Faith on the Front Lines

“Being Catholic means accepting that the world that we live in is evil and the only the way to make it any better is by living a life in faith focused on God.” Tenety talks about war and faith with an Iraqi soldier.

 

William James Quinn was 24 and a veteran of the Iraq war when he began his freshman year of college. While in Iraq, he worked as an interrogator at Abu Ghraib and Camp Cropper. He recently penned a Veteran’s Day piece for The Washington Post Outlook Section about his experiences in Iraq and Georgetown. I recently interviewed William on his Roman Catholic religious beliefs and how they interact with his roles as a soldier and student.

William on faith:
“It has not always been very easy for me to believe –either in God or in Catholicism. And there were many times, particularly before I went to Iraq, that I would have said that I pretty much couldn’t feel it at all. And in reality, I even feel that way now. I don’t go to mass and sit there and have this deep sense of warmth and communion with God. If that happens to other people I think that’s amazing but it doesn’t happen to me.

“As far as Catholicism is concerned, it may be true that if I had been born into a family that practices a different religion that I would practice a different religion, but that’s just as good as saying that if I had been born into a family that spoke a different language then I’d speak a different language. English is still the one I have to communicate with so Catholicism is the way that I communicate my religious beliefs.”

William on suffering:
“In Iraq, I saw things so awful that it’s too much to believe -I can’t make myself believe –that these lives that were lost were ultimately lost for nothing. Not the cause or anything like that, but that the moment they died, that was it for them. Period. During the sanctions, something crazy like 500,000 Iraqi children died. I mean, are we supposed to believe that because of a political and economic decision by our government these children just perished and ceased to exist at all in any kind of way? And if so, how do we go on living ourselves? How do we rationalize that? I think that the only way that I can is through my faith. It’s almost that in a way my faith comes as much out of suffering as it does out of feelings of joy.”

William on killing:

Q. You wrote in a piece in ‘The Hoya,’ “As a veteran of combat, I have given this a great deal of thought. I believe that killing –all killing –is evil.’ How does that work for you as a member of the military?

A. “That’s the really nice thing about being Catholic; that you can make these blanket assertions, and also recognize the futility of being able to totally avoid sin at all times if you are in the world. I guess I am kind of an Augustinian in that sense. Yes, killing is evil. Killing is wrong. There’s no kind of killing that’s justified. And I don’t care about all the ‘interpretations’ in the Old Testaments where it really says ‘Thou shall not murder.’ I don’t care if that’s a distinction. I’ve seen killing. Killing is wrong. There’s no way to justify it. And I don’t care if the people that I was in some way participating in the killing of were innocent or guilty, I mean, both happened. They were human beings and killing them was wrong. It just is, and it always will be. I don’t think that we can apply some kind of temporal form of justice or legal system to human life and say ‘OK, in this particular instance, this is OK, this guy can be killed,’ or ‘in this particular instance, he can’t.’

“But I understand that sometimes the way that the world is killing is necessary. There’s just no way to avoid it. That doesn’t make it right. I don’t think there are too many people –too many soldiers –who would come away from the war and say, even if it were the cleanest war in history, who would still come away from it and say, ‘Yeah, that was all really good. All we did was really good stuff.’ It bothers you and it bothers you for a reason because it’s not the sort of thing that we ought to be doing. In an ideal world we wouldn’t do any of it.”

William on human growth:
“I think we’re growing as humanity –not Christians, not Catholics, but all people –we’re growing in our understanding of God, I think. It’s a pilgrimage that we’re all on and we’re all growing in our understanding, but, that doesn’t mean that we ourselves have become better people. We just grow in our understanding of God.

“It doesn’t really follow that we have become better people. The people who are born today are just as capable of doing the crimes that were done 50 or 100 or 200 or 1000 years ago. It’s just because maybe life was a little more harsh at time, or better in some ways, it doesn’t mean that we are better or worse now.”

