God's Politics

God's Politics


William Cavanaugh: Moral Reasoning or Just Trust the President?

posted by gp_intern

History does not tend to be kind to Christian theologians who demand war.

Peter Steinfels recently called attention to a contemporary history lesson drawn in an ongoing debate between Catholic neo-cons who have supported the Iraq war and the popes and bishops who have not (“A Catholic Debate Mounts on the Meaning of ‘Just War,’” The New York Times, April 14). In the April issue of First Things, George Weigel revisits his arguments for the justice and necessity of the Iraq war and refuses to admit regret. Weigel instead casts blame for the failures in Iraq in two directions: the U.S. foreign policy community who failed adequately to plan for the war’s aftermath, and the Arab Islamic political culture whose “irresponsibility, authoritarian brutality, rage and self-delusion” has caused them to refuse “the foreigner’s gift” of political freedom that we have brought them. (I’m not making that up.)

The history lesson is delivered in a commentary by the editors in Commonweal (“Bishops and Their Critics,” April 20), who remind their readers of Weigel’s original well-publicized arguments in favor of the invasion back in 2003. They focus on one key point: In the face of vociferous objections to the impending war by the pope and the U.S. bishops, Weigel argued that Catholics should defer to the president’s judgment on whether or not this war, or any war, met the just war criteria.

Weigel’s argument on this point was two-fold: 1) the president has access to privileged information, and 2) the president, by virtue of his office, exercises a “charism of political discernment” not shared by leaders of the church. The Commonweal editorial wonders whether all the mistakes that Weigel points to in his recent article undermine his claim of the special charism enjoyed by the president. Commonweal remarks that, in retrospect, the Catholic bishops’ charism in matters of war and peace looks pretty darn good compared to that of the president.

Weigel’s argument here is self-defeating. In the case of the Iraq war, the more he insists on point number one, then the more point two is proven false. If the president did indeed have access to privileged information, then he either misinterpreted that information or deliberately lied about it to make a case for the war. This conclusion seems inescapable, given what we now know about how pre-war intelligence was handled.

Regardless of the facts of this particular case, moral judgments about war, like all moral judgments, are not primarily a matter of good information. Good information is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for sound moral judgments. Sound moral judgments depend on being formed in certain virtues. Why a Christian should assume that the president of a secular nation-state would be so formed – much less enjoy a certain “charism” of moral judgment – is a mystery to me. “Charism” is a theological term denoting a gift of the Holy Spirit. To apply such a term to whomever the electoral process of a secular nation-state happens to cough up does not strike me as theologically sound or practically wise.

The fundamental issue here is of much greater importance than arguments about the justice (or lack thereof) of this particular war. Weigel would have the church effectively abdicate its moral judgment in matters of war to the leaders of the nation-state. It is hard to imagine what could do greater damage to both church and nation. If the church does not have an independent process of discernment to bring the gospel to bear on matters of war and peace, then any hope that the Prince of Peace will be heard over the din of self-interest and fear will be lost. History is already littered with the wreckage caused by Christian capitulation to reasons of state.

William Cavanaugh is associate professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and author of Theopolitical Imagination and Torture and Eucharist.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(59)
post a comment
Wolverine

posted May 22, 2007 at 4:44 pm


I hate to admit this, but Cavanaugh has a point. I do think the church should give civil authorities a certain “benefit of the doubt” on account of access to information. But it is a mistake to assume that a political leader has greater moral wisdom simply on account of his having a particular office. Wolverine



report abuse
 

justintime

posted May 22, 2007 at 5:32 pm


Why does wolvie hate to admit that Cavanaugh has a point? .



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 22, 2007 at 6:14 pm


Good column, Mr. Cavanaugh. I wonder, does George Weigel think that the OT prophets deferred to the kings’ position and some nebulous “carism” before speaking the word of God to them? If Nathan had deferred to David’s position as king, would he have been willling to confront David with his sin at all? Would Elijah have confronted the prophets of Baal if he had deferred to Ahab and Jezebel? What would Jeremiah have said to the kings of his day? And what would Paul have said to the religious leaders in Jerusalem? Would he have said, “you know best?” Would he have been willing to appeal is case to Rome? How could the Church exercise its prophetic office if it always deferred to the rulers’ authority? Priveleged information aside, it’s the people of God that are given the Holy Spirit, with the ability to discern, especially in times like these. Peace,



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 22, 2007 at 6:15 pm


Because I respect George Weigel. Wolverine



report abuse
 

jesse

posted May 22, 2007 at 6:21 pm


Weigel was not giving total deference to the president to decide whether a war is just or not. His arguments regarding the war had a moral component and were not simply based on “information” and “deference.” This is a bizarre mischaracterization of Weigel’s views.



report abuse
 

neuro_nurse

posted May 22, 2007 at 7:21 pm


It seems to me that whenever the topic of just war is raised on this blog there is a subsequent debate about that doctrine. To be clear, in this particular instance we are talking about the Catholic just war doctrine, which begins in paragraph 2307 of the Catechism (http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt3sect2chpt2art5.htm), but is summarized in the following statement:The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;there must be serious prospects of success;the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.Reductio ad Hitlerum inevitably to follow (see Godwin s Law) PEACE!



report abuse
 

Carl Copas

posted May 22, 2007 at 7:55 pm


“Reductio ad Hitlerum inevitably to follow (see Godwin s Law)” LOL



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 22, 2007 at 8:40 pm


” The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration.” Neuro, Hitler was rigorous. I’m not saying you are a Nazi, though.



report abuse
 

Eric

posted May 22, 2007 at 8:42 pm


I agree with the points made in the column and agree with the conclusion: “If the church does not have an independent process of discernment to bring the Gospel to bear on matters of war and peace, then any hope that the Prince of Peace will be heard over the din of self-interest and fear will be lost.” Amen. One question: Is George Weigel really a neoconservative? I don’t know much about his background. Is the author using this term accurately or is he using it as many do to mean “someone I don’t like” or “someone who advocated for war with Iraq.” Can someone educate me?



