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placeholder September 22, 2014   •   VOL. 52, NO. 16   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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'Just war'

After reading Tony Magliano's column (Forum, Sept. 8), I have some comments. Jesus did indeed say to "turn the other cheek." He also said, "Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's." This last quote is generally interpreted as referring to government taxation. Could it not also mean, "Give to government its proper authority and responsibility, including the responsibility to maintain order in society"?

A citizen may turn the other cheek when assaulted by another citizen. He may also call the police to have the assault redressed in court.

But internationally, countries must redress invasions among themselves, not via a superior police-like entity. In theory the United Nations should settle such matters, but in reality it rarely does.

If countries do not have the moral authority to defend their citizens and their allies' citizens against invasion and mass execution, then all citizens are merely martyrs-in-waiting — waiting for evil to arrive, unabated.

David Donovan

Terrorism disconnect

The Voice (Forum, Sept. 8), recognizes the Islamic Terrorist threat, but the comments by Tony Magliano and the pope seem to be disconnected from the "War on Terrorism." Of course they and most people are opposed to war for conquest which is NOT what we are doing. That is what the Nazis of WWII, the Communists of the "Cold War," and now the Islamic radicals are doing.

The United States and Western world are under attack from the radical declared worldwide jihad, attacking not only the U.S. or Israel, but also killing innocents and Christians in about 40 countries with bombings, beheadings and terror. To "turn the cheek" as if this war against civilization were just an insult would be suicidal. To rely upon the U.N. with its schisms, vetoes, record of failures and of pulling-out when attacked, would be naïve, and also suicidal.

The Bible and history are full of examples of having to sometimes use force to oppose violent criminals, ideologies or nations trying to conquer the world to enslave it. That Magliano and other "pacifists prefer peace" is understandable, but their unwillingness to fight means not that they are more "holy," but that they owe their existence and freedom to the other men and women who have and do now, stand up and fight those who would otherwise kill and enslave all of us.

Do they think that if Israel and our nation are defeated that they, Rome and the Vatican aren't also on this enemies list to conquer?

Pete Laurence

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Letters to the editor provide a forum for readers to engage in an open exchange of opinions and concerns in a climate of respect and civil discourse. The opinions expressed are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the Catholic Voice or the Diocese of Oakland. While a full spectrum of opinions will sometimes include those which dissent from Church teaching or contradict the natural moral law, it is hoped that this forum will help our readers to understand better others’ thinking on critical issues facing the Church at this time.

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