William on moral decision making and the military:
“If I am ever in a position where I am asked to do something that I think is immoral I won’t do it. That’s not just something because I’m Catholic; the military has a rule in the UCMJ that you never have to do anything that you consider immoral. And if you are given an order that you consider immoral, your responsibility actually is to refuse that order.

“That ends up being a catch-22 for junior enlisted idiots like at Abu Ghraib. Why were they all guilty? Ultimately, yeah, their leadership failed them. But they were guilty because they were given an illegal order or at least put in a position where they had the opportunity to do immoral things, and they did them. The appropriate thing to do would have been to refuse.

“The more difficult question is ‘If you’re in a position where you consider the action that you’re taking part in –say the mission –say the Iraq War –to be wrong, then how do you balance that?’ Or, ‘If you’re put in a position where you have to kill people –either directly or indirectly –whether they turn out to be innocent or guilty you obviously wouldn’t know at the time. How do you justify that?’ There I think being Catholic really helps. Because in a way, I think that being Catholic makes it so that you can’t be a conscientious objector. Being Catholic means accepting that the world that we live in is evil and the only the way to make it any better is by living a life in faith focused on God. You have to do that regardless of your circumstances and you can never avoid a particular event in your life just because you think that makes you more holy. It’s like everything Christ said to the Pharisees and the apostles. You can’t avoid being in a particular situation because if you were in that situation you’d be less righteous.

“That’s where you want the moral people to be. You don’t want them to be sitting back home on a college campus holding up an anti-war sign. You want those people who are really concerned about treating enemies with dignity and respect, making very difficult decisions about life and death, in the fight. It’s about making the best, even though the best isn’t always that great, out of an incredibly bad situation.”

William on terrorists:
“I used to have a nightmare when I was in Iraq about this one guy –and he was a bad guy, I used to watch videos of him beheading people –but I used to have this nightmare that I would one day be told he was going to be executed but ‘We’re not going to bother transporting him or anything. You just go to his cell and do it yourself.’ And then I’d walk in with my side arm and just walk into his cell and he’d smile and greet me and I’d shoot him in the head. And I had this nightmare over and over and over again. It just terrified me.

“And now, that guy, he was executed. And that same guy, when I was leaving Iraq, I went and said goodbye to him, and he gave me a big hug and he said ‘You’re a good man.’ In many ways, it was a comforting thing to hear from somebody that I would consider my enemy.

“I really think that in some ways, he was a good man as well, at least in the sense that he had a soul. It’s not like he did all the things that he did because one day it just popped in his head to go crazy and make people miserable. There are people who believe that we can perfect the world. And he is one of those people. He felt that in order to do that it would take a lot of violence.”

 

Image courtesy of the U.S. Army

Elizabeth Tenety
Written by

  • yoyo

    Surely the lesson William might have learned is that the variety of religious beliefs calls into question the veracity of all of them.Then we have 9/11, which was all about religion, and the pope’s claim,last week,that the Catholic church is the one true church,with the Archbishop of Canterbury,in the UK, strongly disagreeing.Religion is both irrational and dangerous.

  • Dave D.

    As a Catholic and a former military officer I find the discussions about the morality of war very convoluted. The reality is that war, any war is murder. The Catholic chuch as a fixed position on war in that a soldier has the right to wage war in order to defend his country. A soldier in an agressive war has no moral position to justify his/her actions.There is no doubt the US is the agressor in Iraq. The Pope stated that the US position in Iraq is immoral. Any willing paticipant in the Iraq war, on any level is a willing participant in murder. Period.

  • Dave D.

    As a Catholic and a former military officer I find the discussions about the morality of war very convoluted. The reality is that war, any war is murder. The Catholic chuch as a fixed position on war in that a soldier has the right to wage war in order to defend his country. A soldier in an agressive war has no moral position to justify his/her actions.There is no doubt the US is the agressor in Iraq. The Pope stated that the US position in Iraq is immoral. Any willing paticipant in the Iraq war, on any level is a willing participant in murder. Period.

