August 9 should be for all the Churches of Christianity an annual day of mourning, penance and repentance. It should be Metanoia Day, a day when all the Churches employ every Christlike means at their disposal to call Christians back from every form of Christian Just War Theory (CJWT) and call Christians to the Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies as proclaimed by the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels.
On August 9, 1942, St. Edith Stein, a Christian, was killed by Christians at Auschwitz in Poland. On August 9, 1943, Blessed Franz Jagerstatter, a Christian, was killed by Christians at Brandenburg Prison in Germany. On August 9, 1945, 40,000 people, mostly Christians, were killed by an entirely Christian bomb crew dropping the Atomic Bomb on the Urakami district of Nagasaki, Japan. All of this Christian killing of Christians was done under the auspices of Christian Just War Theory—as have hundreds of millions of other killings of Christians by Christians under the umbrella of Christian Just War Theory.
The Christian Just War Theory is a moral abomination, which is permitted by the rulers and leadership of the Christian Churches to parade about the globe as a legitimate way to be a disciple of Jesus and follow Him. It is anti-Jesus and anti-His Way, regardless of the form and nomenclature into which it may morph itself in order to hide and make itself more morally palatable and attractive to followers of Jesus. CJWT deserves every Christians’ and every Churches’ unhesitating and unrelenting obloquy until the hour when the institutional Churches throw it back into the abyss from which it came into Christianity 1700 years ago. August 9 is a small but powerful lens through which to view the consequences of the morally corrupt and corrupting CJWT and by which to reject the temptation to ever again accept it as a way to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ.
A fact of Church history is that the Churches and their rulers or leaders have been morally grossly negligent in protecting their members from the evil and evils of violent nationalism. If anything, the Churches almost universally have been paid pied pipers leading their people by the millions, under the patronage of Jesus, century after century, into the jaws of nationalistic dogs of war. The enticing song they play over and over to lead their people, like the proverbial lemmings, into nationalistic wars is, We Have a Just War Theory for You.”
It is important to note that of all the killing of Christians by Christians on August 9, none of it is because of a momentary eruption of intense personal anger towards someone for something he or she said or did a few seconds earlier. All the killing of Christians by Christians on August 9 is Christians killing Christians by order of a violent nationalistic government. Personal pique toward this individual Christian victim by this Christian slaughtering him or her is seldom present and never needed. The Christian killer of Christians disclosed and exposed by August 9 is just an average Christian man and woman, e.g. farmer, secretary, carpenter, etc., obediently doing the job that someone in a government assigned them to do, that is, to kill fellow Baptized Christians in the Body of Christ because they are nationalistic enemies.
So, is the Church of Jesus Christ primarily catholic or nationalistic? If there is a moral conflict between what is required of a Christian because of his or her Baptism into the Body of Christ and thereby his or her acceptance of Jesus’ “new commandment” that members of His Body, i.e. the Body of Christ, “love one another as I have loved you,” and what the violent nationalistic state demands, who must the Christian obey and follow?
August 9 is the perfect day for all Christians whether living in a house Church or the Vatican to ponder, to meditate and to examine one’s conscience and consciousness on this most serious of moral questions for a Baptized Christian. In the end it all comes down to whether the Christian Just War Theory is logically compatible with the “sense and meaning” of Jesus’ teaching by word and deed in the Gospels and can it be made operational without requiring that other moral dicta of Jesus in the Gospels be violated.
For the Christian this is not a mere philosophical question. It is a spiritual and moral question of the highest urgency, priority and consequence for all Christians—popes, bishops, priests, ministers and pastors not excluded. A truthful answer, emptied as far as possible of self-deception, is a spiritual and moral imperative for each Christian soul.
-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy