Catholics Against Militarism is a lay Catholic movement that aims to expel militarism from the American Catholic Church by 1) registering dissent at the parish level, 2) raising awareness of the dangers of militarism through dialogue with fellow believers, and 3) spurring deeper, more honest reflection on the role of violence in our world.
1. Militarism discourages serious reflection on the moral gravity of war.
A militaristic culture derives its power from a few basic assumptions:
The military is a force for good; The military is only used in defense; Therefore military service is an honorable profession; Therefore supporting the troops is a patriotic duty.
We believe these are faulty assumptions.
When we thank veterans for keeping us free and safe, we reassure them that particular, current wars are good, and necessary to keep us free and safe. When we congratulate teenagers for joining the military, we discourage them from considering the spiritual and psychological consequences of violence, enmity, destruction and the taking of human life. When we champion the United States as “the greatest country on Earth,” we overlook the dark side of American history: American exceptionalism provides the rich soil in which militarism takes root.
Militarism creates a convenient blind spot for the terrible costs of war. At its most bold, it dares and encourages young people to sacrifice their lives, and possibly their souls, at the unholy altar of the State.
2. Militarism is a spiritual disease akin to the worshiping of idols.
The Ten Commandments reads Thou Shall Not Kill; Jesus Christ was the Prince of Peace; and Catholic tradition condemns war in the strongest terms. Manifest Destiny, American Exceptionalism, and Christian Nationalism have no basis in the Catholic understanding of the world. As explained by Cardinal Walter Kasper, an overly strong identification of the Gospel with a particular culture or nation is an “ecclesiological heresy.” Killing does not become okay simply because the killer was wearing the stars and stripes. The Bible makes it very clear that God judges people according to His laws, not Man’s laws.
“Obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29 “No one man can serve two masters.” Matthew 6:24 “Thou Shalt Have No God Before Me.” Exodus 20:3
Boston CAM is an independent grassroots effort. We speak only for ourselves.
We encourage all Boston-area Catholics who agree with our goals to join even if they are not currently practicing the Faith. Non-Catholics may also join if they have a sincere and respectful interest in Catholicism and Catholic teaching. However, expect anti-Catholic ideas and opinions to be vigorously challenged. Remember, we still have the Catechism. (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/ccc_toc.htm)