report abuse
 

neuro_nurse

posted May 22, 2007 at 8:49 pm


kevin s., Consider my reference to Godwin’s Law a pre-emptive strike against those who would compare bush, or you, to Hitler. Although I may disagree with you (et alia) at times (although, much less frequently that I used to), I am not among your detractors. Peace!



report abuse
 

God's Politics Moderator

posted May 22, 2007 at 8:52 pm


“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) This message thread has been visited by a God’s Politics Blog moderator for the purpose of removing inappropriate posts. Click here for a detailed explanation of the Beliefnet Rules of Conduct:http://www.beliefnet.com/about/rules.asp which includes: Help us keep the conversation civil and respectful by reporting inappropriate posts to: community@staff.beliefnet.com There was nothing inappropriate in this comment thread. This notice is our way of keeping track of which comment threads have been read and monitored. 1



report abuse
 

moderatelad

posted May 22, 2007 at 9:16 pm


Hello – Charles Colson had a great article about “Just War” and the current conflict in Iraq. Not sure if I even want to get involved in this thread as it looks like it will come down to the traditional ‘Bush Lied – People Died’ chanting. Have a great day .



report abuse
 

splinterlog

posted May 22, 2007 at 9:18 pm


Reductio ad Hitlerum Teeheee – I have to use that some time :)



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 22, 2007 at 9:37 pm


I think the cartoon is a bit pedantic, but I think the article makes a valid point about the circular reasoning of assuming a policy is right simply because a leader says it is.



report abuse
 

Tony Dickinson

posted May 22, 2007 at 10:26 pm


Weigel seems on William Cavanaugh’s analysis to be advocating something perilously akin to Martin Luther’s teaching about the “two kingdoms” – and we know where that led. “Reductio ad Hitlerum” is not an overstatement! But then, the day after news of the F hrer’s death reached Cardinal Archbishop Bertram of Breslau, he gave instructions that a solemn requiem be celebrated “in memory of the F hrer and all those members of the Wehrmacht who have fallen in the struggle for our German Fatherland”. (Klaus Scholder, “A Requiem for Hitler”, London and Philadelphia, 1989, p.166). It isn’t only conservative Lutherans who are inclined to be nationalistic and trustful of those in authority – however wrongheaded and ultimately destructive their loyalty may be.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 22, 2007 at 10:38 pm


“”Reductio ad Hitlerum” is not an overstatement!” It’s not an overstatement, it’s a way of life.



report abuse
 

neuro_nurse

posted May 22, 2007 at 11:10 pm


moderatelad, I too hope we can avoid the ‘Bush Lied – People Died’ chanting. I Googled the Colson article and have a few comments on the excerpt I found. http://www.ctlibrary.com/ct/2002/december9/41.72.html Colson said that Rumsfeld asked a handful of religious leaders about the just war doctrine, and that he (Colson) asked the only discordant question, which begs the question, if Colson was the only religious leader to ask a discordant question, who were the others? In answer to Colson s question, Rumsfeld used the 1981 Israeli strike on an Iraqi nuclear plant as justification for a pre-emptive strike on Iraq. I m not absolutely certain, but I ve always heard the just war doctrine referenced in context to Christianity (which seems to me to be incongruous to Israeli politics). In fact, Colson goes on to say that the just-war tradition [was] formulated by Augustine 1,600 years ago. He also says that George Weigel stretched the just war doctrine. An ellipsis interrupts the paragraph that begins, But I think this reflects too narrow an understanding of just war, followed by an invitation to subscribe to Christianity Today so I can read the rest of the article. Unfortunately, I do not have access to the full text through ProQuest. (My father-in-law takes Christianity Today, and I have enjoyed the articles I ve read, but since Im working on my master s, I don t even have time to read the latest issue of Tropical Doctor, and that s only published 4 times a year.) It seems to come down to how one chooses to interpret the just war doctrine (emphasis on chooses to I haven t figured out how to use italics and bold in my posts Ctrl i and Ctrl b don t work). Colson says, The first response from the church was negative. U.S. Catholic bishops oppose an attack unless Iraq can be linked to the September 11 terror strikes. (the article was published in 2002, hence the present-tense of oppose ) A far as I know, the (Catholic) Church has not changed its opposition to the war, but the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a number of statements regarding what the U.S. should do now that we re in it.(I don t need to, but I ll say it anyway, the link between the 9/11 attacks and Iraq was never demonstrated.) In the referenced First Things article (http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=5465), Weigel seems to have shifted his position from justifying the invasion to justifying specific battles the U.S. has fought now that we re in it. Is Weigel making his argument based on his political position, or as a conservative Catholic? If it s the former, then why place his arguments in the context of the Church s doctrine of just war? If it s the latter, then he is opposition to Church leadership and teaching so why place his arguments in the context of the Church s doctrine of just war? Colson: One hundred Christian ethicists announced opposition; so did the general secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches. The new Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope John Paul II both expressed reservations.Can we presume that s a majority? Peace!



report abuse
 

Another nonymous

posted May 22, 2007 at 11:17 pm


“Colson said that Rumsfeld asked a handful of religious leaders about the just war doctrine, and that he (Colson) asked the only discordant question, which begs the question, if Colson was the only religious leader to ask a discordant question, who were the others?” My understanding is that leaders of my denomination and of several others that opposed the war asked to meet with the president before the invasion to present an opposing view, and were asked to explain why the president would want to hear such a view. They apparently didn’t come up with an answer that satisfied him, because the meeting never took place.



report abuse
 

Rick Nowlin

posted May 22, 2007 at 11:39 pm


My understanding is that leaders of my denomination and of several others that opposed the war asked to meet with the president before the invasion to present an opposing view, and were asked to explain why the president would want to hear such a view. They apparently didn’t come up with an answer that satisfied him, because the meeting never took place. And Jim Wallis may have been one of them.