  • Dave D.

    As a Catholic and a former military officer I find the discussions about the morality of war very convoluted. The reality is that war, any war is murder. The Catholic chuch as a fixed position on war in that a soldier has the right to wage war in order to defend his country. A soldier in an agressive war has no moral position to justify his/her actions.There is no doubt the US is the agressor in Iraq. The Pope stated that the US position in Iraq is immoral. Any willing paticipant in the Iraq war, on any level is a willing participant in murder. Period.

  • Kacoo

    The soldiers at Abu Ghraib who were convicted simply followed orders, and they were praised by their superiors for their efforts. The Nuremburg trials established that high ranking officers could not claim they were just following orders. It said nothing about buck privates. All we know about soldiering tells us that low-ranking enlisted soldiers are not responsible for sorting out what is legal, what is immoral, and what is inappropriate. How can they be when they aren’t even required to have attended college, much less to have completed 3 years of law school and passed a bar exam?When the bugle sounds early in the morning, is that a lawful order to arise? What about on a Saturday morning, which is a minority religion’s day of rest? Or on a Sunday morning in a combat zone? Does each soldier need his own or her own criminal lawyer to determine which are the legal orders? Should all orders be referred to the soldier’s lawyer before the soldier follows them?Most people would say soldiers should use their common sense. I agree. When your superiors are praising your work, when your work is saving lives, and when the White House approves of the tactics, then how can the actions be immoral, illegal, or inappropriate?Governments have in recent centuries struggled to seperate the soldier from the soldier’s relgious leaders. It’s a difficult challenge. The state can approve killing by its citizen soldiers, but the church can hold great sway in determining whether the state’s policies are moral. War is difficult to wage without religious leaders. That’s why I find it suspicious that decades worth of sex abuse allegations were brought to the public by the courts and the media in 2002 and 2003. That was when the American people most needed their chruches to oppose a hasty invasion. There were in fact voices of opposition to the invasion from various Christian denominations, but they were not well received by the public or the media.

  • Roy, Chiapas Mexico

    It always amazes me some Catholics claim to be pro-life and support capital punishment and pre-emptive war.As for Bishops an Archbishops threatening eternal damnation for not voting the Church political line, these are not better than the ignorant evangelical Christian extremists like Dobson, Robertson, Haggard, Craig, Vitter et. al.

  • Will Jones

    Every American serviceman and woman takes an Oath which requires them to protect the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. Bush and Cheney committed 9-11 to put us at “war.” Read “The New Pearl Harbor” if, as you claim, you wish to believe in G-d and call yourself an American. The truth is John Kennedy overcame having been born into that religion which America’s Founding Prophet regarded as “the real Anti-Christ,” so can you. Roman agents of the CIA, Nixon, and George H.W. Bush, whose father was a sworn member of the papal fraternity the Knights of Malta, assassinated him for ordering us out of Vietnam and the Vatican’s correspondent bankers of the Fed off our money supply.G-d requires Truth and Righteousness. Bush is Anti-Christ and Iraq is a lie. Work it out and be a patriot and a man.

  • John Griffith (Bright)

    “I really think that in some ways, he was a good man as well, at least in the sense that he had a soul. It’s not like he did all the things that he did because one day it just popped in his head to go crazy and make people miserable. There are people who believe that we can perfect the world. And he is one of those people. He felt that in order to do that it would take a lot of violence.”Who’s rationalizing now, William?Hint, it’s not me.

  • Mike

    This was a very interesting interview with someone who was not only there, but was philosophical enough to contemplate what he was doing there.Of course, none of the above posts really care. This is just a blog for a bunch of wingut liberals to spout off their moronic and boring diatribes, regardless of the article’s subject.Thanks to Miss Tenty for writing something that really makes you think. Unforunately, it is wasted on the angry liberals who make up the bulk of the posters on this board.

