Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Father Hollywood on Lew Rockwell

I'm really honored to have been published at My article from the November 1, 2006 edition of LRC is here.

I'm grateful to Lew Rockwell for giving me a shot as a guest columnist. He is the founder and president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama and a former student and colleague of the late economist, Murray Rothbard - a monumental scholar in the field of libertarian economics.

If you are interested in limited government and economic liberty, LRC has new essays posted every day on a variety of topics by quite a lively diversity of authors - which now includes even yours truly.


Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D. said...

Excellent column over at Lew Rockwell! I agree about women in the military.

I am curious about how just war principles apply when the enemy utilizes children to kill our soldiers. For instance, if the 10 year old boy was attempting to stop the soldier for an attack, could he be considered a combatant and a legitimate target?

Anonymous said...

Yes, a great column indeed. It is a sad turn of events that rules of engagement are dictated by those who torture and behead non combatants and claim to be following their religion:

"So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. [Qur'an, Sura 9:5]"

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Dr. Ward:

Thanks for your kind words.

While I'm no scholar in the matter of just war, my own take on it is that if children are being used in this way, a soldier could certainly kill them in self-defense.

The article didn't give me the impression that the child in this case was engaged in any kind of plot like this.

Whey Lay said...

A good but sad post over at Lew Rockwell. It's tragic, seems that society has little value for the things that make it civilized. I feel the propensity for atrocity during war has always been with us though. From the sacking of ancient cities to the fire bombings of German and Japanese cities man has shown himself for the murderer he always is. As you pointed out so well, we now are including women in our savagery. It can only end worse for society, this surely wont make the world better.
I'm glad that you were able to bring your thoughtful, Christian viewpoint to a secular column.

Roderick T. Long said...

While I agree with you about the injustice of what's happening in Iraq, as a feminist I fear I had to grump a bit about your remarks on women's proper role. See said grumping here.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Leonidas:

Molon labe! (My son's name is Leonidas).

Indeed, your comment calls to mind a quote from conservative scholar Clyde Wilson:

"I don’t think Islam is a religion of peace. However, it would be a lot less of a problem if they were over there instead of over here. And if we were over here instead of over there."

I wish I knew how you got that Greek font to work on blogger!

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Roderick:

Grumpy feminists are the stereotype, after all. It reminds me of the Callahan cartoon in which a man at the counter of a bookstore is greeted by a scowling woman. The caption reads: "We don't have a humor section, this is a feminist bookstore!" ;-)

Seriously, though, you and I have a very different worldview when it comes to the sexes as well as the roles of both men and women. Your blog article deserves to have a longer response than just an entry here. If I have time later on, I may write a post in response.

But just a teaser: Traditional Christianity does teach a "sacred feminine." Not the kind sought after by Eve when she fell for the serpent's lie, grasping at that which was not given her, but rather when she was promised that her Seed would crush the serpent's head.

That Seed was given life within the Virgin Mary, when God took flesh in her womb. The uteri of all women are thus sanctified by this great mystery: the incarnation. The womb not only partakes in creation, but also in the redemption of fallen creation. And this sacredness is lived out in the holy vocation of motherhood - which is held in such contempt by most feminists today.

Indeed, the womb is lauded as a death chamber, and this "right" has become nearly "sacrosanct" in the secular culture.

On a side note, one of my favorite scholars is a left-wing lesbian feminist named Camille Paglia. While I obviously don't agree with Dr. Paglia on many issues, she is a genius, and delivers lectures like you have never seen before. I was spellbound as she spoke from 7pm to 2am without a break (as though she were on an espresso I.V.) at Haverford College a few years ago. At 2 am, she was still taking questions, and my wife and I got her to sign some books for us and we left - but she was still going strong.

Roderick T. Long said...

As a counter to the cartoon you mention, here's a famous cartoon from the cover of one of the first issues of Ms. Magazine.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Roderick:

Good one!

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your culumn at Lew Rockwell and found it agreeable and thought provoking. I also enjoyed reading many of your other posts as well. I will continue to check back in on your site to hear your thoughts on other topics.

One note I would wish to add to the comments section of this post deals with the Dr. Ward's question and your response. Having previously served two tours in the Marine Corps I thought a great deal about it. Here's my take:

Like you I am no expert in matter of just what kinds of actions are philosophically conscionalbe in a "just war" (even if I were certain such a thing exists-which I'm not-this war certainly does not qualify). For my part however I would find such an action contrary to everthing I believe in, as a individual and as a warrior. Is not the purpose of fighting in a just war the protection of the innocent and the defense of the rights of your fellow man? Certainly a child is to be considered an inocent, no? The fact that a child is being used a tactic for your own demise does not negate his innocence or one's responsibility to safegaurd his or her life.

Does taking such a position put one's own life at risk from would-be attackers? Absolutely. But isn't that what soldiers are supposed to do? Put their lives on the line to protect the lives and rights of others? I certainly believe so. No person unwilling to take such a risk on behalf of another has any business being a soldier.

To allow ourselves a sort of moral "free pass" because one is ordered or "forced" by circumstances to value his or her own life above that of an innocent is to legitimize the very "anything goes" mentality we see developing now with in our military and our government. Even in war, it's not all about winning. Death before dishonor may not be more than a platitude today, but that doesn't make it any less noble or desirable.

One final thought: If such a senario were aplied to police than an officer would be justified in killing a hostage in order to kill the hostage taker if he felt his life was jeopordized by him. However, such an act would negate the reason for his involvement in the situation in the first place. I feel the same principle applies to the topic under question. If we are willing to kill the innocent in order to protect the innocent, we eradicate any semblance of our humanity and any uterly deligitimize any reason for our presence there in the first place (not that it is regardless)


Jon F.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Jon:

This is a really thought-provoking analysis, and I greatly appreciate you taking the time to post it here!

When I served as a corrections officer years ago, we were not permitted to have weapons of any type in jail (lest the inmates seize them). We were literally locked into the jail from the outside (behind bulletproof glass) and we had a "no hostage policy". We knew this going in, that was the risk we took. Some would consider this not supporting the troops or over-restricting our ability to defend ourselves, but the good of this situation outweighed the bad.

In having a certain level of acceptable civilian casualties, I believe we're acting contrary to principles of Christian warfare, and in addition, we're helping to create a more hostile and dangerous world in the long run.

Thanks again for writing. Semper fi!