The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.

America is at war. The reality has set in, and there is no way to deny it.

Our televisions have been saturated with images of precision weapons and civilians surrendering. Smoke-filled, devastating pictures of death and destruction are unavoidable.

I am the first to admit that I am scared. War is not something most people are ever happy about, and in this case, with terrorist threats and color-coded alerts, along with those images burned into my mind of that unforgettable September day, I am especially weary of the possible consequences.

Bombs. Chemical weapons. Biological weapons. Innocent people suddenly becoming victims of a cause they are hardly aware of while simply trying to go to work.

Within this war, there seems to be a another war being fought. While this lesser war doesn’t have missiles and guns, it does have its share of crazy leaders and oppressive views. The division is between those who support the war and those who don’t.

Those who do not support this war claim that Bush is wrongfully invading a land where he has no right to be, without giving just cause to be there.

Those who support the war claim that diplomacy has been exhausted, and that Saddam has left us no other options. They also believe that because Saddam is such a dictator anyway, we should be the ones to overpower him – not only politically, but also physically, by killing him.

These supporters are dead set on supporting the war despite the fact that it discredits the United Nations, regardless of the massive anti-war protests and overlooking the sentiments of the majority of the leaders of the rest of the world.

At St. John’s, I have noticed a very pro-Bush, war supporting attitude. Granted, there is a large minority that is against the war, but the fact remains that the even larger majority has taken the reins and shown support for the war, and for our president.

In a university that has the honor of holding the title of one of the largest Catholic institutions on the country, why have there been no war protests? Why are the non-secular universities, where education and religion are strictly separated, having protests and walkouts while we are not?

Why have so many students, administrators and faculty members ignored the fifth commandment?

Is it possible that a university community that is so severely pro-life think that it is okay to kill young adults but not unborn children? Do the Catholics here believe that thou shall not kill does not apply to sentencing 18 and 19-year-olds to die at war?

The Pope himself has condemned the war, saying, “War is never just another means that one can choose to employ for settling differences between nations. It is always a defeat for humanity.”

But our president claims to be a God-fearing, church-going individual. Hiding behind the “liberation of Iraq,” he even claims to be doing God’s work.

I think the only reason Bush thinks he is doing God’s work is because he believes himself to be God. Why else would a religious man who claims to believe in a religion that condemns the killing of innocent people think that bombing civilians living in an oppressive environment is God’s work?

And there is no way St. John’s own religious community could think that a war where we are forcing our views, our soldiers, our bombs and our guns into a country where we are not wanted is justified.

Perhaps I am wrong about the pro-war attitude here. I certainly hope I am. There have been a few well-attended forums, with speakers and audience members both for and against the war.

So maybe there are actually students and faculty here who aren’t actually for the war?

If this is the case, if you believe that this war is unjustified, unfair and against your firm religious beliefs, I implore you to make your views be known throughout the University.

Being against military action does not make you un-American. Opposing the killing of innocent people does not make you fundamentally un-Christian.

I honestly think that St. John’s is filled with people who do not support the war. However, I also think they have been entirely too quiet about the subject. War is not something to sit back and let happen.

Campus Ministry has held prayer services and vigils praying for peace and hope. I can only hope that they will hold more events like this. I am more than willing to help them plan and carry out any event they need help with.

I am not against the moral support of the troops fighting overseas, nor am I against supporting their families. This is in no way an attack on them. I am simply wondering where the Catholics are at this university.

I see them at church on Sundays, but I do not see them standing up for their views the rest of the week.

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