Monday, 14 December 2009
Armed Forces bishop apologises for Germany comments
The Rt Rev Stephen Venner, the new bishop to the Armed Forces, has apologised for claiming that the SS could be admired for "their faith in the fuehrer and their loyalty".
The remark, he said on BBCs PM programme, was taken out of context. What he meant was the SOME of the SS were admirable, not those who were torturing people or executing them or driving them into concentration camps, but faith was anyway a jolly good thing, and pretty admirable, and we would have to sit down with these people and talk about it some time. And it was indeed a just war, because all these people had lived in conditions of, er, war, so we were right in waging war so they might, er, stop. And some of them would stop, so our boys had better not shoot those but the others.
This is, of course, a parody and not fair. I mean I fully understand the analogy is not perfect and it's bad sport to reach for the Hitler card, though the words are not far off what the gentleman was saying on radio a few minutes ago. But you can see Bishop Venner thinking, 'Well, at least they have faith, and faith is where I came in, so there must be something good about it. And of course they're very loyal, and loyalty is a good thing. And it is Christmas.'
I just think he is wrong about the faith. And if that is the argument for a just war, there are likely to be better ones around.