Law Studies: War and Religion

Part 1

In my opinion, I would support the just war theory as a just way of analyzing the causes of war and supported by the non Catholics in the question. Just war theory is an approach used to differentiate between justifiable and non justifiable reasons for using organized armies to go to war. These theories give reasons that attempt to address the relevance of controlling arms, making them more humanly, and using them for a good purpose that is aimed at bringing lasting solutions, peace and justice. Contrary to some critics of war, the concept of fighting to get peace makes a lot sense in these theories. Arlington High School complied to the regulation to set up curses that teach ethics and current event in the world as a result of complaints from citizens who complained that they were being robbed by financial institutions.

Human conflict and exploitation that is characterized by overcharging turns out to be very complicated spreads out very fast and becomes difficult to contain and stop. It therefore follows that war promotes war and it should only be justified and engaged in very rarely while exercising a lot of caution. In modern times, effort to promote just and peaceful war is rare which is the reason why justification of war in this theory comes as the last resort. However, last resort, it the first principle justification for starting a war in this theory because the most important reason of justification of war according to this theory is to protect human lives which can be looked for in a peaceful manner as proposed by Catholic theologians. However the use of this last resort to justify a war should be abandoned especially as witnessed from events of the 20th century from the 2nd world war to the Iraq war.


The board of the school brought arguments of several philosopher, ethicists most of whom were not affiliated to the Catholic Church. In their defense, the board argues that just war theory has become part of the foundation of international and an important tradition of the United States. I agree with the arguments of the board as opposed to the reasons given by George Clausewitz and his father in their defense that it is against the fundamental doctrines of their Aryan Church. Their evidence of Catholics being the proponents of the theory and the pope being an antichrist is not supportive enough of the facts of just war theory.

Just war theory is not an agreed conventional way of starting war but just a subject of critical ethical reflection. This is the reason for existence of many theories that justify warfare’s, as there are the same number of people proposing these theories. In order to understand just war theories and know their relevance, one can think of some instances in history that justify the use of arms and that was ethically acceptable then, you can give reasons for the occurrence. If you can’t think of a single instance of justified war in history then you are living out of reality and you can be termed as an absolute pacifist. But if you can support some warfare’s in history and support their cause to realize ethical justice then you may be classified under dovish just war theorist. The main goal of learning just war theories is enable learners have knowledge of the past historical wars and enable them figure out that some of those wars were ethically acceptable and appreciate their cause. In that regard, I think the board will win this case.    

Part 2

The Supreme Court in May, 2003 had agreed to relook and make changes in the laws that restricted state scholarships from being given to students intending to pursue theology or religious studies. These restrictions have continued to exist in most constitutions of the states and have lately focused in a number of suits. In this case, Benedict Spitzer has won a scholarship at the college of Mary Magdalene and plans to pursue a major in theology and women studies though it is against the law of the State of New Yolk to finance such a scholarship. I am going to relate this case to another similar case in the year 2002 decision of Zelman verses Simmons Harris.

Zelman won in a ratio of five to four because the court the court wanted to uphold the constitutionality of the amendment that gave funding to needy students to study in private schools yet most of those schools were religious. In this case, the court thoroughly evaluated the whether the beneficiary of the scholarship had a genuine reason with full consideration of both secular and religious schools. If indeed there were enough options in secular and religious schools, then the court had a valid reason to meet legal requirements. In this case, the court lessened the magnitude of denying scholarships to students intending pursue courses of their choice and in learning institutions of their choice.  

There is a major impediment that stands in this case of Benedict Spitzer verses the State of New Yolk. The issue of whether the state can provide any assistance in form of scholarships, education vouchers or tax relieve to help students attend private or sectarian schools has been a continuous and political issue for long in both federal and state levels. There has been a big issue concerning educational vouchers5 to whether inclusion of sectarian schools in universality of schools goes against the law that “that congress shall not make a law respecting an establishment of a religion.”

In 2002 ruling of the case of Zelman verses Simmons, the Supreme Court opened the way for reviews of state and lower court decisions regarding this issues. It gave directions of criteria that ought to be used in making the correct judgments in the cases. Among the findings of the court was the fact that more than eighty percent of institutions of learning were religious and that more than ninety six percent of children who attended those schools needed the assistance of vouchers. By coming up with this findings, the court lessened the restrictions of providing funds to religious schools.

In my opinion, Spitzer has a free will to pursue a career course of her will without any restrictions. I agree with her defense that denial of the restrictions of the scholarship to was a violations of her rights to exercise her freedom. In reality, twenty five percent of the beneficiaries of this award go to religious affiliated institutions which offer a wide variety of courses apart from religion. Several law makers including the five senators have also argued out that influence of religious institutions especially Catholic and Protestants is felt greatly across the states and questioned whether giving scholarships in the field of theology would cause any conflict with the law.

Spitzer should be allowed to pursue a career of her choice because limiting her scholarship is also the same as violating the law of neutrality. As much as Spitzer is justified to receive an unrestricted choice of scholarship as argued in the essay above, the law has to be upheld, and if it is strictly followed, she has low chances of winning. However, from the findings of the Supreme Court, Spitzer has good chances of winning the case due to the fact that strict measures have been loosened.

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