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 22, 2007 at 11:44 pm


Tony Dickenson wrote: Weigel seems on William Cavanaugh’s analysis to be advocating something perilously akin to Martin Luther’s teaching about the “two kingdoms” – and we know where that led. No, I don’t know where that led. Or more to the point, I don’t know that the “two kingdoms” paradigm led to National Socialism. The Protestant Reformation went to a lot of places beyond Germany, and The History Channel aside there’s a lot of German history between Luther and Hitler. Wolverine



report abuse
 

canucklehead

posted May 22, 2007 at 11:45 pm


See, it happened again; as soon as kevins puts up his name, the blogmeister intervenes



report abuse
 

neuro_nurse

posted May 23, 2007 at 12:13 am


The Reductio ad Hitlerum that I had extrapolated must have been my own idiosyncrasy since no one else seems to have picked up on it. It stemmed from Weigel s contention that the president, by virtue of his office, exercises a charism of political discernment, and my presumption that Weigel seemed to be suggesting divine appointment akin to Paul s statement in Romans 13:1, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.If that s true, then what aboutPeace!



report abuse
 

Another nonymous

posted May 23, 2007 at 12:45 am


Paul’s statement is appropriately contrasted with Peter’s in Acts 5:29: “We must obey God rather than men.” If the Hitler example proves anything, it’s that authority, however God-given, can be grossly abused. And if that’s true, then what about…



report abuse
 

neuro_nurse

posted May 23, 2007 at 12:51 am


Another nonymous Good point, thanks. To clarify, lest someone mischaracterize what I wrote, I was not comparing bush to Hitler. I was challenging the inference to his divine appointment which may not have been Weigel s intention at all, but I ve know people who act as if bush was God s anointed. If that s true, then what about Clinton? (humor I hate emoticons!) Peace!



report abuse
 

Matt Westbrook

posted May 23, 2007 at 1:05 am


Elephant in the room: The original “Protest-ants”–including many of the modern conservative traditions represented in comments on this blog, methinks–adamantly rejected Catholic tradition in favor of sola scriptura. Today’s Protestants jump at the opportunity to reclaim the Catholic tradition of just war, rejecting the appeals of mainliners to the normative implications of the words of Jesus on matters of national life. Consistency is lacking may be an understatement.



report abuse
 

neuro_nurse

posted May 23, 2007 at 2:01 am


Matt Westbrook, I think the biggest bone of contention for Protestant regarding to the doctrine of the Catholic Church is sola fida salvation by faith alone. I m reading a book called Not by Faith Alone by Robert A. Sungenis. In his review of writings on the Catholic doctrine of salvation, many Protestants and probably a lot of Catholics do not really understand what the Church really teaches about salvation. For the record, Catholics DO believe in salvation through faith in Christ but, as James said, not by faith alone (James 2:24).Nevertheless, as the token Catholic on this blog, I have to say that other than a few good-natured jibes and the occasional miscreant who wanders in, I ve not experienced any anti-Catholic hostility from the people who routinely post here. As for the just war doctrine, The idea that resorting to war can only be just under certain conditions goes back at least to Cicero. Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas and Hugo Grotius later codified a set of rules for a just war, which today still encompass the points commonly debated, with some modifications (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_war). So it s not really fair to claim the doctrine as being a strictly Catholic tradition. Peace!



report abuse
 

Another nonymous

posted May 23, 2007 at 2:51 am


“To clarify, lest someone mischaracterize what I wrote, I was not comparing bush to Hitler.” neuro_nurse – I actually would have assumed you were going to compare Hitler to Saddam. The tendency these days is to use Hitler as the universal point of reference for resisting evil, making those who oppose violent resistance into Neville Chamberlain-like appeasers. As a near-pacifist, I become weary of this very quickly. Hitler was uniquely evil, which is why Chamberlain simply couldn’t grasp the reality he was facing. Nowadays we’ve gone to the other extreme, and the Chamberlain analogy is trotted out again and again, with an assist from Reinhold Neibuhr, to prove that those who balk at going to war don’t have the stomach for a fight. OK, so I’m overstating. But not by much, I think.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 23, 2007 at 2:52 am


Neuro-Nurse, I always appreciate your bringing the catechism of the church to bear on the subject. The Just War doctrine is a useful framework for analyzing whether or not to engage in a conflict but what I don’t get is how some Catholic theologians thought that their interpretation of how the Just War should be applied in the Iraq situation should supersede the Pope’s views on it. Somebody told me that within the Catholic Church, they were able to get away with this because the Pope did not speak invoking papal infallability. But then that opens up a larger question- if the doctrine open to such a wide latitude of interpretation, then does it serve any purpose. That latter point is made by Christian pacifists. Any thoughts?



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 23, 2007 at 3:11 am


“No, I don’t know where [the Lutheran doctrine of two kingdoms] led. Or more to the point, I don’t know that the “two kingdoms” paradigm led to National Socialism. The Protestant Reformation went to a lot of places beyond Germany, and The History Channel aside there’s a lot of German history between Luther and Hitler.” –Wolverine I’m with Wolvie on this one. Maybe in part because I’m a Lutheran and my son is in a Lutheran seminary. But more importantly, the two kingdoms doctrine is mostly an explanation of the reality we live in and has no particular political implications. The doctrine may also be called the “two reigns of God” and it goes back (no surprise) to Augustine’s Civitas Deo. Under Luther, it became an answer to the question of how Christians can be good earthly citizens while at the same time owing their ultimate allegiance to the Kingdom of Christ. Under the two kingdoms concept, the world is divided into two realms: the Kingdom of God and the earthly realms. True Christians are always a minority in the societies in which they live; they are under both kingdoms, but non-Christians are under the temporal authorities. But–and here’s the thing some forget–God rules over both realms and rules through temporal authorities as well, so ultimately non-believers are also under God’s rule as well. The doctrine of the two kingdoms defines the relationship of believers and the church to temporal authority in terms of the Christian life. It does not try to define how church and state should relate to each other. Also, it does not state that Christians *belong* to the temporal kingdom, but rather is an attempt to confirm the fact that Christians are “in the world but not of the world.” (In other words, no divided loyalties or serving of two masters.) More could be said, but I hope this clarifies some of the misunderstanding. And Tony Dickenson, I’m not sure “conservative Lutherans” are any more or less nationalistic than members of other denominations. At least here in the USA, Americanism and Christianity have been co-mingled in many religious venues across denominational lines. My source for the info on the two kingdoms: Gunther Gassmann and Scott Hendrix. Fortress Introduction to the Lutheran Confessions. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1999. Peace,



