German statesman and founding father of the European Union Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) observed: ”1913 was the last normal year in history.” WWI was thought to be the war to end all wars, but actually opened floodgates of greater global violence. Kuwait, Iraq, Panama occurred in recent memory.
Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918) was a theologian and New York City pastor who promoted the social gospel movement. Rauschenbusch shared Adenauer’s insight on warfare. “Since 1914 the world is full of hate,” he wrote in 1918, “I can’t expect to be happy in my life.” He died in July 1918.
When Bob Dylan was interviewed by Rolling Stone in recent years, he acknowledged rock and roll music was actually a byproduct of the 1945 Hiroshima bombing. Fr. Richard McSorley concluded “Our consent and plan to use atomic/nuclear weapons is the taproot of violence in modern society. Until we renounce that position, every other moral issue pales in comparison.” In the US there have been 900 “mass shootings”(more than four people killed) in the past seven years (USA TODAY, December 2,2013)
In 2015 20,000 city/country destroying nuclear weapons were in global arsenals. Israel refuses to admit it is the only nation in the Persian Gulf region already possessing nuclear weapons. Amid the UN Security Council, every nation (Britain, China, France,Russia, the USA) hypocritically possesses nuclear weapons even though the use of such city/country destroying weapons was condemned by UN Resolution 1653 in 1961. In 2018 the number of nuclear weapons remains at a staggering total of 15,000. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists “Doomsday Clock” stands at two minutes before midnight, the closest in history to nuclear catastrophe.
Jesuit peacemaker John Dear launched a spiritual insight from Dylan’s Hiroshima sadness. “We are telling God what evolved on Earth over fifteen billion years can be destroyed by human blindness in fifteen minutes.”
Will we return to the Kellogg-Briand pact of 1928 which condemned war as a means of diplomacy?
Will Pope Francis continue giving moral support to nearly 100 nations and six different treaties that expressed support for abolition of nuclear weapons? Francis joined other world leaders in his December 2014 plea for abolition of nuclear weapons.
Not least, how can we put to death anyone who kills another person in their homeland while honoring men and women who kill on foreign battlefields? A command by our highest moral authority: “You must not kill.” does not have footnotes. A university classmate “dropout” who applied for the CIA was rejected because he responded “No!” to the question – “Would you be willing to perform an immoral act for the USA?”
Refusal to engage in militarism and violence, however idealistic is our means to regain normal pre-1914 years. If 99.9999% of the masses engage in violence, we need not ever participate. Gandhi was the most prominent peacemaker of the 20th century. If ordered to kill for the state, his position would be: “They may have our bodies, but never our obedience.” George H.W. Bush was the only president to head the CIA. How many people from Iraq and Panama died under CIA influence?