„The willingness to do battle out of faith,“ Amoz Oz quotes a resident of the Israeli settlement of Ofra is his book The Land of Israel. So that war, if it is justified at all, is justified on religious grounds, on the faith in a better politic, a more just social order, a more intimate relationship with the Deity or the natural world, a more divinely consonant distribution of wealth.
And here‑‑ in the word faith ‑‑ the battles with exterior and interior enemies are joined. It is therefore no accident that the terminologies are so similar‑‑ the battle with one’s own demons, the battle against cancer, the battle between good and evil, the great battles of the Civil War. This very willingness to do battle‑‑ in the military, political, or psychological arena‑‑ thus can be thought of as carrying with it some commitment to the idea of goodness… the faith that, although the angels and demons may often not be readily distinguishable, there is a possible order in which the former, thought they may not succeed in annihilating all adversaries, or want to, will at least dominate.
So that every battle‑‑ at least, every one worth fighting‑‑ might become a battle of faith, be it on the beaches of Normandy, in the woods of Lexington and Concord, or on the relatively pristine landscape of the psychiatrist’s couch. And, as with most great battles, the ammunition is not so much intelligence as conviction and belief, not so much precision of thought as steadfastness of purpose. Yet many persons, it seems to me, love their own demons too well in the name of truth and their angels not well enough in the name of faith.
But, then again, even faith can turn into a demon when it is too sure of victory, too eager to smoke out the devil from every hiding place, too hungry for a world without texture, without the remarkable presence of the faithless.