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Which Way the Trolley: America’s Hot Wars During the Cold War, Part 2

[11] For a positive take on the Berrigans, see James Carroll’s, “Daniel Berrigan, My Dangerous Friend” New Yorker, May 2, 2016

[12] Luke Hansen, S.J., “The peacemaking legacy of Daniel Berrigan, S.J.” America, posted April 30, 2016.

[13] Older scholarship believed Gnosticism arose sometime after the Second Century A.D. But the pioneer work of Walter Schmithals, showed that Gnosticism was alive and well as the prime opposition movement to Paul’s understanding of Christianity. See his Gnosticism in Corinth: An Investigation of the Letters to the Corinthians, translated by John E. Steely (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1971), first published in German in 1956. Subsequent research has overwhelmingly validated his findings. For a definitive affirmation of the Schmithals’ work, see Kurt Rudolph, Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism (New York: Harper & Roe, 1983).

[14] Sadly, this was not unknown even in our “good war,” WWII. In the retaking of the Aleutian island of Kiska, the Japanese had secretly evacuated the island before the Americans invaded, several infantry officers died of gunshots in the back.

[15] Plato, Crito. My very humble contribution to the Vietnam war is pictured in a blog page at:

[16] I was unaware of how much the churches prayed for the safety of our troops and the Allied success, for it is not mentioned in the histories of that war. I did not learn of it until I worked with an older person who remembered the War who told me that, in Georgia at least, the town streets were empty on Wednesday night as everyone was in Church praying for the troops. There are hints of that prayer campaign scattered about, for instance in Glenn Clark’s war time book, The Third Front: Through the Path of Faith, Hope and Love (St. Paul: Macalester Park, 1944).

[17] Happily, the churches seemed to have learned a lesson, and in the post-Vietnam era, American troops have been supported with sustained prayer. I recall that when Desert Storm broke out in 1990 there was opposition to the war itself, but none of the jeering and cynical insulting to the troops who went over, as happened to many Vietnam veterans.

[18] Ben Kiernan, The Pol Pot Regime: Race, Power and Genocide in Cambodia Under the Khmer Rouge, 1975–79. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997).

[19] This scenario was suggested to me by a college buddy who I talked with at our 50th anniversary reunion. He had served as an Army advisor in the Mekong Delta, and recounted that the Vietnamese Army units in his area were very good, and fought off the North Vietnamese for a full three weeks after the fall of Saigon.

[20] “Labor and Human Rights Coalition Call for Suspension of Trade Discussion with Vietnam,” Teamsters, press release.” Posted July 24, 2013.

[21] The morality of drone strikes has been an issue for the Left during the current anti-Terror War. For them, these pilotless craft are a particularly immoral. But on thinking about it rationally the opposite is true. If one is to fight an insurgency which by its own tactics blends into the innocent population, then a drone strike with a Hellfire missile does a lot less collateral damage than a 1,000 lbs. bomb. Certainly some collateral damage will always be done, but it is a long way from carpet bombing by British or American bombers. The real issue is that of moralistic pacifism. That is, to certain persons, war with any means is always immoral, and language can be crafted to give a dramatic presentation of its immorality, as in, “The pistol bullet produced a terrible wound which tore apart his liver and spleen…”

[22] David Brooks, “Obama, Gospel and Verse.” NYT Posted April 26, 2007.

[23] Philip Jenkins, Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 Years (New York: Harper Collins, 2010). Details the forgotten story of how Oriental Christians (Copts) and Orthodox Christians were killing and torturing each other from the Fourth Century because of a philosophical disagreement on how to understand the divinity of Christ.

[24] Barbara Starr, “Military proposes medal for troops using restraint” CNN. Posted May 12, 2010.

[25] One of my friends, and my source for what goes on in Right-wing talk radio, came to work some time ago and told me that “Obama is now giving medals to soldiers for not shooting!” He was furious and he was mistaken. I wrote a play about the very issue in the context of the Vietnam War, entitled Annita Gunn (1973), but only produced twice by an amateur volunteer group. The plot was based on Sophocles’ Antigone.

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Category: Church History, Winter 2017

About the Author: William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major works include Quenching the Spirit: Discover the Real Spirit Behind the Charismatic Controversy (Creation House, 1992, 1996), Forgotten Power: The Significance of the Lord’s Supper in Revival (Zondervan, 2002), Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal (Wipf & Stock, 2015), and The Public Prayer Station: Taking Healing Prayer to the Streets and Evangelizing the Nones (Emeth Press, 2018). Bill pastored two Hispanic Anglican congregations in the Marietta, Georgia area, and is semi-retired. He continues in his healing, teaching and writing ministry and is the state chaplain of the Order of St. Luke, encouraging the ministry of healing in all Christian denominations. Facebook

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