Recently Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, explained Just War Theory on his daily podcast “The Briefing.” It began as an update on recent war drumming from Washington concerning North Korea, but quickly took a turn into a typical neoconservative (and therefore reflective of the majority opinion of the American Christian) approach to “Just War Theory;” and therefore, a perspective that justifies any war, rather than seeking to define a Just War.
“Non-Combatants are not to be targeted,” Mohler states, as a quality of just war. He then quickly sweeps mass bombardments, and the atomic bombings of Japan, into relativity, as he states that it became impossible to not target civilians. Be that a terrible excuse as it is; it is furthermore historically ignorant to actual bombing campaigns, as they indiscriminately and intentionally targeted civilians, then and now.
On the other hand, we have Episode 553 of the Tom Woods Show, titled The Failure Of Just War Theory. Tom poses the question for his guest Laurie Calhoun, “Does this series of criteria for the acceptability of particular wars really serve the purpose of limiting war?”
I bring both of these up as diametrically opposed views that Christians need to be aware of. We, Christian Americans, for better or worse, find an apologetic and stick to it. Sometimes that resolve goes to the first defense encountered. This is definitely the case with today’s Christianity and Just War Theory, but needs to be addressed honestly, without feeling the need to defend a side, over truth and morality.