report abuse
 

Mark P

posted May 23, 2007 at 3:15 am


Kevin s, It’s not an overstatement, it’s a way of life. -Hahaha oh classic. — Wolverine, there’s a lot of German history between Luther and Hitler. -I might argue that the roots of National Socialism could be traced back to the 5th-century AD, but that s maybe for another time. — neuro, I ve know people who act as if bush was God s anointed. -Indeed! My mom occasionally taking her place among them, frighteningly enough.I think the biggest bone of contention for Protestant regarding to the doctrine of the Catholic Church is sola fida salvation by faith alone. -Maybe. For me it s about the Church s authority claims. I m a prima scriptura, sola gratia Protestant, if that makes any sense. But I don t accept Tradition as entirely authoritative, and I don t accept apostolic succession. So even if I agreed on every other point, from Mary to Purgatory, I d be a Protestant.Nevertheless, as the token Catholic on this blog, I have to say that other than a few good-natured jibes and the occasional miscreant who wanders in, I ve not experienced any anti-Catholic hostility from the people who routinely post here. -Good! In case you haven t figured out, despite my Protestantism I have developed a big soft spot in my heart for orthodox Catholicism and the Roman Catholic church. -Beware of wikipedia. It s right in that the seeds of just war doctrine are in Cicero his vehemence against Marc Anthony is a beauty to behold but the concept was not formalized until Augustine. I would call it a strictly Western tradition, though. The ole Judeo-Christian Greco-Roman tradition, heh. — Matt, Consistency is lacking may be an understatement. -I find it funny that you re faulting 21st-century Protestants for not being consistent with their 16th-century forefathers. In that case, I might ask why the progressives on this blog aren t so consistent with even their 19th-century forefathers ;). -Protestants and Catholics alike tend to claim Augustine in differing degrees, anyway.



report abuse
 

Mark P

posted May 23, 2007 at 3:26 am


Another nonymous, I m going to focus on one point you made and one alone, because I think it is dangerous enough and wrong enough to merit a serious refutation.Hitler was uniquely evil. -Tell that to Solzhenitsyn and the millions who died in the Gulag. Tell that to the million+ Armenians who were massacred by the Young Turks in World War I. Tell that to the Cambodians in the late 1970 s who suffered under the most oppressive regime the world has ever known. I ll be presumptuous and quote myself: Butchery of humans is not a past event affecting a distant species; over 100 million men, women, and children died in the 20th century as a result of genocides and massacres. Slaughter spread across the face of the earth during the world s deadliest century, occurring in Germany, Poland, Indonesia, Biafra, Burundi, Armenia, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Russia, Nigeria, Sudan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Turkey, Mexico, Rwanda, Cambodia, Yugoslavia, Croatia, Vietnam, Bosnia, Serbia, and Iraq. (if you would like my source material, let me know)



report abuse
 

Another nonymous

posted May 23, 2007 at 3:57 am


Mark – No, I don’t need any more source material. I’m not as naive as you probably think. I do suggest, though, that the 20th century contained a perfect storm of factors making possible the lamentably violent history that you correctly cite. I’m just afraid that by drawing the seemingly obvious conclusion – that the world is so beset by evil that the only way to respond is to do evil in return – should give pause to anybody who has read the New Testament carefully. I don’t believe that continuing this cycle of violence will do anything but perpetuate it, and the only hope I see is to be able to back off, resist the temptation to strike out, and accept the Grace of God as the source of everything that is worth valuing. Which leads me back to another point of contention in this thread. First, I owe an apology to neuro_nurse; I never would have expected her to compare Hitler to Saddam, but I thought she was implying that others would do so. The larger point, though, is that neuro_nurse is mistaken in the suggestion that Protestants believe salvation comes only through faith. Even more central is the belief that salvation comes through grace. The Greek word is charis, which is obviously the root of charism, charisma, charity, and many other words that we invest with near-mystical significance. Behind them all, though, is the belief that we, acting on our rational, logical instincts, can save neither ourselves nor the world. Only God can do so, and He does so, in large part, by breaking the cycle of violence and retribution. No form of human logic would lead to this conclusion, but I simply cannot accept any theology in which it is not front and center. Thus, let me retract my statement that Hitler was uniquely evil and replace it with the assertion that the 20th century was uniquely evil, and that if, with God’s grace, we cannot do better in the 21st, then our desperate for that grace is only all the more apparent.



report abuse
 

neuro_nurse

posted May 23, 2007 at 4:43 am


Another nonymous, Saddam didn t even cross my mind. I guess I ve always considered him to be nothing more than an excuse. Sarasotakid, Thanks. I read somewhere actually, I think it was God s Politics that about 40% of Catholics are Democrats and 40% Republicans, the other 20% are swing voters. I know there are conservative Catholics out there I ve perused some of their websites I just don t think I know any. I remember being surprised to hear that there are Catholic Republicans.What I m getting to is that I presume that Catholics who oppose the Church s and the pope s position on Iraq and just war are in the minority and, IMO, their interpretation of the just war doctrine has little to do with their Catholicism. Both the Vatican and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops were very clear about their opposition to the war. As for papal infallibility, it s my understanding that it is rarely invoked anymore and, from my experience, very misunderstood outside of the Church Don, interesting post. Thanks. Mark P., I m a prima scriptura, sola gratia Protestant, if that makes any sense.It does. I ll say one thing for the authority of the Church; there are a lot of doctrinal disagreements between Protestant denominations, and even between individual churches. I find that a bit confusing. I can always pull the Catechism off the shelf and find out what Catholics are supposed to believe. It s been a very long time since I ve said a Hail Mary, and I never did get that bit about praying to saints (Living New Orleans, I am completely in favor of praying *for* the Saints Who Dat?!) I can certainly understand challenges to the authority of tradition and apostolic succession. I know a lot of people are resentful of things in the Church s history. I was once a recovering Catholic who was angry with the Church but also spiritually hungry. My reasons for returning to the Church are very personal; the Eucharist (I know, transubstantiation is tough to swallow too no pun intended) and the writings of Teilhard de Chardin being among the most important. Now, as far as the authority of wikipedia it s an easy place to find a quick answer, but I don t consider it to be completely trustworthy. Peace!