  • Mary Cunningham

    An article far superior to most of the stuff that gets published on “No Faith” (or at least not much.)My thanks to Elizabeth for the interview. To William Quinn who had to contend with evil and violence, armed only with his faith (and his rifle): thank you for consenting to put your experience in writing. You are a good man who strives for justice, and that is saying a lot in this day and age.To the anti-Catholic posters spouting their usual puerile prejudice: grow up. (I admit it. I’ve wanted to say that to the athies and crazy fundamentalists for a long time.)

  • TJ

    Regarding William on suffering, so if we pretend that people aren’t really gone gone when they die, committing great violence against them can be rationalized by faith.It’s nice to hear an adherent say what many of us on the other side have been saying for a long time.

  • TJ

    Mary Cunningham babbles: “To the anti-Catholic posters spouting their usual puerile prejudice: grow up. (I admit it. I’ve wanted to say that to the athies and crazy fundamentalists for a long time.)”Grow up and believe in the Santa Claus for adults? Oooook. Sure thing.

  • Mary Cunningham

    TJ after deliberately misreading the Quinn article–straw man anyone?–then goes on to write:”Mary Cunningham babbles….”And responds:”Grow up and believe in the Santa Claus for adults? Oooook. Sure thing.”Pathetic, eh? Good example of puerile, prejudiced pap…

  • Rob Levine

    //How does a Catholic who believes killing is wrong reconcile his faith with his duty as a soldier and interrogator at Abu Ghraib?By being a hypocrite, that’s how.

  • Michael

    Congrats on the Rhodes Scholarship, William.

  • Sean

    Instead of us sitting here and arguing amongst oursevelves about the validity of our different beliefs and views, why don’t we take this article for what it is, a young man who has been put into obviously compromising positions throughout this ordeal but has somehow remained morally true to himself, and has retained and upheld his own faith.It is not up to us to debate wether or not his faith or beliefs are righteous or holy, but rather stand back and take stock of this man who has been on both sides of his own religion but remains steadfast and true to himself.I’m sure this is something we have all strived to do at sometime in our lives or another, to Mr. Quinn I say, we should all be so lucky!

  • Sean

    Instead of us sitting here and arguing amongst oursevelves about the validity of our different beliefs and views, why don’t we take this article for what it is, a young man who has been put into obviously compromising positions throughout this ordeal but has somehow remained morally true to himself, and has retained and upheld his own faith.It is not up to us to debate wether or not his faith or beliefs are righteous or holy, but rather stand back and take stock of this man who has been on both sides of his own religion but remains steadfast and true to himself.I’m sure this is something we have all strived to do at sometime in our lives or another, to Mr. Quinn I say, we should all be so lucky!

  • nyfinn

    This was a very interesting article for several different reasons. The section that really caught my attention was this:”That’s where you want the moral people to be. You don’t want them to be sitting back home on a college campus holding up an anti-war sign. You want those people who are really concerned about treating enemies with dignity and respect, making very difficult decisions about life and death, in the fight. It’s about making the best, even though the best isn’t always that great, out of an incredibly bad situation.”I think the fact the american public is so distanced from this war makes it too easy for our leaders to make bad decisions. Only families with military connections are directly effected. We aren’t even paying for this war up front. If more “moral” people were directly impacted and involved with the effects of the war they would demand a stronger voice. Perhaps we should pay for this war with tax increases instead of deficit spending. Maybe bond drives and liberty gardens should be mandated. Perhaps the draft? Nobody wants that but it sure would get the attention and involvement of more “moral” people.

  • Orthodoxy

    @Roy, who wrote: “It always amazes me some Catholics claim to be pro-life and support capital punishment and pre-emptive war.”Two things about this nonsense. First, anyone who can’t see the distinction between captial punishment and abortion is a moral cretin. To quote someone else on this point, “show me the fetus that commits first-degree murder, and I’ll execute him.”Second, no real Catholic can support “pre-emptive war” in the way Roy means it.What always amazes me are the ideologues, Catholic and anti-Catholic, who think they know Church teaching and don’t.

