Backward, Christian Soldiers: LaConte on Pacifism


Joseph LaConte of the Heritage Foundation represents the nationalist theology ,  here taking on Stanley Hauerwas with some of his “real world” thinking;  he’s so thoroughly convinced that “logic” is on his side that he doesn’t even bother to think (even if he did,  it seems that his system of thinking would be incapable of questioning the “reality” that “Defense” is the highest good,  and realizing that there’s something inherently “antichrist” about the idea that national loyalty leads the way in moral considerations (even while we say “God, Family, Country , in that order, are our 3 highest goods”)  Escaping such claim to nationalistic trilogy is the shaping of the criteria for such considerations around the ideology of the third. 

Another form of barbarism now threatens the civilized world, what some have called “fascism with an Islamic face.” The danger of the pacifist illusion is its campaign to persuade democracies to ignore the true nature of this barbarism — and to throw down their defenses in the name of peace. Led by pacifist theologians such as Stanley Hauerwas, the advocates of this campaign would make the Sermon on the Mount a road map for U.S. foreign policy. “I do not have a foreign policy,” boasts Mr. Hauerwas. “I have something better — a church constituted by people who would rather die than kill.” Oddly, the hands-off attitude of religious utopians looks like a more extreme version of the moral neutrality of foreign-policy “realists.”
Christians have never viewed peace as the highest good. There are other goods: protecting human dignity and restraining evil, for example. A just peace can be the final result of these pursuits, God willing. But if peace is made the supreme goal, if it consumes all other virtues, it becomes an idol — and a snare to the statesman as well as the saint.

Source: Backward, Christian Soldiers

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