Monday, August 18, 2008

Peace in the Post-Christian Era

Thomas Merton wrote Peace In The Post-Christian Erain the 1960's during the Cold War. Sadly, it's still relevant. Intelligently and objectively, Merton assesses the politics and philosophy of the atomic age when nuclear war was a great threat.

He points out how hypocritical it is for Christians to consider nuclear weapons "just" or pre-emptive attacks (see how timely this is) a moral choice for a Christian leader or people. He traces the history of the Christian doctrine of "just war," challenges Machiavellian philosophy and takes apart the "Red or Dead" cliche. He asserts with Fr. Murray (whom I don't know) that "war has now become a moral absurdity." He points out that when democratic, capitalistic countries believe they must defend their way of life through war, they prove Marx right. He questions why we assume that the teaching of Christian meekness and forgiveness just applies to individuals, not to nations or organizations.

The book makes us look at Christian hypocrisy or lack of deep faith in Jesus exhortations to abandon weapons and make peace. I should send a copy to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

I highly recommend Peace In The Post-Christian Era.

No comments: