Dear Mr. Fuller-Googins,
I read your piece today in the Heights and I wanted to respond to you via e-mail. Because of my position on the Observer, I'm not permitted to be printed in the Heights. I'm sure you are aware that we have different ideas but I would ask that you hear me out.
I want to begin by saying that while I would be interested in hearing the SOA side of what they think they are doing and why it is ethical, I remain fairly convinced that SOA/WHINSEC is something that should be shut down. The documentation against it at SOAWatch is extensive and if accurate, damning.
You ask why campus ministry does not support protest similar injustices and oppression and you state various examples. You ask about having ROTC and weapon's manufacturers at a career fair on our Jesuit campus. I'm not quite sure why you see both of these as opposed to the Jesuit nature of our university. The Jesuits are known as the Pope's Men, and their values include fidelity to the pope. Saint Ignatius gave rules for thinking with the Church which were given to retreatants at the end of the spiritual exercises. You should read them: http://wps.ablongman.com/long_longman_lwcdemo_1/0,9493,1532993-,00.html They are horribly unpopular here at Boston College amongst students but they represent Jesuit thought. If you want to learn more about this, I would recommend speaking with Father McNellis from the philosophy department.
Jesuit values are not different than those of the Church. Keeping this in mind, we must look to the Church and see what it says about manufacturing arms and being in the military. It would be hard to find a condemnation of either in the Catechism. While most wars are unjust, serving is something honorable. The Catechism says in paragraph 2310, "Those who are sworn to serve their country in the armed forces are servants of the security and freedom of nations. If they carry out their duty honorably, they truly contribute to the common good of the nation and the maintenance of peace." Similarly, while it says that arms races and stockpiling of weapons are illegitimate, nowhere does the Catechism condemn the making of weapons, including new weapons, on a small scale.
Now I ask you: would you rather have people who have been trained in ethics at BC doing these things of ignoring the fields? It must be those who know right and wrong who enter into these gray fields to make the right calls when situations arise. We can't universally avoid them.
As for Israel, the Arab world does not recognize the right of Israel to exist and continues to try and destroy Israel. If Israel put down its arms tomorrow, the Palestinian people would not. However, if the Palestinian people did, then Israel would as well.