I am a Quaker so I do not agree with supporting any war, because of my values that are based in my personal experience. Some Christians and non-Christians have offered a justification to the participation of believers and non-believers in war and in violent acts. They say that a just war is about defending an innocent neighbor who is under attack. The idea of the loving defense of people who are attacked, in my opinion, does not justify just war, because of the moral ethic of respecting human lives. The problem is how we, as Christians, can discriminate one life from another life; the life of the attacker should be equally important as the one who is attacked.
Also, I don’t see any benefit for humanity in holding that a just war is restorative justice. According to the history of Christianity, Christians who approved making and going to just war in order to sow peace, only sow revenge and anger. An invasion would only add fuel to the fire of the social problem. For example, in the late 1990’s, the U.S. government sent soldiers to my country, Bolivia, to solve the War of Water. The fight was between Bolivian civilians, and foreign companies that controlled the water allied with the soldiers of the former government. When the U.S. soldiers arrived, more Bolivians were killed and injured, as well as U.S. soldiers. But on the CNN news, the U.S. government said that they were trying to help make peace in Bolivia.
I believe there is religious freedom in our current society—if one’s faith says no war or violent act, this person’s belief is respected; and now there are more humanitarian organizations that work to avoid any war in the world. True Christians can ally with these organizations to establish peace on the earth. Above all, today’s nations should stop seeking and reworking on any just war Christian models proposed by clergy and civil authorities and leaders.
Contributed by Emma Condori-Mamani, a Friend from Bolivia