  • jhbyer

    William, your honesty is breath-taking, all the more for being here “On Faith” where not just hard landings are avoided. Thank you for your courageous service there and here. Your embrace of all humanity is appreciated by this nonCatholic. I (an old widow) was privileged to fly across country seated next to a young man fresh from Iraq, in the full bloom of his experience. He shared that he learned people only have each other, no God to intervene. He seemed rapt with the revelation that people are the wonder, the goodness, and the hope we are taught belong to God.

  • Alan Shapiro

    John Griffith show himself to have a very narrow perspective on moral acts. If you convince yourself that only your group can be ‘right’, then no one else can have a moral position. It is not relativism to say that there are that there are many moral bases from which people make decisions. Unless we understand these as moral decisions, we will not be able to counter them and have the possibility of resolving conflict. Without this, it is just ideology fighting ideology.

  • Alan Shapiro

    John Griffith shows himself to have a very narrow perspective on moral acts. If you convince yourself that only your group can be ‘right’, then no one else can have a moral position. It is not relativism to say that there are that there are many moral bases from which people make decisions. Unless we understand these as moral decisions, we will not be able to counter them and have the possibility of resolving conflict. Without this, it is just ideology fighting ideology.

  • linda in cincinnati

    Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. This quote is quite clear and concise, nothing to add or subtract. Many people attribute it to organized religion but I believe it to be part of the human spirit in a natural state. Many ways of wrong actions, perceived or obvious, and irreconcilable differences within relationships cause faith to becomes less apparent in our lives. This is a horrible loss to an important part of the human spirit.

  • jhbyer

    Hello, ORTHODOXY. Surely you know every government that has had capital punishment has accidentally executed one or more innocent people. Considering it has never correlated with declining rates of capital crime, but just the opposite, all other Western nations have ceased the practice, after which their crime rates have steadily come down, probably for others reasons like socialism,. Still, are they not justified in calling us moral cretins? Actually they just call us violent.

  • WJY

    I thank Wm Quinn for his contribution and I do feel for him, because of his confusion. Catholic? Christian? Soldier? American? If you are going to take yourself seriously as a Catholic Christian who believes killing is evil then, damn it, stop killing. You don’t have the right to decide you can choose when you’re going to follow the Christian Messiah and when you’re not going to.All the best to you.

  • WJY

    I thank Wm Quinn for his contribution and I do feel for him, because of his confusion. Catholic? Christian? Soldier? American? If you are going to take yourself seriously as a Catholic Christian who believes killing is evil then, damn it, stop killing. You don’t have the right to decide you can choose when you’re going to follow the Christian Messiah and when you’re not going to.All the best to you.

  • WJY

    I thank Wm Quinn for his contribution and I do feel for him, because of his confusion. Catholic? Christian? Soldier? American? If you are going to take yourself seriously as a Catholic Christian who believes killing is evil then, damn it, stop killing. You don’t have the right to decide you can choose when you’re going to follow the Christian Messiah and when you’re not going to.All the best to you.

  • John H. Johnson

    Nice little article.Unfortunately, it failed to address the horrors that the Catholic Church, which has itself engaged in militarily via proxy.The great thing about Catholics is that they never read their own history. That is why the rest of the world mocks them so much. They are in denial of the horrors that they have unleashed upon the world.That’s good, because Catholic folly provides us with great entertainment.———————————————–

  • Pedro De Vacas

    John H. has it right, but he forgot:– The Crusades– The Spanish Inquisition– Tithing– The destruction of Aristotelian texts.– Its support to the Bourgeoisie in forcing the — Its silence during the Nazi’s ethnic and religious cleansing– The anhialation of the Native American people.– The molestation and the cover-up of such crimes. and everything else the Catholic Church has done to keep itself in power.Catholics always say “Well, that was in the past. You can’t hold us accountable for that.”Yes, we can. You represent an organization and ideology that practices intolerance and power-seeking every since the ridiculous philosophies of Church spin master Thomas Aquinas. Anytime Catholics spew out their dogma and judgment, we will respond. Why, frankly because you make the rest of us sick.After all, this isn’t the 15th century.

