Decoupling religion from war is not an easy thing. The poet Stephen Spender, in reflecting upon World War II, wrote these lines (in his poem, “Rejoice in the Abyss”):
Against an acrid cloud of dust, I saw
The houses kneel, revealed each in its abject
Prayer, my prayer as well: ‘Oh, God,
Spare me the lot that is my neighbor’s.’
The impulse to pray for your own survival, and leave the fate of neighbors and enemies to God (as a matter of indifference) is natural, but it is not in accord with love. So in a secular age should love, in the name of Darwinian survival, be abandoned? Should the fate of neighbors and enemies be a matter of indifference to any sane person trying to survive in a competitive, unjust, absurd, and tragic world? Or should you wed your own fate to following love and an expansion of concern, even at the expense of your own life?
What matters? What should matter?