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 23, 2007 at 5:08 am


“See, it happened again; as soon as kevins puts up his name, the blogmeister intervenes” I am positively incendiary!



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 23, 2007 at 5:14 am


” It stemmed from Weigel s contention that the president, by virtue of his office, exercises a charism of political discernment, and my presumption that Weigel seemed to be suggesting divine appointment akin to Paul s statement in Romans 13:1, ” Yeah, I don’t like this point at all. I think there is a fair claim that Christians ought to give our leadership the benefit of the doubt (and that Christians ought to have applied the same standard to Clinton). Further, I interpret this verse to mean that we MAY support government in their war endeavors. However, it does not indicate that we must. Hence just war theory and all that. However, I don’t think this interpretation is necessary in order to support the Iraq War.



report abuse
 

canucklehead

posted May 23, 2007 at 7:00 am


“But I don t accept Tradition as entirely authoritative…” Mark P And that, Mark, is a great tradition to adhere to!



report abuse
 

Mark P

posted May 23, 2007 at 10:10 am


Another, “Thus, let me retract my statement that Hitler was uniquely evil and replace it with the assertion that the 20th century was uniquely evil, and that if, with God’s grace, we cannot do better in the 21st, then our desperate for that grace is only all the more apparent.” -We agree, but I’ll make some clarifications. It was uniquely evil, I agree. I wouldn’t say it was *more* evil in some quantitative sense, but evil was more unchecked, more freely reigning than ever before… -And I agree that this makes God grace so necessary and good. -Though I finger some of the reasons for the loosening of horror on the world (and, thus, some of the solutions) in a FAR different manner than I suspect you will… — canuckle, “And that, Mark, is a great tradition to adhere to!” -Ha, yes I agree. Interestingly enough, I had a great conversation tonight with some friends, one of whom is very conservative and two of whom are very much progressives in the line — at least as far as peacemaking goes — of Shane Claiborne. Anyway, the issue of Tradition’s place came up. Good conversation with good friends.



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 23, 2007 at 2:24 pm


More on the “two kingdoms” doctrine. Some have said that the Lutheran confessions overemphasize the relationship between Christians and the secular state to the detriment of their allegiance to the Gospel and to Christ’s kingdom. This may be a source of beliefs that the two kingdoms doctrine helped lead to National Socialism. And it’s true that some readings of the Lutheran confessional writings could be construed as an uncritical acceptance of secular governments and their laws. However, the confessional writings, and Luther’s teachings on this subject, need to be interpreted in their context, in this case the situation in late medieval Europe. Europeans at this time thought their entire society was Christian (i.e., the term Christendom). Civil and ecclesiastical powers were mixed up in each others’ affairs: bishops ruled over territories like princes, and they owned land. Kings and princes, on the other hand, supported churches out of the state treasury and often appointed bishops. On the other side of the coin, the so-called radical reformers (i.e., Anabaptists) advocated a complete separation of church and state and were seen as subversives by both Catholic and evangelical authorities and by state authorities as well. And some of the most radical–Thomas Műntzer comes to mind, as well as the group of Anabaptists that took over the city of Műnster in northern Germany–thought it was a Christian duty to overthrow worldly governments and create the kingdom of God on earth by their own efforts. Luther’s teaching on the two reigns of God was an attempt to steer a middle ground between these two extremes. Peace,



report abuse
 

Wayne

posted May 23, 2007 at 4:34 pm


The problem with Godwin’s law is that it doesn’t state why this reference to Hitler invariably occurs. Is it because people will invoke his name to win the argument, or that people will invoke his tactics of unreasonable fear and racially motivated anger in order to win the argument. Ironically when the later occurs, and someone calls them on it, they will often defend themselves by accusing you of “reducing them to Hitler”. The reality is they have reduced themselves to hitler. Hitler was not “uniquely evil” nor was the 20th century. Evil is a constant and only varies in degrees of effect. Whenever fear is used as a reason for our actions we should all think of Hitler, or McCarthy or any number of other such evil men. Luther said a lot of things, one of them was that when the magistrate was in the wrong he, (Luther) “took it upon himself to clean his fur”. It is difficult to prove a leader is correct. That is why we should all be sceptics and demand much more in the way of proofs than we as a nation seemed to in this current situation. I wonder if we will just blame Bush and not ourselves.



report abuse
 

Another nonymous

posted May 23, 2007 at 5:00 pm


Mark – “-We agree, but I’ll make some clarifications. It was uniquely evil, I agree. I wouldn’t say it was *more* evil in some quantitative sense, but evil was more unchecked, more freely reigning than ever before…” Well said. “-And I agree that this makes God grace so necessary and good. -Though I finger some of the reasons for the loosening of horror on the world (and, thus, some of the solutions) in a FAR different manner than I suspect you will…” Most likely, though as I said in the little-read “Mom’s questions” thread below, the fact that Christians disagree on so much in this imperfect world is not a bad thing. I express the voice of pacifism because I think it needs to be heard, not because I’m unwilling to listen to other views.



