th anniversary of the war ... Yes Lord, more holy mischief! Watch it:

http://www.youtube.com/v/Da6HL3j2AHg&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" [...]

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