Wednesday, April 01, 2009

ROTC - ' Those students graduate not prepared to follow the nonviolent Jesus but to kill for the empire. '

I pulled that statement (and copied the entire paragraph to give full context) from an article in the National Catholic Reporter by John Dear SJ.

The article points out the recent announcement to bring the ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps to St. Frances University in Pennsylvania.

Fr. John does his best San Francisco imitation by writing about the "militarization" of the Catholic University.

While Fr. John has the right to show and voice his opposition to not wanting this ROTC program at the school, he is out of line in describing those young men of this program and insulting to all Armed Forces personel as "well-educated warmakers".

This is some of what he wrote:

This roiling of the placid waters has, of course, two sides to it. One administrator gave me the official view of things. Some students train with the army already, off campus, he said. Bringing the army to the campus will let officials influence and supervise.

I heard him out, but I'm still convinced his position is naïve. It smacks of moral compromise; it comes off as a pretext to justify financial gain. My own order, the Jesuits, have employed the same argument for some 50 years, and in all that time they've done nothing to mollify military ways. All Jesuit ROTC programs manage to do is churn out well-educated warmakers -- and bring in millions for our institutions. Those students graduate not prepared to follow the nonviolent Jesus but to kill for the empire.

Fr. John that is most insulting. These fine men and women are sacrificing their time and lives not only for your protection, for your safe keeping, for you rights to voice your opinion, but for the freedom of those oppressed in other countries. To describe them as killers for the empire is beyond my comprehension, especially coming from a Catholic Priest!

Fr John you owe these fine young men a woman an apology!

No one with a well informed conscience likes war or pursues war just for the sake of killing and bombing. In your article you describe your experiences in El Salvador back in 1985. A time when that country was battling a very vicious internal war. I realize your experiences are true, however you seem to insinuate the blame to be from suppliers of the war...the United States.

Kind of one sided don't you think. I don't think for a moment that things were honky-dory with the communist oppression there. I'm sure that religion wasn't persecuted down there at all.

Ya right.

Yes, our Catholic Faith is one focused on peace and justice, love of neighbor and prayers for our enemies.

But it is also one of "no greater love than the giving of ones life for another" and sometimes in order to bring justice and peace this greater love is necessary. We ask for God's guidance in these matters that we do His will not our own.

I'm deeply disappointed in your rhetoric. Labeling our men and women of the armed forces in this light is no more true than those that would label all Catholic priest as pedophile. The few that bad apples don't spoil the whole batch.

I pray that you will rethink your thoughts and maybe offer up an update to this insulting article.

In God's peace.

WCC +<><

Read the whole article Here: ROTC comes to St. Francis.

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