  • B-Man

    Any person who is truly spiritual, as opposed to religious, cannot condone killing in any circumstance. Period.Christians believe the world is an evil place and humans are flawed. That’s a pretty easy assertion to make, based on superficial appearances. But if you’re truly spiritual, you believe God (however you define that concept) is perfect and all of creation is therefore also perfect, including human beings.Evil is just another way to describe people who are drifting away from God by letting their egos control them. All humans have the ability to become enlightened. That is how evil and killing will be banished from the world, by each person sublimating their own egos and becoming enlightened, not by creating “justifiable wars” against evil. This concept seems to be a little to sophisticated for most (Western) people to accept.

  • Jill Easton

    “Quinn has taken refuge in the writings of Augustine.”Well, that is only part of the Augustine philosophy. Remember that Augustine’s original premise was why Rome was attacked and why Rome was falling.Only Christians elevate Augustine’s stature to “greatest thinker” status. They pretty much ignore Eastern philosophers. Christians do tend to suffer from tunnel vision.

  • Bob

    Way to go, B-Man!

  • B-Man

    Any person who is truly spiritual, as opposed to religious, cannot condone killing in any circumstance. Period.Christians believe the world is an evil place and humans are flawed. That’s a pretty easy assertion to make, based on superficial appearances. But if you’re truly spiritual, you believe God (however you define that concept) is perfect and all of creation is therefore also perfect, including human beings.Evil is just another way to describe people who are drifting away from God by letting their egos control them. All humans have the ability to become enlightened. That is how evil and killing will be banished from the world, by each person sublimating their own egos and becoming enlightened, not by creating “justifiable wars” against evil. This concept seems to be a little to sophisticated for most (Western) people to accept.

  • Not Me!

    Hey, maybe B-Man and Pedro can head up the Church!

  • Joe

    “Elizabeth Tenety is a graduate student at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where she studies Reporting and Writing.”Sounds like a cheerleader interviewing a prom queen. Her writing style reflects a cheerleader’s mentality. No background, no research. Just mush.Elizabeth, why don’t you go to Iraq or Afghanistan and do some real reporting of events caused by other religious dogmatics like yourself? It’s easy for you to sit in your little office and write drivel. Try putting yourself in harm’s way to get a real story.Maybe then we’ll take you seriously.This story was just emotional, sentimental cr*p.

  • Mary Cunningham

    Jill Easton:A bit muddled on Augustine…and anyway didn’t I write the greatest intellect *of late Roman times*? Anyway “The City of God” makes a pretty sharp differentiation between the Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church. Augustine began his philosophy thinking the former would endure forever, but by “City of God” he makes a sharp differentiation betw. the two, nothing much to do with the attacks on the city of Rome, which most Christians held was pretty decadent.. The usual anti-papist posters writing afterwards writing their usual unbelievably puerile, prejudiced pap…The Spanish Inquisition–my God! 3,000 dead in 300 years. 19 Muslim zealots managed that in a morning. Oh well, history from atheist websites,

  • Mary Cunningham

    Haven’t bothered to look, but as it’s current it must be paedophile priests? But as a nonevent, I’ll post something on paedophile atheists, and then we’re even, eh?Thought we were talking about Iraq. Or Augustine. Or a just war.No–it’s about anti-Popery! Down with the Pope! Avenge the Inquisition! Avenge the Tolpuddle martyrs, oh wait–they were Union members. Avenge the Russian Orthodox patriarchs! The Armenian Pope! Oh wait, those are religious.Avenge the Crusades! Join with Al Q and avenge the Crusades! (How’s that?)

