Just War Theory

The Tyranny of Tolerance

When the Supreme Court re-defined marriage in the Obergefell v. Hodges decision to include same-sex relationships, it was immediately clear that this sea change would create a conflict between this newly-discovered constitutional right, and the first freedom listed in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights: the right of religious liberty. Everyone from pundits [...]

Truman’s Decision Was a Great Moral Evil

Editor's note: Due to the continued interest of our readers in the issues raised by Deacon Jim Russell in his defense of Truman's decision to use atomic weapons against Japan in World War II, Crisis furthers the debate with two new essays. Below is a rebuttal to Deacon Russell by Professor Meenan; also published today is [...]

Truman’s Decision Was the Best of the Bad Options Available

Editor's note: The following essay by Deacon Toner is a response to Prof. John Paul Meenan's critique of Deacon Jim Russell's defense of President Truman's decision to use atomic weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.  President Warren Harding, not a bright man, is supposed to have said, as he mulled over certain [...]

Combatants, Non-Combatants, and Double Effect

I write this essay on my birthday, August 7. I mention this only because my birthday happens to fall between the anniversaries of the August 6 Hiroshima and August 9 Nagasaki nuclear bombings. August is therefore the month in which some Catholics are sure to excoriate other Catholics because these “other” Catholics do not automatically [...]

Pope Francis and the Pacifist Jesus

In his recently released message for the 50th World Day of Peace, Pope Francis called on humanity to adopt nonviolence as a “style of politics for peace.” Continuing a tradition inaugurated in 1968, the Holy Father began his message by painting a picture of a “broken world” in which humanity finds itself “engaged in a horrifying [...]

Is Just War Theory Obsolete?

In an essay that appeared recently on National Catholic Reporter online, Professor Terrence Rynne of Marquette University offered five reasons that support abandoning Catholic Just War Theory and toward what he calls a positive vision of peace: Modern wars have made the just war theory obsolete; The rise of a Christology "from below"; A clearer [...]

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