Catholicís Case for Ron Paul
by Ellen Finnigan
by Ellen Finnigan: Why
I Decided To Publish Directly Through Amazon
"What is the most pressing moral issue of our time?" one presidential
"We now promote preemptive war. We have rejected the just war theory
is Ron Paul. He voted against the invasion of Iraq, and he is
my choice for president.
2003, two months before American forces invaded Iraq, in an address
to the Diplomatic Corps, Pope John Paul II listed "certain requirements
which must be met if entire peoples, perhaps even humanity itself,
are not to sink into the abyss." Among them he listed "Yes to life!"
"No to death!" and "No to war!" In the political culture
at large, war is rarely discussed as a moral
issue, but as Catholic American voters, we must consider it
that Ron Paul's ideas on foreign policy, on war and peace in particular,
when considered in light of Pope John Paul's statements, make him
the only truly pro-life candidate.
"Yes to life!" the Pope said, "War itself is an attack on human
life, since it brings in its wake suffering and death. The battle
for peace is always a battle for life!"
Ron Paul has
said, "I get to my God through Christ. Christ, to me, is a man of
peace. . . . He is not for war. He doesn't justify preemptive war.
I strongly believe that there is a Christian doctrine of just war.
And I believe this nation has drifted from that. No matter what
the rationales are, we have drifted from that, and it's very, very
dangerous, and in many ways unchristian. . . . That is what I see
from my God and through Christ. I vote for peace."
Paul even considers sanctions, such as the ones imposed on Iraq
in the 1990s—which resulted, by some estimates, in over
Iraqi deaths—"an act of war." He opposed the sanctions
on Iraq and calls them immoral. He opposes
sanctions on Iran. In his view, "[Sanctions]
result in terrible, unnecessary suffering among the civilian population
in the target countries and rarely even inconvenience their leaders."
to challenging diplomats and nation states to say no to war, Pope
John Paul called for "respect for law." The Pope acknowledges that
the rule of law forms "the foundation of national and international
to the Constitution, our supreme law which every president must
swear to "preserve, protect and defend," only Congress has the power
to declare war. The last time Congress declared war was on Dec.
11, 1941. Since then, it has been abdicating this responsibility
and transferring the power to the executive branch under the War
Powers Resolution of 1973, a process which circumvents the Constitution
and ultimately the American people. Since then, we have had no clear
victories in "war," only an endless series of convoluted, indefinite
entanglements with murky goals, murkier results, and thousands of
Paul is the only presidential candidate who claims to have a problem
with the way we now go to war, calling it not only "complex and
deceptive" but "a danger to world peace." He filed a lawsuit against
the Obama administration over its "illegal war in Libya" and "abuse
of war powers" in an effort to "force the Obama administration to
obey the clear letter of the law."
Paul is always
the champion of the Constitution, which is to say the rule of law,
but especially when it comes to war, because "a declaration of war
limits the presidential powers, narrows the focus, and implies a
precise end point to the conflict."
Paul also outlined a "duty of solidarity," saying that "it is important
to spare no effort to ensure that everyone feels responsible for
the growth and happiness of all."
Paul has said that "history shows that without weapons and war,
there is more food and prosperity for the people." He describes
policy as follows: "I would replace [a policy of mutually assured
destruction] with a policy of mutually assured respect. . . . This
requires simply tolerance of other cultures and their social and
religious values and the giving up of all use of force to occupy
or control other countries and their national resource. . . . This
would result in the U.S. treating other nations exactly as we expect
others to treat us, offering friendship with all who seek it, participating
in trade with all who are willing. . . . This is the only practical
way to promote peace, harmony and economic well-being to the maximum
number of people in the world."
In his eyes,
"If America indeed has something good to offer—the cause of
peace, prosperity, and liberty—it must be spread through persuasion
and by example, not by intimidation, bribes and war."
Paul explained to the Diplomatic Corps: "The peoples of the earth
and their leaders must sometimes have the courage to say ‘No'.
. . no to death! no to selfishness! and no to war! War is not always
inevitable. It is always a defeat for humanity."
Not only is
Congressman Paul known as "Dr. No" on Capitol Hill, he does not
mistake bellicosity for courage. On the issue of Iran,
Paul said: "I think this wild goal to have another war in the name
of defense is the dangerous thing. The danger is really us overreacting.
. . . If [Michele Bachmann] thinks we live in a dangerous world,
she ought to think back when I was drafted in 1962 with nuclear
missiles in Cuba, and Kennedy
calls Khrushchev and talks to him and talks him out of
this, and we don't have a nuclear exchange. You're trying to dramatize
this. We have to go to treat Iran like we treated Iraq? And kill
a million Iraqis? And some 8,000 Americans have died since we've
gone to war. You
cannot solve these problems with war!"
As Pope John
Paul suggested, "International law, honest dialogue, solidarity
between States, the noble exercise of diplomacy: these are methods
worthy of individuals and nations in resolving their differences."
Paul has said, "This policy of American domination and exceptionalism
has allowed us to become an aggressor nation, supporting preemptive
war, covert destabilization, foreign occupations, nation building,
torture and assassinations. This policy has generated hatred toward
Americans and provides the incentive for almost all of the suicide
attacks against us and our allies."
"We have 12,000
diplomats in our government. I suggest we start using our diplomats
and do a little bit of diplomacy once in a while."
Congressman Paul has named Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks
as two of his heroes for their effective leadership through a commitment
to the Gospel message of nonviolence. They were social diplomats
for change through peace.
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Finnigan [send her mail]
graduated from the University of Montana with an M.F.A.
in Creative Writing. She recently published her first book, The
Me Years, and currently teaches
writing online to homeschooled kids.
her at ellenfinnigan.com.
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