A recent news story (“Carrier USS Gerald R. Ford joins Navy fleet,” July 23) quotes the president as asking God to bless the crew members “who shall sail in her.” But he also asked God to “bless and guide this warship.”
Is it appropriate to ask God to bless a warship? Would we ask God to bless a machine gun? An F-35? An ICBM silo and its contents?
The request to bless instruments of war is one that an ancient Greek king might have asked of the god Ares, or that a Roman Emperor might have asked of the god Mars. But is this something to ask of the deity who talks through the ancient Jewish prophet of beating swords into plowshares?
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Would Christians ask this of the one who told Peter to put away his sword because those who live by the sword will die by the sword, and who preached: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God?”
While some theologians have made the argument for a “just war,” though only as a very last resort, there is something unseemly about calling upon God to bless the weapons used in this hellish enterprise.
Principles and ideology
Early in 2017, after several years of gritting my teeth as I read the N&O’s liberal bias in news stories and editorials, I switched back to the Herald-Sun. I enjoyed the Durham-centered point of view, editorials which showed balance, a range of liberal and conservative news stories, great sports, and interesting obituaries.
But, lucky me, the N&O bought out the Herald Sun and now we have the bias in Durham! Sunday’s editorial condemning the “ideology” of the Republican healthcare bill illustrates my point. Is it “ideological” to oppose the current unaffordable system? How about stretching Medicaid to the breaking point to provide subsidies for people who earn four times the poverty rate, or $90,000 per year? How about exchanges with double-digit premium increases and no choice among insurance companies? How about a system which imposes taxes on healthy people to force them to participate? To want to change such a system is principled, not ideological.
Who are the members of the “Editorial Board” who author such articles? Please list them, with a sentence or two about their backgrounds. Are they also on the Editorial Board of the N&O?
William Lee Noel
Editor’s note: The editorials now in The Herald-Sun originate in The News and Observer and others newspapers, sometimes revised to include pertinent local information. The editorial board includes Ned Barnett, The N&O’s editorial page editor, former metro editor and sports columnist, who started at the paper in 1991; and deputy editorial page editor Jim Jenkins, a UNC Chapel Hill graduate (history and English), and veteran of four decades in the newspaper business.