Saturday, October 23, 2010

Blessed are the Peacemakers

Check out this piece written in 2005 by the late Joe Sobran (Ed. note: Sobran died just a few weeks ago; if you're not familiar with him, I highly recommend perusing his writings on the site linked above).

Sobran notes the irony that conservative Christians, whose Messiah is named Prince of Peace and is well known for saying things such as "blessed are the peacemakers" are often pilloried by their own for opposing war. A history lesson is in order, as it hasn't always been this way.

Remember that Woodrow Wilson was a liberal seeking to "make the world safe for democracy" and was widely opposed by the Old Right. FDR, architect of America's entry into WWII, was also a liberal of the most extreme sort. Again, "America First" conservatives opposed Americans fighting European wars overseas.

It wasn't until the Cold War that this began to change. As Communism spread across the eastern hemisphere and started to make inroads into the West, William Buckley and National Review took up the standard of containment to oppose its spread by fighting proxy wars (think Korea and Vietnam). Opponents of these wars were largely leftists and "peaceniks" who were in reality socialists and communist sympathizers themselves. The left-right divide wasn't "warmongers" vs. "peaceniks" but capitalists/conservatives vs. socialists/communists, the former being in favor of fighting wars, if necessary, to oppose the spread of communism.

With the fall of the Berlin wall and the retreat of Communism throughout the world, the perfect opportunity arose for conservatives to return to their historically- and ethically-oriented principled opposition to war.

Enter the neo-conservatives.

These so-called "conservatives" weren't really conservatives at all but were largely Jewish intellectuals who sought the expansion of American empire, arguably to continue propping up the state of Israel. Ever wonder why Bush II, who was surrounded by more neocons than any President in U.S. history, presided over a much larger expansion of the State than the conservative nemesis, Bill Clinton?

It is time for real Christian conservatives to recognize--not that all war is unjustified--but that even necessary wars are necessary evils. Like our Savior, we should be peacemakers.

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