War and Dissent: A Prophetic Tradition

Publication Date: April 2002

Publisher: National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (U.S.)

Author(s): David Kraemer

Research Area: Culture and religion

Keywords: Government; Political Behavior; Values

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


The author responds to those who question the patriotism of criticizing political and military leaders in a time of war. He argues that, along with the Greek tradition of democracy, the United States has inherited a Biblical tradition of prophecy, of protest and complaint, for justice and mercy, even in the midst of war. Suppressing that voice means suppressing the ethical soul of the nation, and we should praise those who question the rightness of our policies, whether in war or peace.