ROTC is cause to mourn
Letter to the editor
Mourning, surely, is the deepest form of protest. And so, Pax Christi-ND mourns the ROTC Presidential Review that took place on South Quad last Wednesday. Indeed, that this glorification of violence took place at a Catholic university named after the mother of Jesus should be cause for us all to mourn.
Instead of protesting this display of destructive power in a humble and peaceful fashion, as would befit ministers of the Church, "Reviewing Officers" Malloy and Warner — two men in part responsible for the Christian formation of Notre Dame students — stood with the officers of the deeply un-Christian military. Monk's action suggests that "Country" and "Notre Dame" may have usurped "God" in the hierarchy we proclaim on the side of the Basilica. Our allegiance is not with the teachings of the Gospels, but rather with the authority of the state. This is morally reprehensible.
Our administration tells us that we host the "Ministry of War" on campus so to infuse the military with officers of Christian moral sensibilities. They tell us that the U.S. military works to promote and sustain peace in the world. They tell us that, in accordance with Just War Theory, the U.S. uses military force as only a last resort. If all this is true, then why do we proudly salute, ooh, aah and marvel at armed warplanes as they fly overhead?
Do we not realize that an F-16, though technologically astounding, is manufactured to kill and destroy? An F-16, ultimately, is no more than a really big gun. If, instead of a fly-by, a cadet squeezed off a few rounds from his M-16 into a human dummy, would we have been so transfixed in starry-eyed splendor?
We mourn for the ROTC students who lined the South Quad in stiff formation. These young, intelligent and eager students are our classmates, roommates and friends. We mourn for them because they are entering into an institution that uses violence and fear to force others to conform to the whims of our nation. We mourn because they are entering into an institution that cares little for life, even when that life is one of their own — simply go to Washington to see the many homeless veterans who were once young, intelligent and eager members of the U.S. military. We mourn because our friends are entering an institution that will call upon them to offer their lives not for love of neighbor or self or country, but to defend unjust economic policies, dictatorship "democracies" and even oil.
We could have been there on Wednesday protesting with posters and signs; instead, we pray for our University and we pray for our students in ROTC.
And we mourn.
Master of Divinity
Asst. Rector Keough Hall
April 30, 2000
All Viewpoint Stories for Monday, May 1, 2000