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 23, 2007 at 5:05 pm


Wayne: Yes, we’re all partly to blame. But I think dissenting voices that were opposing the Iraq invasion before it happened were more or less effectively silenced by several factors related to the historical uniqueness of the situation. The rise in nationalism after the 9/11 attacks made it difficult for dissenting voices to be heard above the din of those who considered these voices to be disloyal or worse. Are we all partly to blame? Yes, and perhaps in part because we failed to hear those voices that spoke a message many of us didn’t want to hear. Peace,



report abuse
 

Mark P

posted May 23, 2007 at 7:46 pm


Wayne, Hitler was not “uniquely evil” nor was the 20th century. -I think I agree with you and Another, and I don t think it s a contradiction. -We live in an evil world. Evil did not increase quantitatively. But the 20th century was absolutely unique. There were more martyrs in that century than the 19 previous ones COMBINED. More wars, more famine, more death. It was by far the deadliest century the world has ever seen. Genocide ran unchecked. It was unique. -But, then, the 19th century was uniquely evil and the 21st century will be too. -I agree with you because evil is a poor subcreator, entirely devoid of originality and creativity. Nonetheless, every century looks different, and the forms evil takes and the way the Church responds will always be different, always unique in a sense. — Another, the fact that Christians disagree on so much in this imperfect world is not a bad thing. I express the voice of pacifism because I think it needs to be heard, not because I’m unwilling to listen to other views. -More agreement. I had a great conversation last night about the Christian response to war and violence with a dear friend and a new friend who both tend to agree with Claiborne. It was rewarding for me, and I hope for them. I ironed out more of my own understanding. It was good, and I am glad to have that differing voice, glad that conservative Christians cannot live on assumption and presumption anymore, but must reexamine their beliefs and see what Scripture really says. — Don, Your posts are always worth the read. I appreciate that when you speak, I know you ll be adding something to the conversation.



report abuse
 

God's Politics Moderator

posted May 23, 2007 at 8:25 pm


“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) This message thread has been visited by a God’s Politics Blog moderator for the purpose of removing inappropriate posts. Click here for a detailed explanation of the Beliefnet Rules of Conduct: http://www.beliefnet.com/about/rules.asp



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 23, 2007 at 11:21 pm


“Ironically when the later occurs, and someone calls them on it, they will often defend themselves by accusing you of “reducing them to Hitler”. The reality is they have reduced themselves to hitler.” Well, if one behaves in the manner of Hitler, our espouses his ideology, then the reduction is apt. However, some people are inclined to employ an exceedingly generous (and ultimately self-servcing) definition of what it mean to employ irrational fear in engaging a particular debate. “The rise in nationalism after the 9/11 attacks made it difficult for dissenting voices to be heard above the din of those who considered these voices to be disloyal or worse.” I was originally vaguely opposed to Iraq invasion, and I didn’t experience what you describe. When I did come to support the invasion, the primary arguments I heard from those who did oppose it were along lines of “we needed more time” or “why not Iran?”I’ll concede that pacifism was probably unpopular at the time, but if you are going to tout pacifism after Islamic lunatics blow up our buildings, you should anticipate opposition and be ready to defend your position firmly.That said, it wasn’t like people were getting beaten to death for being pacifists. Being vehemently disagreed with, or even shouted at is not the worst thing in the world.People who support Bush now are frequently compared to Nazi sympathizers. How is this climate any less hostile to conservatives than the climate after 9/11 to pacifistic sensibilites? Incidentally, if you are a pacifist, can you be a patriot? I would argue that some pacifists are happy to be unpatriotic. Perhaps I’m wrong.



report abuse
 

neuro_nurse

posted May 23, 2007 at 11:44 pm


kevin s. First, you seem to equate opposition to the invasion of and war with Iraq to pacifism. Second, how is opposition to the war, or pacifism for that matter, incongruent with patriotism? Those are overgeneralizations, not logical conclusions. I opposed the invasion of Iraq, but do not consider myself to be a pacifist (one who adheres to the just war doctrine is, by definition, not a pacifist). I also consider myself to be more of a patriot than one who is not willing to criticize his government (by saying this I am not implying that you lack the ability or willingness to criticize the government). Peace!



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 24, 2007 at 12:38 am


Agree with neuro_nurse. One did not have to be a pacifist to oppose the Iraq invasion. I’m certainly not. It all goes back to the Just War doctrine. And many people who spoke out in opposition to the proposed Iraq invasion in late 2002 and early 2003 were effectively silenced. How can we forget the poets who were invited to a White House poetry event scheduled, if I recall correctly, for early 2003, but who were then promptly disinvited as soon as it was learned that they opposed the invasion? (They eventually collaborated and published a book of poetry titled, “Poets Against the War.”) Or actor Tim Robbins (Shawshank Redemption), whose invitation to speak at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in April 2003 was withdrawn because of his (and his wife Susan Sarandon’s) outspoken opposition to the war? Or the verbal abuse heaped on the Dixie Chicks after their London concert? And one definition of a true patriot is one who is willing to speak out when he or she thinks the nation is going in the wrong direction, even when it becomes difficult to do so. Oh, BTW, true pacifists (e.g., Mennonites) are not unpatriotic, they just appear to be so to some who only look at the surface of things. But they do believe their loyalty is to a greater authority than any earthly government, so they don’t go in for public display of “patriotism” (such as displaying the US flag or singing the national anthem before one of their school’s sports events). Peace,



report abuse
 

Mark P

posted May 24, 2007 at 12:59 am


What is patriotism and is it something to strive for? I’m not saying it’s not, but I get very confused about this word.



