From Jonathan Merritt at Religion News Service:
Just War (Russell Moore): "I agree with the President on the moral urgency of Syria, and I morally reject the crypto-isolationist voices that tell us, in every era, to tend to 'America First' and leave defenseless people around the world on their own. In this case, though, the Administration is demonstrating neither an imminent threat to national security nor a feasible means to alleviate the very real human rights crisis in Syria … How will an attack further jeopardize the Body of Christ in Syria? Could it be that an anarchic regime of al-Qaeda sympathizers could do to the church in Damascus what Jesus prevented Saul of Tarsus from doing? … If I were in Congress, I would vote 'no' on this war."
Pacifism (Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove): "Obama is trying to maintain credibility by meeting force with force. But Jesus showed us a better way-that we can only overcome evil with good. We are in no position to do this as a nation because we've invested all of our resources in the overwhelming power of military machines. But these technologies cannot bring peace. Indeed, I fear our investment in them has catapulted us into a policy of perpetual war. If troop numbers are down in Iraq and Afghanistan, then the Pentegon needs somewhere else to do its business. If not, contractors would be out of business. This is a cruel economic calculus."
Just Peacemaking (David Gushee): "Just peacemaking theory would suggest that the United States should first test the UN's own principles by taking a case for rigorous international intervention in Syria before the UN Security Council. Show all the evidence. Call for the UN to live up to its own principles. Draft a strong resolution. Only if such a resolution should fail would the US have a case for going it alone. The president could say that international moral and legal norms and humanitarian concern demand international action, but failing that, the United States is acting in the stead of the international community. This is a case that could be far more effectively made after an effort at the UN."
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