So last night, I went to my church, where we had a discussion on Christianity and War, and there are a few points that I'm still trying to absorb and think about:
I was kind of expecting a free-for-all, where everyone would express their opinions, we'd get into some debates, etc, but this was more structured and more of an introduction to the background of the philosophy of the Church, when it comes to all things war. Our leaders pointed out that we wouldn't get very far if we had a free-for-all and I'm glad - it's getting me to think more constructively and objectively about the situation.
There was an interesting side discussion about the word martyr. As you can see from the link, it comes from Greek, meaning "witness." Someone brought up the 19 hijackers as martyrs, but our leaders pointed out that the hijackers were not following their faith correctly and that martyrs do not kill innocent people along with themselves. Another distinction is that the hijackers committed suicide and that the early Christian martyrs were killed by someone else.
One point that I can express well is that there are two sides to the Church when it comes to war: Pacifism and Just War. It helps to hear from the Just War crowd because otherwise, Pacifism becomes more like Passive-ism.
There are three more weeks of discussion, so as my thoughts become more solidified, I'll sound them out here.
I encourage all of you to get involved in one way or another with your community. Engage the world! I do so through my church, but as I've heard from most of you, that's not your thing. davorg goes to an anti-war demo (to me, the "Merkan", a demo is a software demonstration, but that's a whole other topic). Have a dinner party, gather friends, go out, etc
That's part of the allure of this site (use Perl) - it's a gathering of intellectuals where we can engage each other on diverse and engaging topics.