  • TJ

    Not bad. About what I expected.

  • TJ

    I should add, if you can post any news item regarding the institutionalized sexual abuse of children by some atheist organization I would read it with interest. Just so we’re comparing apples to apples, be sure that it’s an atheist organization that has paid out somewhere around 1 billion dollars for their chronic sexual abuse of children. Of course, you’ll need to include a long history of whichever atheist organization you choose of internal coverup and public denial of the problem.Good luck with that.

  • Mary Cunningham

    Thing is until the thread was hijacked by the No-Popery! pueriles it had the potential to being a half way decent discussion–well, *anything* that has as its basis the insights of Augustine will be good.Because he dealt with the problem of evil in this world in “The City of God”…and, let me tell you folks, we certainly don’t live there. Anyway, as this thread is just about over and this is the last from me I’ll end with some Augustine: “The City of God is a place where the inhabitants love people and walk on gold; the city of man is a place where the inhabitants love gold and walk on people.”

  • Anonymous

    Roy writes:Brush up on your current events before making declarative statements — the Catholic leadership was AGAINST the war in Iraq and is AGAINST the death penalty.The Church is truly consistent on being for life and human dignity….unlike “conservatives” (neo cons and evangelicals) who are against abortion and for the death penalty and pre emptive war. OR liberals who are against the war yet support abortion on demand of hundreds of thousands of lives per year.

  • Mary Cunningham

    On anti-Catholic bias in the mediaDear Sister Mary,Prejudice sells better than sex. Religious prejudice sells especially well in this (newly) religious age. Anti-Catholicism is the only religious prejudice acceptable today (I didn’t say that Philip Jenkins did). War pimp is merely stating two facts: that 1)the (American) media is primarily Jewish-owned, and 2) that it focuses almost exclusively upon news items concerning the crimes of Catholic paedophile priests while ignoring the same (much greater) crimes perpetuated by the general public. Is putting those two facts in the same sentence anti-Semitic? This Catholic doesn’t think so, although I wouldn’t do it—just because two facts exist together doesn’t mean one causes the other, or correlation does not equal causation.But I would hold the media in general guilty of pandering to religious prejudice. Just look at the posts above! They’re awful, really awful and all aimed at us, Sister Mary…aimed at *us*, at Catholics. Anti-Catholicism is the prejudice *de jour* and it’s not anti-Semitic to say so. It’s a shame that this blog was cut off short. There were a few good points brought up, in between doses of anti-Catholic bilge!Regards,

  • Julie

    Very nice interview by Ms. Tenety and responses from Mr. Quinn. This quote is so beautiful I am going to write it down and put it above my desk:”Being Catholic means accepting that the world that we live in is evil and the only the way to make it any better is by living a life in faith focused on God. You have to do that regardless of your circumstances and you can never avoid a particular event in your life just because you think that makes you more holy.”I feel very much the same about my faith. I think it is very a Christlike idea. I wish both interviewer and subject all the best.

  • Brian Rooney

    One of the great things about the Catholic Church is there are answers to questions Catholics may have about their faith. A couple good resources are the Catechism, Catholic Conference of Bishops, and the Archbishop of the Military Services. These are good resources. May want to start there. “Ultimately, and I think we have to recognized this, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says the evaluation of all the “conditions on just war for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good”. And that means the president and the head of the nations. It is their ultimate decision.” Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien on “Just War” USCCB: American Catholic servicemen and women and their chaplains are likewise called conscientiously to fulfill their duty to defend the common good. To risk their own lives in this defense is a great service to our nation and an act of Christian virtue.CCC 2310: Public authorities, in this case, have the right and duty to impose on citizens the obligations necessary for national defense. Those who are sworn to serve their country in the armed forces are servants of the security and freedom of nations. If they carry out their duty honorably, they truly contribute to the common good of the nation and the maintenance of peace.

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