Don't blame the Christians for everything
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 06:00 am
Doris Wrench Eisler castigates Christian religious leaders for doing "not nearly enough" to "bring a halt to egregiously unjust wars," and implies that this is so because they collectively think the matter unimportant.
Perhaps Mrs. Eisler does not keep up to date on news pertaining to the Catholic church, but were she to do so, she would have observed that Pope Francis has repeatedly and strongly denounced the idea of western military intervention in Syria. In fact, the Pope went so far as to call for a worldwide day of prayer (for peace in Syria) and fasting on September 7. The bishop of the Edmonton diocese (which includes St. Albert) went one further, and called for an additional day of prayer and fasting to be held on Sept. 15.
Mrs. Eisler may dismiss these events as "a weak 'thou shalt not'" but in the current climate of church/state separation, a call to fast and pray for a peaceful resolution in Syria is about the most significant action that the Catholic church can take. Churches that dictate political policy tend to be vilified.
Mrs. Eisler goes on to state that it "is the Christian west that has perpetrated all the wars of recent history." Let's pick that apart a bit. The word "recent" is subjective, so let's step as far back in time as the turn of the century. Since then, approximately 53 wars (here defined as conflicts resulting in more than 1,000 deaths per year) have been started, some of which are still ongoing. Additionally, four wars are ongoing now which began prior to the year 2000. So that's 57 wars in total. Of these, only about 12 (or 21 per cent) have been participated in by "Western" "Christian" nations. And if 2000 is too "recent," here are the figures as far back as 1990: roughly 103 wars, of which "Western" "Christian" nations have been parties to 35 (or 34 per cent).
Finally, Mrs. Eisler might want to consider that some of the people she has, in the past, held up as exemplars of "integrity" and "moral courage" – Fidel Castro and Che Guevara – have significant histories of brutal violence; upwards of 44,000 deaths can be attributed to both men, a figure on par with the casualties resulting from U.S. military action in Iraq pursued by "Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al." Perhaps Mrs. Eisler should exercise some caution before claiming that her own views are truly "on the side of humanity and justice," if she considers such men influential and morally upstanding.
Kenneth Kully, St. Albert