In response to the discussion of whether or not violence is required, or should be considered to keep us safe is a hard one to answer.
I believe as a Catholic person it is important to look beyond our own personal needs and assumptions. We should look towards models of peace that have been achieved without violence. One of these models (and most importantly is) Jesus. The person and Son of God that modelled the very behaviour that we are trying to emulate. It often astounds me that people believe that fighting fire with fire is a (sure fire – pun intended) way to achieve justice. Jesus who was the sacrificial lamb for all of our sins stands before us and actively seeks and yearns for us to passively respond not in violence but in compassion and love even to our enemies.
In response to the idea of 9/11. Often there are also two sides of the coin. Sometimes the media spoon feeds us information and we consume it so readily that we forget to look at the other side of the coin. Maybe this group (Al Qaeda) did intend to crash into the WTC or maybe they didn’t. It is difficult for us to know the exact answer without being apart of the inquiry or aware of the cultural and religious heritage of the ‘bad guys’. There are many speculations and unfortunately the government and responding body are not as transparent as an educated inquisitor would like. Was it a war on terror or was it a war for oil? There is evidence that suggests that this could have been the latter with passports found in the rubble soaked in jet fuel. This is a strange occurrence and more information can be found here. Additionally, we now have the missing Malaysian Airlines flight with government responses lacking (even though not having started a war, it is still questionable the response that the government have given to the public). Overall what I have been trying to say (maybe not as eloquently as needed) is that it is important that we as people practising Catholic Social Teaching model the behaviour that our sacrificial lamb also modelled. God calls us not into ‘just war‘ but into ‘justice’ and sometimes taking the difficult path of having to swallow our pride and apologise or actively seek a response that will accommodate both parties through education and compassion can potentially work. We teach our students to respond this way so why do our governments decide to respond in opposition.
Finally a response in which a government has swallowed its pride and said sorry is Australia – there are times when I get confused and upset at what my government does but I deeply admire the commitment that was made for the indigenous peoples of Australia in 2008 when the government apologised nationally for the cruelty and oppression that these first land owners had to injure. For more information visit: Kevin Rudd’s 2008 Apology to the Stolen Generations.