Four Journal Responses



FourJournal Responses

Gods of Our Fathers

The film Gods ofour Fathers offers insightful information on the progress of societalstructures over the few past years. While patriarchy today isexplained as a standard approach to social organization, the filmdepicts a different picture. Patriarchy has been subjugated to thesociety as a way that enables a few people to possess and maintainpower. One of the key takeaways from the documentary is that socialorganization in a community is dynamic since there are changes in thegovernance of communities from time to time (Cockburn &amp Enloe,2012). Patriarchy structures govern most of the current westernsocieties and use militarization to enforce its ideals. Other statesin the world may have a highly militarized organization in theircommunities, but patriarchy still plays an integral role in suchcountries. An example of these nations includes Afghanistan and Iraqwhere militants and other terror organizations rule the countries anduse practices such as honor killing to subjugate citizens.Patriarchal societies such as the ones mentioned above will oftenface inequality challenges where females do not have similar rightsand privileges as males.

Since thesesocial constructs are not static, it is possible to change the ruleof patriarchy in the modern world. Some of the methods that thepatriarchy uses to enforce gender imbalance are through denyingleadership roles and educational opportunities to those in the femalegender (Cockburn &amp Enloe, 2012). However, the modern society hasmade numerous strides to rectify this, such as the introduction ofdemocracy in the world where women have an equal capacity to beleaders. Female education which was not supported by many societiesin the past has also gained traction, reducing the disparitiesbetween the male and the female gender. The current socialorganizations can thus change quickly to ensure that everyone insociety gets equal treatment.

Islam:What the West Needs to Know

Thiscontroversial film presents many arguments that explain the extremismbeing perpetrated by certain Muslim sects. In one of their primaryclaim, the film explains that violence in the religion stems from thefact that the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad are bent ondominating the Non-Islamic population. The Muslims living in secularstates are urged to sanction violence to subvert these nations. Thefilm explains that Jihadism according to the Quran and its teachingis the struggle that member of the Islamic religion will have to gothrough as they strive to bring the secular world under the rule ofAllah (Esposito, 2011). Contrary to other faiths that use diplomacyto convince people to join their religion, the film explains thatIslam chooses to expand its territories through forceful conquests.These arguments are supported by evidence of massacres of Hindus,Jews, and Christians in various parts of the world propagated byMuslim extremists.

The film alsoexplores the principle of Islamic dissimulation where deception isallowed when there is a potential danger that may lead to the loss oflife. This concept is allowed in instances where the lie will notcause damage to the religion and is a way that Muslims can use todeceive others of their religion to advance their religion`sinterests. Esposito (2011) asserts that Islamic law is also seen as aform of totalitarianism as it controls one`s social, political,religious and economical way of life. Nonetheless, viewing thereligion in this light presents some contradictions. For example,only a small population of the religion’s faithful understands andinterprets the Quran from this angle. The inability to explain whythe majority do not practice these extremist has made many criticslabel it as propaganda.

Soldiersof Conscience

This documentaryexplores the lives of soldiers at battle and some of the challengesthat they face during war. While it is easy to assume that soldiersdo not have any qualms about killing in the battlefield, this filmproposes the contrary. According to the clip, the US army discovereda deficiency in their troops after World War II after learning thatonly a small section of their soldiers (about 10%) would shoot tokill during war. Reflexive killing was a training method for thesoldiers, which was introduced to reduce these discrepancies. Thisnew program was a massive success that elevated the percentage oftroops willing to shoot to kill to about 90% (Schotland, 2012). Thefour soldiers in the documentary were unable to continue with theirservice with two of them raising a conscientious objection as theirprimary issue while one opposed the war publicly.

Joshua Casteelreveals that his Christianity interferes with his main work as aninterrogator at Abu Ghraib prison (Schotland, 2012). Benderman, asergeant, felt like he had enough and could not continue his job.Camilo Mejia and Aidan Delgado are the other two soldiers with thelatter citing Buddhism as a core reason for opposing the war(Schotland, 2012). As much as these soldiers passed through theReflexive killing program during their training, it provesinsufficient in preparing the soldiers for some of the mentaldifficulties they face on the battlefield. Some of the soldiersallude to the cognitive theory as they assert that one needs to makea quick decision whether to kill a person and this choice depends onmany factors such as an imminent threat to human life or if it is theonly available solution. Cognitive theory places an individual`sthoughts as a key determinant of their behavior and emotionalresponse.


One of the keyaspects of peace studies is proposing that war is not an inevitableconsequence of living in society. War is a choice that many people,groups, and states choose to engage in as a way of fulfilling theirinterests. This concept is easily visible from the number ofcountries that go to war all the time in comparison with thecountries that do not engage in war at all. Robin J. Crews refers tojustice and equality as the real images of truth that are necessaryfor the peacemaking efforts in the modern society. He argues thateveryone in the world needs to be treated in the same way, andjustice should prevail irrespective of one`s race, ethnicity orgender. Crews also suggests that it is imperative to teach childrento resolve their conflicts in a non-violent way to enable them togrow up with such attitudes.

Some of thefundamental values of peace studies include the promotion ofnon-violence in solving conflicts and the introduction of a positiveforce that helps to solve life challenges (Alger, 2014). The socialstructure in the current society is a significant influence ofconflicts in the world. Economic subjugation and gender differencearising from these social structures lead to violence in many partsof the globe. An evaluation of governmental and private corporationsis necessary to assess their contribution to the world`s conflict.Equality, or the lack of it, is also another significant factorassociated with peace studies and motivates different conflicts amongindividuals, groups, and states (Alger, 2014). There should be equityboth in sharing the world`s resources and at the individual levelwhere everyone is treated well.


Alger, C. F. (2014). What Should Be the Foundations of PeaceEducation? Religion In Peace Research and Peace building (pp.135-147). Springer International Publishing.

Cockburn, C., &amp Enloe, C. (2012). Militarism, Patriarchy andPeace Movements: Cynthia Cockburn and Cynthia Enloe in Conversation.International Feminist Journal of Politics, 14(4),550-557.

Esposito, J. L. (2011). What everyone needs to know about Islam.Oxford University Press.

Schotland, S, (2012), Soldiers of Conscience: The ConscientiousObjector as (Anti) War Hero, War, Literature &amp the Arts.