Religion and Ethics Weekly–Living with the Moral Burdens of War

BOB ABERNETHY: The last of the U.S. troops in Iraq came home last month, and we want to explore today how they are being received. Are they getting the help they need? How do they feel about the violence in the country they left behind? Meanwhile, what can be said about the incident in Afghanistan when four Marines defiled the bodies of Taliban fighters, and the picture of that went online around the world? Kim Lawton, managing editor of this program, joins me to talk with Nancy Sherman, a University Professor at Georgetown University in Washington. Her specialty is the ethics of war, including what she has called “moral wounding.” Her most recent book is The Untold War. Nancy, thank you for being with us.

NANCY SHERMAN (University Professor, Georgetown University): My pleasure.

ABERNETHY: When people see the pictures of the Marine incident, everybody says that’s terrible, reprehensible, no excuse for it. But, you know, here are guys who may have been on several tours, they’re tired, they see their friends, their buddies, blown up, killed, maimed. It would seem to me a fairly natural reaction to demonize the enemy, hate the enemy and want to do something despicable to express your feelings about this enemy.

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Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology