A YouTube video strikingly shows the contrast between Ron Paul and other Republican candidates for president on the subjects of preemptive nuclear war and Christian just-war theory.
Follow this link to the original source: "Preemptive Nuclear War vs. Christianity"
Anyone closely following the Republican presidential debates knows that there is a huge contrast between the position of nine of the 10 Republican candidates and that of Congressman Ron Paul on the subject of war. That contrast was strikingly illustrated in a YouTube video that was recently forwarded to me. Entitled "Preemptive Nuclear War vs. Christianity," the video depicts a nuclear attack while also showing clips of remarks by some of the Republican candidates including Ron Paul.
For example, the YouTube video shows clips from the June 5 Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire, where candidates were asked if they would use tactical nuclear weapons in a preemptive strike against Iran. Congressman Duncan Hunter said: "I would authorize the use of tactical nuclear weapons." Rudy Giuliani said: "You shouldn't take any option off the table." And Mitt Romney responded: "You don't take options off the table."
Ron Paul was not asked that particular question. But later in the same debate, he got his opportunity to comment about preemptive nuclear war when he was asked: "What's the most pressing moral issue in the United States right now?" He responded emphatically: "I think it is the acceptance just recently that we now promote preemptive war. I do not believe that's part of the American tradition. We in the past have always declared war in the defense of our liberties or go to aid somebody, but now we have accepted the principle of preemptive war. We have rejected the just-war theory of Christianity. And now, tonight, we hear that we're not even willing to remove from the table a preemptive nuclear strike against a country that has done no harm to us directly and is no threat to our national security."
The YouTube video also shows Ron Paul commenting on the floor of the House: "I remember something about 'Blessed are the peacemakers.' Some of the strongest supporters of the war declare that we are a Christian nation, yet use their religion to justify the war. They claim it is our Christian duty to remake the Middle East and attack the Muslim infidels. I have been reading from a different Bible. Christian teaching of nearly a thousand years reinforces the concept of the just-war theory."
What is Christian just-war theory? Paul summarized:
• "War should be fought only in self defense";
• "War should be undertaken only as a last resort";
• "A decision to enter war should be made only by a legitimate authority";
• "All military responses must be proportional to the threat";
• "There must be a reasonable chance of success; and"
• "A public declaration notifying all parties concerned is required."
Obviously, these criteria for a just war do not match what we have been doing in Iraq. Nor are they in harmony with the concept of a preemptive nuclear war against Iran. Yet the Republican presidential candidates who support the concept of preemptive nuclear war also claim to be Christians and men of faith. How can that be? Have they studied Christian just-war theory? Are they even familiar with it? Ron Paul made a very astute observation when he commented: "I have been reading from a different Bible."
Gary is the Editor of The New American magazine, a publication of the John Birch Society.