Monday, 19 March 2007

Kim Fabricius, nuclear madness, and the BBC

In the UK, as you’ll know, the House of Commons has approved the government’s plan (in defiance of international law) to replace Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system.

Our own theological pacifist, Kim Fabricius, was on BBC radio this morning, debating the ethics of nuclear deterrence with an Anglican priest (who offers the frightening argument that weapons of mass destruction might help to usher in God’s kingdom).

It’s an appropriately heated and vigorous discussion – you can catch it online here (starting about 7 minutes into the programme).

14 Comments:

michael jensen said...

I hate it when I agree with Kim F! But you have to, don't you...the other guy's arguments were sickening. Has the Anglican church given up on ethics so completely?

Anonymous said...

Wow, I gotta admit, that's the first time I've heard someone use Jesus and Bonhoeffer to support nuclear armament! If the conversation had gone any longer, he would have been quoting Gandhi.

Patrick McManus said...

Thanks for this Ben.

I would have thought this fellow Matthew would have at least tried to position himself in relation to the 'just' war tradition but he's so far from any Christian justification for nuclear armament, it really is madness (but from a "prayerful Christian point of view")!

kim fabricius said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I rather felt sorry for the guy. I arrived in the studio ready for some real competition, and then he argues that, sure, nuclear weapons are evil, but God can bring good out of evil, so let sin abound ....

I never listen to myself. And I always worry about the editing of these pre-recorded programmes, that you might get seriously misrepresented. And as I have just emailed Ben, when I left the studio on Friday I wondered whether I had been too concerned with apologetics and had not really witnessed to the ascended Christ who rules the world with truth and grace. I just hope I didn't let the side down. (I had an anonymous phone message which was thankful - which is better than the hate mail I have sometimes received after some public debate!).

Cheers,
Kim

michael jensen said...

No, be assured KF, you sounded just right. The righteous anger was entirely appropriate I think! (When I last talked to Oliver O about Trident he said 'who are the missiles actually pointed at anyway?' and said that having them was just for the purposes of being 'at the table' internationally really, just a last vestige of imperialism. That is to say: he is a formidible just warrior who would agree with you on this one.)

kim fabricius said...

Thanks Michael,

I'm with Yoder in thinking that pacifists and just warriors are themselves not playing a zero-sum game, and it is in the interests of all of us to ensure the integrity of just war theory - and its practice (more honoured in the breach than the observance). And to answer O'Donovan's question, apparently the Tridents are pointing nowehere.

My own view is that Blair is pro-Trident due to memories of the unilateralist electoral fiasco in the eighties. I also think he wanted the decision out of the way so as not to burden Gordon Brown with it when he takes over as PM. And, of course - "Yo, Blair!" - there is the de rigueur macho image of someone who wants to be seen to be punching well above his weight.

But the sight of the Tories and Tony's supporters voting together to head off the Labour back-bench revolt - one thinks of Chesterton's remark to the effect that when the two major parties agree on something you can be absolutely sure they've got it wrong.

Of course Americans cannot be smug. Look at the Democrats after 9/11: domesticallly and internationally Bush cried, "Jump!" and, with some notable exceptions, the Democrats too shouted, "How high?"

michael jensen said...

...Jesus wept...

John P. said...

bonhoeffer is, once again, doing somersaults in his grave...

michael jensen said...

He has a grave? Where is it, that I can go and worship?

Oops. Gave away too much there...

Exiled Preacher said...

The other chap wasn't a worthy opponent for KF. Couldn't BBC Wales have come up with someone who knew what they were talking about?

a. steward said...

I don't understand how people can find it credible anymore to say something like, "well, for sure, on the one hand we have the Gospel that we don't want to compromise, but then on the other hand, we do live in the world, and have realistic responsibilities to be aware of," as if Jesus had come to Mars or something, and not to a space and time as politically oppressive as any other. Halden's post on H. Richard Niebuhr's gnosticism really nails this sort of problem.

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

I'm used to Southern Baptists and members of the NAE making idiot arguments in favor of things like nukes, but seldom Anglicans. Weird. Kim, however, was brilliant.

Macrina said...

Well done Kim - anger quite appropriate. Perhaps its a bit of a consolation to hear such a less-than-enlightened argument from an Anglican: too much reading of Rowan Williams can make me look rather too longingly across the Tiber!

Michael, please let me know when you build a shrine! As you know we Catholics call it veneration which sort of lets one off the idolatry charge! (Of course I suspect that we're not supposed to venerate Protestants, but I fully intend including Bonhoeffer in the litany of saints at my profession liturgy).

Macrina said...

PS: Does this effectively establish Kim's existence? Or is anyone suggesting that Ben was bilocating with a faintly American accent??

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