One argument in comments on this, a recent post has been the question of whether going "full Trump" (banning Muslim refugees/immigrants) is a good/bad/indifferent/terrible idea.
Two thoughtful pieces pointing out that there is more to Trump's idea than meets the idea (or, alternatively, more for objectors to Trump to think about) are here and here.
Some would say I already am a revisionist (in the sense of a former conservative having lost his way and woken up on the dark side of liberal Christianity/politics) but I think I am revising some views because ... I have very much appreciated an excellent set of comments over the past week on a couple of (diverse) issues, Anglican Communion futures (and pasts) and justified war, or not, in Syria/Iraq against Daesh. The rocket scientists among you will have worked out that my lack of response to comments for a few days means I have been in "conference mode" - at the Association of Aotearoa New Zealand Biblical Studies annual conference in Auckland - so able to keep an eye on comments coming in, limited ability to spend mental effort on composing responses. Back on terra firma and with a time opportunity ... here goes!
Anglican Communion Futures
I readily and happily concede - as pointed out via a comment drawing attention to a David Virtue post - that the position of the Anglican Church of South Sudan and the Sudan is nuanced in a way that my post last week did not realise. That is, in aligning with ACNA and cutting ties with TEC, nevertheless that remain firmly in fellowship with those bishops and dioceses within TEC who are (to coin a phrase, not) standing firm. Thus my question whether the AC might be divided in three by the end of January 2016 is overly simplistic!
I also take on board a comment made today: it is helpful to maintain this distinction: "I have come to see the Question whether there are circumstances justifying a province in planting missions in another province as different from the Question whether there are circumstances justifying a province in leaving the whole of the Communion for a part of it. That is, our judgments about ACNA and GAFCON may reasonably differ.".
General and Particular Questions of Just War
It has been very provocative (in the best sense) to have the variety of views coming in re possible justifications for going to war v Jesus' own example and teaching justifying never going to war, inter mixed with views on the particular question of whether Britain and other Western countries participating in air strikes against Daesh is justified (either morally or in utilitarian terms), meshed against comments re whether some dastardly agenda ("the great game") is being played out in a manner which the Western allies fail to understand, or, alternatively, are running in a manner hidden from their own citizenry.
Funnily enough, in the light of comments urging us to consider the difference it might make if all churches united to call for peace and non-violent resolution of the conflict, rather than offer justification for war, I happened to chance on an old schoolmate at Auckland Airport yesterday who told me about a group of Kiwis praying for the leadership of Daesh with interesting results so far re news that one key leader has converted to Christ. (I don't have a link to that news ... does anyone reading here have it?)
How might my own views have been revised in the light of your comments?
1. I recognise more clearly the lack of clarity all outsiders have - if honest - about the right and best action to undertake in Syria/Iraq re ending the civil war, constraining if not defeating Daesh. (But I also recognise, reading elsewhere on the internet, that insiders - Syrians and Iraqis - are divided on what would lead to just and peaceful resolution.) On those grounds alone it is questionable whether any Western co-ordinated bombing should be occurring at this time.
2. I have been sobered by the question whether I can find any teaching of Jesus which I could invoke to support going to war. (Side question, Is just war reasoning Aristotle's idea, which gets lightly "Christianized" in the history of the church as it supports political leadership declaring war?). Nevertheless I have also been thinking along these lines: I do not object when the (Kiwi) Armed Defenders Squad shoot to kill a dangerous offender who threatens the lives of other people and cannot be reasonably disarmed in any other way. If, as a follower of Jesus, I accept that sometimes that kind of police action is required, should I accept that some nation state actions against other nation states (or would be nation states such as Daesh) are "police" actions of a similar kind? (Some commenters have rightly noted that governments - appointed by God, Romans 13 - have duties to protect their own citizens.)
That will do for now ...
PS on the complexity of the conflict in the ME, see this moving yet intriguing article about Israel being humanitarian and political at the same time.
PPS on the Islam that I personally have experienced and read about, an Islam of engagement with truth wherever it is found and an Islam which understands its profound links to Christianity and to Judaism, head over to the NZ Herald here.