Tags: Religion | Christian denomination | conservative | drone warfare

3 Christian Denominations With Most Conservative Stance on Drone Warfare

By    |   Thursday, 15 Oct 2015 08:22 PM

Although Christian denominations may take a stand for or against drone warfare, some conservative members of churches offer a defense of the use of unmanned aircraft from a “just war” standpoint.

Daniel M. Bell Jr., a professor at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, wrote in Christianity Today that the “physical or psychological distance between the trigger and its effects … is not intrinsically immoral. Just war as a Christian discipline does not require proximity. One is not required to stare into the enemy’s eyes as one pulls the trigger.”

However, Bell pointed out that morality in war is a matter of character and virtue when it comes to the necessity of defeating an immoral enemy. Killing at a distance has been used with weapons from archers to airplanes and now with drones, he noted.

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Conducting a just war includes such virtues as justice, courage and charity, along with weapons that are more effective and less costly, Bell wrote. The church should teach that virtue in a just war does not focus primarily on the effectiveness of the weaponry, but whether or not the weapons are being used wisely.

Brian Stiltner, an associate professor at Sacred Heart University, stressed that military attacks should be rigorously controlled and that drones need to include human intelligence, as well as international cooperation. Drone warfare, he wrote in Christianity Today, requires “military ethics and international law.”

Liberty University is a college in Lynchburg, Virginia, founded by Jerry Falwell, the late conservative evangelist. The university is known for its conservative principles in many areas and includes Liberty’s School of Aeronautics.

Dave Young, a retired Air Force brigadier general, is dean of the school and was asked about whether drone warfare was Christian in an article in Sojourners.

Young, a Christian, responded that drones can be used for law enforcement, surveillance, search and rescue, and military purposes. He said unmanned aerial systems can be viewed much like manned aircraft “and that there should not be a distinction between the two.”

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Richard Emery, who graduated from Liberty with a bachelor’s in finance and served in Afghanistan with the Air Force, said Christians should be forgiving but may seek justice to promote peace. Using weaponry takes careful consideration. “If a baby is killed by a drone or an F-15 or a gun, the problem is with the intelligence, not with the drone,” he said.

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Although Christian denominations may take a stand for or against drone warfare, some conservative members of churches offer a defense of the use of unmanned aircraft from a "just war" standpoint.
Christian denomination, conservative, drone warfare
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2015-22-15
Thursday, 15 Oct 2015 08:22 PM
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