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 24, 2007 at 1:08 am


Don, I can’t speak for all my conservative brethren on this, but I doubt I’m alone in this either. The one thing that bothered me the most about the opposition to the war, both then and now, was the rhetoric that focused entirely on Bush, his close advisors, and the mysterious cabal of “neocons”, as if these were the only threats to peace out there. More to the point, these same people tended to give the United Nations a pass, as if a thoroughly compromised Security Council was not itself an obstacle to peace. Jim Wallis himself acknowledged that Hussein had to go, although he opposed the actual invasion. Aside from the invasion there was really only one other plausible way to bring Hussein down, and that was with a tough sanctions regime directed by the UN. The problem with that was Hussein had bought off a lot of French officials via the thoroughly corrupted Oil for Food Program and other channels. And France had a UN Security Council veto, therefore… Yet all the old-testament wrath was directed at Bush and the neocons. Apparently the God of Justice is okay with taking bribes, as long as its for peace. It’s entirely possible that Sojourners will be proved right about the wisdom of the Iraq War. I’ve personally moved from supporter to undecided. But even if things work out that way, I don’t know if history will be all that kind to Wallis and company. They might have been right about Iraq, but there’s a whole other issue that they missed completely. Whether they meant to or not, by focusing all their anger on Bush and “neocons” and ignoring the issue of UN corruption Sojourners made real lasting peace less likely. Wolverine



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 24, 2007 at 3:58 am


Wolverine, I have no reason to doubt the allegations that you make about the French being bought out by Hussein in the oil for food deal. What bothers us on our end, is that we see people who are conservatives pointing their fingers at the wrong doing of all the other nations in this whole affair whereas they appear to give Bush a pass on the war by saying that he was duped by bad intelligence. I don’t think anyone should be given a pass. Not the president, not his close advisers and not the Democrats who voted to authorize the war. In the lead up to the war, I remember seeing Senator Byrd’s speeches being emailed around stating that the Congress (Democrats inluced to be fair) were blindly following the drum march to war. So from my point of view, it seems dubious to give any of these players in the lead up to the war a pass. It seemed very hypocritical to me for our country to decry Saddam’s use of chemical weapons on his own people when we were cozying up to him back in the 80s because he was fighting the Iranians. This whole war thing was a dirty disgusting business and there are few clean hands.



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 24, 2007 at 4:00 am


Wolverine: I’ll just mention one thing that I think you miss, and one more thing I’m not sure about. Yes, much of the ‘popular’ opposition to the war was indeed based on Bush’s personality and the people who were advising him. However, you seem to think that all the opposition was based on anger toward Bush and the neocons. Not so. Have you forgotten that almost all the leaders of the major Christian denominations, with only one significant exception (the Southern Baptist Convention) expressed formal opposition to the war? How was their opposition based on personality? You might want to go back and read their position statements. I think you will find, rather, that it was based on the leaders’ understanding of Just War doctrine and on how the proposed invasion falls far short of being a just war on all the major points of the doctrine: it wasn’t a defensive war, because the USA wasn’t immediately threatened by Iraq; it wasn’t a last resort, not by a long shot, because not all diplomatic efforts had been exhausted (don’t forget, the UN weapons inspection team was still in Iraq and had to leave in haste with their work unfinished before the invasion began; and Bush originally said he would wait for their work to be completed before taking action); the damage inflicted by the war effort wasn’t proportional to the threat, because there wasn’t really a threat to begin with; and the potential damage resulting from the invasion was far greater than the alleged benefits of going forth with it. Even the Southern Baptists’ justification for the war reads as an attempt to fit it into just war doctrine (not very successfully, in my view). The invasion just didn’t measure up to the criteria for a just war in most denominational leaders’ views, and in mine as well. (You should keep in mind that I did vote for Bush in 2000, so my own opposition was not based on personality either.) The thing I’m not sure about is how corrupt the UN really was or is. I’m frankly skeptical, because this point seems to read to me more like a conservative talking point than a demonstrated reality. It always seems that this notion of a corrupt UN is pointed out as a given that everyone already agrees on. To me, therefore, it’s begging the question. It is well known that conservatives have long distrusted the UN; I can remember back during the Reagan years there was talk about reducing or eliminating US payment of its UN dues. I would like to see hard evidence that there really is and was corruption, and that if so, this corruption was really insurmountable in the case of the Iraq sanction situation. Nobody, to my understanding, has ever demonstrated this with facts and evidence; it’s merely been repeated as if it were assumed to be fact. How was the Security Council compromised? Give evidence to demonstrate that it was. How was the Oil for Food program corrupted? Show us the evidence. Peace,



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 24, 2007 at 5:29 am


“First, you seem to equate opposition to the invasion of and war with Iraq to pacifism.” I would think you are familiar enough with my viewpoint to know that I do not. At any rate, I did not intend to suggest this. “Second, how is opposition to the war, or pacifism for that matter, incongruent with patriotism?” Patriotism is defined as devotion to one’s country. Regardless of your feelings w/r/t this particular military effort, can a pacifist devote himself or herself to this country? This country sees military as an available option. Can a pacifist abide by that?



report abuse
 

canucklehead

posted May 24, 2007 at 5:35 am


“The thing I’m not sure about is how corrupt the UN really was or is. I’m frankly skeptical, because this point seems to read to me more like a conservative talking point than a demonstrated reality. It always seems that this notion of a corrupt UN is pointed out as a given that everyone already agrees on.” Don Good words, Don. I think the UN is a relatively easy “bogeyman” to pick on b/c it represents a group that is somewhat unknown to most of us in that we’re not even really sure how it works. Over the past couple of years I’ve had an opportunity to do some work involving the (now former) UN Special Envoy for the AIDS Crisis in Africa. (Canadian) Stephen Lewis was impeccably knowledgeable, devoted and passionate about a crisis that is almost stupefying in magnitude, as was every member of his team. When the G-8 met here in 2002, he was the keynote speaker for a simultaneous conference entitled “The G-6 Billion” and the data he presented on what the G-8 countries had promised to do re the AIDS crisis in Africa and what they had done to date (= were not doing) was simply stunning.If his people are representative of the quality of people at the UN in general, I’m very impressed.



report abuse
 

John Grimes

posted May 24, 2007 at 2:56 pm


In political matters, Weigel frequently lacks prudence, but never self assurance. Recently I heard him proclaim that if Segolene Royal won the French election it would be the end of France as we know it, and despite the gratuitousness of his opinion, he said it with all the conviction he evinces when talking about Catholic doctrine. I think it quite safe to label him a neocon, and just as safe to dismiss his political nonsense out of hand. Orthodoxy is clearly no barrier to foolishness in the political realm or to double speak when trying to explain away one’s rank partisanship concerning the American aggression against the Iraqi people.



