Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Warrior's Dilemma, 10

Continued from "Warrior's Dilemma, 10"

I think today's post is a good place to end this series on just wars.

When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. . . . And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it: And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. . (Deu 20:10-14)

Rushdoony notes:

[W]arfare is not child's play. It is a grim and ugly if necessary matter. (Institutes of Biblical Law, p.279)

He adds:

[I]f warfare is to punish and/or to destroy evil, the work of restoration requires that this be done, that an evil order be overthrown, and in some cases, some or many people be executed. (Ibid.)

It is a grim thought, indeed, that the consummation of a just war should involve the execution of every adult male in the defeated nation -- soldiers and potential soldiers. But if a just war is an expression of justice, the guilty must be punished, and that includes all participants and supporters of the unjust side of the war.

Does this give you pause? I hope so. Otto Scott used to say, "Our God is no buttercup."

There is only one out for the people of the defeated nation: declare their loyalty to God's justice beforehand. See the case of Rahab's family (Joshua 2:1-24; 6:22-23).

This one rule of just war by itself should make us think long and hard before we advocate sending troops to foreign soil. The prospect of wiping out a nation of men should keep us from entering into war for any but the gravest reasons -- certainly not for what another nation could, may or might do or have done.

Then there's the consideration that if we fight or even support an unjust war, we place ourselves under the condemnation of this precept of God's Law.


Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

GOOD post.

Does this give you pause? I hope so.


Otto Scott used to say, "Our God is no buttercup."



Gravelbelly said...

Spencer, thanks for your comment(s). Readership has been way down, lately & I was beginning to wonder if I'd alienated just about everybody.

Bruce said...

I have a hard time comprehending how, under a Christian Just War theory, extermination of male-population segment fits with the doctrine that we use the minimum amount of violence to restore the peace.

Just how many criteria (and what would they be!) would we have to cover to establish that all the males (and why not women?)--combatants or not--were technically among the enemy, guilty and under an absolute ban?

This "collective nation-state burden" is for the birds. Give me the older model of the kings and their professional armies duking it out.

Who is going to pass judgment? Someone (!) has written that demanding a country's "unconditional surrender... or else," is usurping a divine prerogative. In other words, its blasphemy.