To everything there is a season…a time to kill and a time to heal. Ecclesiastes 3
“What’s the difference between killing and murder?” my buddy asked me at work the other day. “Great question and one we need to settle,” I said. I knew why he was asking. The latest round of protests, statue desecrations, and statements like “we’re coming to the suburbs next!” had gotten him thinking. I had been thinking about this for months, if not years. I knew it was time to write down my thoughts, which I offer now for readers to consider. I am no expert on this topic, but I believe we need to have this conversation now, so I’m throwing this out there to spark talks among patriotic Americans. It is time to talk about this before we get too much further down the road. For me thinking about this topic helps to strengthen and prepare my own heart for times that may soon come.
Before writing this article I thought it wise to review Augustine’s Just War concept, but I will say right away that it does not apply entirely to our situation today. Also, I believe that the United States hasn’t fully abided by the Just War concept anyway, but that it is a useful framework for guiding our thinking, and I acknowledge Augustine and give credit to him for the ideas. We stand on the shoulders of great thinkers in history.
Augustine thought it important that wars be started for just reasons. An example of a “good” reason would be when innocent lives are in imminent danger from an aggressor. An example of an insufficient reason would be to take resources or real estate of a nation just because you wanted to. In my opinion this first concept is moot today because I believe that the Left (and to some extent our government) HAS ALREADY STARTED a war. Most patriotic Americans are either unaware of this or in denial, and, therefore, haven’t mustered for participation. Were a guerilla war to break out it would be a REACTION to the war already started for the nation by Leftist elitists. I truly believe that calls for socialist (and then communist) government will mean the deaths of untold numbers of innocent people. This has happened so much in history why would things be any different in our country?
Augustine believed that only “legitimate” (duly constituted public) authorities could declare war. If I am understanding his writings this equates to city-states or nations. The way this applies to our modern times and our form of government is that US Citizens should be able to declare war, as we are the sovereign endpoint and we ALLOW elected officials to represent us in government. I do not agree that only government officials can declare war. Should a government turn on its people (and ignore its agreed-upon founding documents such as the Constitution) then citizens have a right AND AN OBLIGATION to declare war if all reasonable attempts to resolve the situation end in futility.
This brings up another of Augustine’s concepts: that every effort must be made to obtain peace. War should be a last resort. I truly believe this is why sovereign citizens haven’t taken up arms yet. I remind everyone that our founding fathers chose the timber rattlesnake for the Gadsden flag especially because of the behavior of this snake. They are slow to anger, but if you keep bothering them they will strike you. At some point our nation is going to hit a phase where things go more active. This is heart-breaking for me to think about. The horror and suffering that is potentially around the corner is extremely discouraging.
Augustine’s concept about the probability of success is, to me, moot also. The idea goes something like this: you shouldn’t undertake a war if there’s no reasonable chance of success. This is something we can’t know, and I think we need to proceed anyway because our lives are at stake either way.
The other half of Augustine’s Just War Doctrine is about conduct during a war. That is another topic itself. Enjoy the upcoming holidays. Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.