Sunday, May 25, 2014

Reknowned Jesuit Fr. Edmund Walsh On Defense Of Christian Civilization

Fr. Edmund A Walsh, S.J. and Gen Douglas MacArthur
Fr. Edmund Walsh, S.J. was an enthusiastic supporter of Cold War militarism, praising in particular the building of the US navy's first nuclear powered submarines and giant aircraft carrier. As the strongest citadel of Christian civilization, America needed to be vigilant and well armed. Addressing graduates of the FBI academy in 1947 he declared that never before was there
"greater need for clear heads, steady hands and great hearts at the controls of human destiny, for men who walk humbly in the sight of God but keep their powder dry"
Walsh's most stridently militarist position was his justification of a peremptory nuclear first strike by the United States against the Soviet Union. Writing immediately after the outbreak of war on the Korean peninsula which he interpreted as the "final confrontation" between "two great centers of world power whose basic and irreconcilable character" was known to Soviets decades ago, Walsh argued that all states were obligated to protect their populations from attack. Preemptive attacks were morally just. The United States, for example, would have been justified in intercepting and destroying the Japanese aircraft attacking Pearl Harbor. With a "Soviet feint in some remote area of Asia or the Middle East," the U.S. defense system had better keep its eyes fixed on the Northwest and Arctic sector for a sneak surprise attack. 
If the U.S. government had "sound reason to believe (that is, had moral certitude)" that a surprise attack was being planned then President Truman was justified in "taking measures proportionate to the danger" including use of atomic bombs. 
While the results would be tragic and horrific, there was no immorality in the United States government choosing the lesser of two evils. Walsh justified military force in the abstract by pointing out that "even Christ himself did not disdain to seize the lash and drive the hypocrites out of the Temple". Writing on this same issue of the atom bomb and the Christian conscience in Total Empire he ends the book with the rather ominous sentence: "The debate is not whether we can afford to do the necessary things for the defense of Christian civilization -- but can we afford not to do them?"
Link (here) to read the full paper with citations.


Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Would you mind adding my blog to your links?

TonyD said...

Peace is not a value -- it is a judgment. Preemptive strikes can be morally just -- or immoral.

Peace is advocated largely because we don't have the judgment to wage war.

It is interesting to consider the role of usury in the waging of war. Wars and governments are financed by banks and lending, which creates an interdependence between politicians and the wealthy.

If we, as Catholics, took God's admonitions about usury more seriously it would help create a better world. In fact, I would argue that it would help much more than our concern about the issues of abortion and homosexuality.

And I am not encouraging abortion or homosexuality. I am saying that we tend to get our priorities backwards.

Anonymous said...

"If we, as Catholics, took God's admonitions about usury more seriously it would help create a better world."

Agree. Additionally, Catholics don't examine their Capitalist or Marxist presuppositions adequately.

"And I am not encouraging abortion or homosexuality. I am saying that we tend to get our priorities backwards."

Backwards and forwards is all the same to you, isn't it? They're just contradictory, that's all. So what? Both are OK, right? Hey, who knows God's values and priorities anyhow? Certainly not the Catholic Church's Magisterium. Oh, but it does. Oh, but it does and it doesn't. Oh, well, next topic please.

Come on TonyD, we are not that stupid.

Consider taking 3 months off from all philosophy and theology. Get a hobby.

Consider, as an act of will and humility, accepting and abiding by all that the Church teaches on faith and morals as true and infallible, even if you intellectually disagree. (I had to do this.)

Consider examining your conscience carefully and confessing all your sins (given the Church's standard of sin), to a Catholic priest. Henceforth, obey the Church in everything regardless of whether you agree with it or not and tell the priest that's what you mean to do. Otherwise, he can't absolve you.

Once absolved of your sins consider receiving Jesus Christ, the Living God, in Holy Communion every day and surrendering your will to Him.

In 3 months consider if you are called to study philosophy and/or theology, for what reasons, and if so, proceed to apply to a Catholic college or university faithful to the Church.

TonyD said...


Thanks for taking the time to offer advice. Allow me to offer some advice in return.

I see two types of achievement – spiritual and worldly.

Learning the Church teaching, faith in the Church, a priest’s forgiveness – these are all worldly.

Learning God’s teaching, faith in God, God’s forgiveness – these are spiritual.

Certainly there are times when God will work through the Church or work through a priest. At the same time, there is a limit to what can be learned in such a manner. So, at some point, perhaps through prayer, more direct guidance may be forthcoming.