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 24, 2007 at 4:33 pm


I would think that it is entirely possible for a pacifist to be a patriot. But for that to happen, the pacifist would need to be honest enough to acknowledge when other countries made threats to peace, and to demand that institutions that are supposed to be dedicated to peace be free from corruption and act in an even-handed manner. Wolverine



report abuse
 

Wayne

posted May 24, 2007 at 5:26 pm


Many pacifists are patriotic and willing to put their lives on the line for their country. They do it by becoming Medics. The history of their bravery, patriotism, and care for their fellow man is one of the most compelling, yet untold, stories of our nation.



report abuse
 

Seamus

posted May 24, 2007 at 5:58 pm


Interesting to me is Weigel’s apparent neo-theology of a “charism of leadership”. It seems to run contrary to the Catechism which states that: “Political authority must be exercised within the limits of the moral order and must guarantee the conditions for the exercise of freedom”(1923), which paragraph is not contradicted by #1900 which states: “The duty of obedience requires all to give due honor to authority and to treat those who are charged to exercise it with respect, and, insofar as it is deserved, with gratitude and good-will.” Weigel would be on even weaker ground when one considers 2242: “The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community. “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” “We must obey God rather than men” In practical terms, let’s extract the theological principle at work in Weigel’s argument and extend it. If George Bush has such a charism, presumably, so too did Bill Clinton, Lyndon Johnson, Herbert Hoover, William McKinley, Andrew Johnson, John Quincy Adams, etc. Thus, there is no need to judge any deliberative decision–war or other–since their “charism of leadership” dissolves our necessity to think critically about any public policy or presidential decision. Likewise, presumably, the justices of the Supreme Court have both “privileged information” — at least have privileged training and expertise and experience — along with the same “charism.” This, too, would have to be true of the present court (many members of which Weigel may applaud), as well as of previous courts that gave us Roe v. Wade, Plessy v. Ferguson, & Scott v. Sanford. Moreover, what good is a moral theology or social doctrine (or a catechism for that matter) if the bishops and pope have no business interpreting that for those in their flock, and pronouncing definitive interpretations when there is disputed meaning? What good is a doctrine of just war if it is left to a single individual (non-Catholic) in a secular office, to be the interpreter-in-chief? If this is the case, then neither did the bishops have any place to criticize Clinton for including abortion funding in foreign aid, or for promoting “family planning” as a pillar of U.S. foreign policy. The president’s “charism” should have disqualified the bishops from speaking. More to the point, Weigel’s reasoning disenfranchises all responsible Catholic citizenship, for with or without the bishops every Catholic has the moral responsibility of applying a true understanding of church teaching to matters of public life. Instead, Weigel has reduced Catholic social teaching to “render unto Caesar” and then stop thinking.



report abuse
 

HASH(0x1295ad68)

posted May 24, 2007 at 11:34 pm


kevin s. Thank you for clarifying the first point. “Patriotism is defined as devotion to one’s country. Regardless of your feelings w/r/t this particular military effort, can a pacifist devote himself or herself to this country? This country sees military as an available option. Can a pacifist abide by that?” Perhaps a pacifist sincerely believes his pacifism is in the best interest of the country to which he is devoted – his “charism” may lie elsewhere. Peace!



report abuse
 

neuro_nurse

posted May 25, 2007 at 3:15 am


Anonymous | 05.24.07 – 5:39 pm = neuro_nurse



report abuse
 

MaryAnn

posted November 3, 2008 at 2:50 pm


This is in regards to Phylis Tickle’s article about christianity changing…Man may change or change the direction of christianity but in the scriptures GOD says ” I change not”, and that JESUS is the same yesterday, today, and forever…Since GOD changes not, how can man justify trying to change ‘ Christianity’,? GOD remains the same and HIS plan of SALVATION is still the same, ( it is for all mankind to receive this wonderful gift from GOD), and man still has the freedom of choice to either receive or reject WHAT CHRIST DID ON THE CROSS OF CALVARY, for us all………..Man still thinks he knows a better way than GOD, but in the end we shall all stand before HIM and give an account of ourselves to HIM….Emerging Church, Contemplative Prayer, or whatever else the vain imaginings of the human mind tries to manifest, OUR GOD STILL REMAINS THE SAME AND HIS WORD REMAINS STEADFAST AND WILL NOT COME BACK TO HIM VOID, IT WILL FULFILL HIS PURPOSE!!!!! All the Tony Campolos and the Phylis Tickles cannot and will not change our GOD AND HIS MESSAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting God's Politics. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 11:14:07am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Why I Work for Immigration Reform (by Patty Kupfer)
When I tell people that I work on immigration reform, they usually laugh or say, "way to pick an easy topic." Everyday it feels like there is more fear, more hate. Raids are picking up in Nevada, California, and New York. A number of senators who supported comprehensive reform only a few months ago

posted 12:30:52pm Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Audio: Jim Wallis on "Value Voters" on The Tavis Smiley Show
Last week Jim was on The Tavis Smiley Show and talked about how the changing political landscape will affect the upcoming '08 election. Jim and Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state, debated and discussed both the impact of "value voters" on the election and what those values entail. + Down

posted 10:11:56am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Verse of the Day: 'peace to the far and the near'
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort, creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them. But the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss u

posted 9:35:01am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Daily News Digest (by Duane Shank)
the latest news on Mideast, Iran, Romney-Religious right, Blog action day, Turkey, SCHIP, Iran, Aids-Africa, India, Budget, Brownback-slavery apology, Canada, and selected op-eds. Sign up to receive our daily news summary via e-mail » Blog action day. Thousands of bloggers unite in blitz of green

posted 9:31:25am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.