But not for the reasons you think.
I’ve realized, now, what my mistake was. In retrospect, it should have been obvious.
There is nothing intrinsically immoral with waging war against the enemy.
There is nothing wrong with the execution of those who have earned this as a just punishment as long as you are a legitimate authority.
To that extent, I fully agree with Chad, Deuce, and the many people they quote. The Old Testament wars could be fully explained as just given the proper context, the context of God giving authority to His people to give just punishment to sinners.
The problem here is the killing of the infants. The infants are innocent. They committed no sins. And we have no mention in the Old Testament of God ordering the killing of infants. Moses? Yes. Joshua? Yes. Both men claiming to speak for God? Yes.
God? No. It’s not there. You won’t find it.
Now, the debate in my combox then turned to whether or not it is just in theory to kill infants on God’s orders. But this doesn’t solve the issue, since we know that the killing of infants is immoral; we would need to be MORE sure that the voice telling us to kill infants is actually God, and not a human lying or a demon in disguise, than we are sure that we should not kill infants. I submit that this is a call that should not be made. If God orders us to do something we know for a fact is definitely immoral, then we have a problem, and the answer is not to do the immoral thing, because if we’re wrong we just listened to a liar or a demon telling us to kill a baby. And we can ALWAYS, always be wrong.
All of the quotes about just war theory as supported by Aquinas and Augustine have nothing to do with this, since the slaughter of innocents is not covered by just war theory. They have no relevance.
I note when going through the comments on my own blog and on Free Northerner’s blog the killing of babies is not addressed in the quotes Chad gave from either Aquinas or Augustine. War with the Canaanites, yes. Baby-killing? Not mentioned. As I look through all of the posts, both from Deuce and Chad, the killing of babies is not addressed by Aquinas or Augstine in any of the quotes given.
And if God can give us the right to take life away from infants that does not solve the problem, because we would have to be convinced that the voice giving us the commandment to do something that is despicably evil in any other circumstance is God, and not a liar or a devil.
I was wrong about the genocides. But I don’t think I’m wrong about the baby-killing.