Presenting ROTC perspectives fairly
Letter to the Editor
I want to thank Pax Christi for hosting the Tuesday discussion: "A Way to Peace, or Peace is the Way? Catholic Perspectives on ROTC." It was a great way to hear a lot of important issues related to being in the military that people might not think about otherwise. Unlike past presentations on the issue, this presented differing perspectives more fairly.
There was no ROTC-bashing, but rather expressed concern for those in the military. The two speakers — both friends studying theology, one in the US Marine Corps ROTC and the other in Pax Christi — did a great job offering several points to consider. Among these are the following: If we don't use military force, what realistic alternative is available? Can ND remain a Christian community without studying ROTC's actions? How do Christianity's values differ from those of the military? Is it ever right to kill in defense of another?
These are critical issues each person in the military must understand. The speakers and the small group discussion that followed provided an important piece of education on this issue. It was great to see at the discussion students from ROTC who were eager to develop their perspectives on how they can best serve others. It was also great to see other students there from the community, trying to understand. As I cadet, I appreciated being thanked for the aim and dedication to achieve peace through the military.
It seems there should be more discussion from the last several centuries on this issue. Either way, this is a great step forward. Even though students from ROTC and Pax Christi may have different perspectives, both seek peace. This unity should remain our focus. It is encouraging to know that this is just a beginning, that more and more students from ROTC will enter this discussion in the future, focused on service to God and to their country. In the end, hopefully we can all help bring about a more Christian, peaceful community here and abroad.
September 17, 2000
All Viewpoint Stories for Monday, September 18, 2000