I assume that people who read this particular blog have attended Church, studied Church teachings, and have spoken to theologians and priests. But, as I’m sure many have discovered, spiritual advancement does not correlate to such a background. If anything, a deep religious background can occasionally become an obstacle to overcome – the Church is not God.

None of this should be particularly surprising. The Gospel emphasis on prayer is pervasive. Humility is expressed by subservience to God’s will. We are judged by God.

Anonymous said...

"Learning the Church teaching, faith in the Church, a priest’s forgiveness – these are all worldly."

Just 1-2 days ago you called yourself a Catholic. You lied. The beliefs you again assert are evidently not Catholic but you have no shame about calling yourself one.

You want to be regarded as one to confuse readers, that's all, but you are not a Catholic.

I doubt you've ever been one. May God have mercy on your poor soul.

TonyD said...


Do you think that God is Catholic? Perhaps He should stop hearing prayers, and rely instead on the Church Magesterium. Perhaps He should give up on omniscience, since Catholic interpretations will provide the correct solution. Perhaps He should stop using judgment, and instead find the most similar situation faced by Christ in the Bible and imitate Christ’s actions.

Obviously, such a position makes no sense. As Prophets and Saints have confirmed for centuries, there is more to God than any Church.

Anonymous said...

"Do you think that God is Catholic?"

Of course. He became man, selected apostles and founded His Church, explicitly designating Peter as its leader. He did not want more than one Church and was explicit about that.

He sealed a covenant with his chosen ones through His Death and Resurrection. He left us His Precious Body and Blood and we physically and spiritually commune with Him, thereby already participating in Heaven. He has invited all to participate in His kingdom but no one is forced to.

He is a Just God. He didn't stay "up" there and leave us "down" here. He doesn't pick first class for Himself and crosses for everyone else. He acted just the opposite of how you seem to believe.

He is only Good. When humans opt for evil and He uses it for Good, it's only because He is Good. He has no part whatsoever in anything evil.

He created the best of all possible worlds with free beings that are just like him. But they sinned gravely against Him and as a result became corrupt in their nature, perception and ability to discern truth. Those who accept His grace are now in the process of being redeemed. Others face certain eternal damnation, unless somehow saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, who subsists in the Catholic Church. There is no other way to God apart from Jesus Christ.

He is utterly Amazing, Pure, Holy and Loving beyond our understanding. He is the founder of the Catholic Apostolic Church, the only true Church of God, the beliefs of which are in the Apostle's Creed.

TonyD said...

God is more than Catholic.

An intellectual interpretation of the information we are given loses the transcendent aspect of God -- and creates a God that we define with our simple understanding of more advanced concepts and motivations.

When we intellectually define God in such a way we create a "false" God. That is not God.

TonyD said...

There is a cost to defining the Church as “God” and God as “Catholic”.

How can one progress beyond simplistic interpretations of values (eg. good/evil)? God can offer lessons, but the recipient of those lessons must be willing to change. It is often said that people cannot “hear” God. How can one learn from more advanced lessons unless one is able to hear disconfirming information?

By creating such a “false God” one ends up at a place very distant from God while claiming to be reflecting His values.

I worry for the souls in this existence when I see such a “hardening” of beliefs. God is transcendent.

Anonymous said...

"I worry for the souls in this existence when I see such a “hardening” of beliefs. God is transcendent."

Excuse me, but from over here it appears that it's your beliefs that have hardened. You want God on your terms and refuse to accept Him as he has chosen to reveal Himself. Or perhaps you believe that God has revealed Himself personally to you? If so, how do you know it's Him? Please tell us about your revelation.

Of course God is transcendent but Catholics believe He has also revealed Himself. We further believe that He left us Blessed Sacraments. specially the Most Holy Eucharist, where we encounter the Mystery of I AM with our very being.

That is why I'm Catholic and remain in the Catholic Church. I know He is the Most Holy Eucharist and manifests Himself. He is literally inside the Tabernacle, and would not manifest Himself as He does, if this was not his Church.

If you don't believe, and want to sincerely explore the Catholic faith, the only absolutely true faith, reverently visit the Eucharist as often as possible, and maybe He will personally touch you in a way that you will know.

Birds have a unique language. God does too. You can speak to him like the human that you are, but you must also listen to the Most Holy Eucharist with your heart.