Thursday, March 29, 2012

More From War Critics

Not long ago I wrote about anti war activists and their use of prophet's talks. I commented that many members of the church take an unfounded view of the prophet's talk by applying too much weight to them. They then use his words as a cudgel with which to beat his opponents. They claim that all righteous Latter Day Saints agree with them. Here at the Millennial Star you see an example of that. In particular I would look at comments 45, 53, 54, and 58.

In particular I am bothered by those who take prophet's words to judge my spirituality. As I've shown several times, these anti war statements are not binding doctrine. In fact, these statements are often contradictory. So left with contradictory and nonbinding statements it is the Latter Day Saint's duty to thoughtfully consider the best course. These zealots hijack the prophets words to do the thinking for me. Then they attack me when I question their tactics. Some of the comments even suggest that the only way I can disagree would be if I were confused or wicked.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fed With the Flesh of Their Husbands

The following is an abstract for a potential paper. I proposed this for the Mormon Scholars in the Humanities conference. Southern Virgina University, my alma mater, hosted it this year. So I looked forward to presenting there. But my abstract did not make the cut.

Now it goes into a weird limbo stage. I have many projects on which I'm currently working, which is the subject of a future post. Yet I thought my readers might appreciate a peak into this topic. Most likely this will end up being a chapter in a follow up book on warfare in The Book of Mormon.

Fed with the Flesh of Their Husbands:
The High Spiritual Costs of Waging Economic War

The Roman politician Cicero once called money the “sinews of war”. Due to the high cost of waging war many entities have attempted to lessen this cost through the use of particular tactics and strategy. One of the most well known cost effective strategies is the “Chevauchee”, performed by medieval English leaders whose armies devastated much of France during the 100 years war.(1337-1453AD) A Chevauchee describes a march through the countryside typified by burning, pillage, rape, and murder. This allows a nation to supply its army at the cost of the opposing nation even as the attacker’s rapacious tactics undermine the legitimacy of the defending ruler and his ability to wage war. While this practice is interesting to study and certainly allows the attacking nation to wage war on a limited budget, it often disregards an important moral dimension to warfare. The Book of Mormon also relates devastating conflicts and details practices that match and sometimes exceed the devastation of a Chevauchee. As both the Nephites and Jaredites resort to these tactics in the denouement of their nations this paper will argue that the decision to wage war “on the cheap” through pillaging is both a cause and reflection of their decaying spiritual condition. And it tentatively applies these principles in a modern context.

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for more updates on my current projects and ideas.