If you have ever heard Judaism, Christianity, and Isalm, vilified and described as a primary catalyst of war in both the history of the world and more modern times, be sure to check out Daniel McClellan’s most recent post entitled “St. Francis of Assisi and the Crusades.” The topic of religion is fresh in my mind as I just finished Susan Niditch’s War in the Hebrew Bible: A Study in the Ethics of Violence. Following Niditch’s strategy in the text, I would point out that to assume there is only one strand of thought in Christianity concerning war and that the crusading mentality is it, it a gross oversimplification and misunderstanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition with St. Francis being a case in point. This is not event to mention Just War Theory. At any rate, McClellan offers some of his own thoughtful reflections at the end of which he states:
The absence of religion will no more solve the problem of war any more than communism solved the problem of poverty. We need more St. Francises to promulgate the principles of peace, but we also need to recognize the need for world leaders to balance of the promotion of peace with the defense and security of their citizens, their cultures, and their ideologies.