1. What is it about America that makes most Americans unable to contemplate our defeat in war? (Is it hubris? ignorance? delusion? something else?).
2. What are the social and cultural touchstones that have shaped our collective sensibilities about American invincibility? (Are we history-wise enough as a population to be able to narrate a truthful answer?).
3. How does the mythology that emerged after 9.11 (comprised, in part, by a false sense of the uniqueness of the terrorist attacks) contribute to our nation’s unwillingness to engage in deep self-scrutiny? (What are we afraid we’ll find?).
4. Why does invoking the phrase “support the troops” (in any number of contexts and conversations) almost always close off honest debate about war and its evils? (Why can’t the moral agency of soldiers ever be part of the discussion?).
5. How have Hollywood filmmakers, beginning roughly with Steven Spielberg and Saving Private Ryan, invented a kind of warrior code that embraces every war as just? (Why aren’t we outraged at what sentimentality about war has cost us?).
6. Why does the “substitution of rhetoric for thought” (Wendell Berry) always win the day? (Why is it the default mode for presidents, politicians, pundits, and many preachers?).
7. Why is the Church in America — except for pockets of radicals who are mostly dismissed or ignored — so bereft of resources, will, imagination, and courage when it comes to refusing to send its sons and daughters abroad to kill fellow human beings? (Thank God for the radicals).
8. Why do most Christians misunderstand the nature of “freedom” and fall in lockstep with the war machine’s thin, silly notion of freedom as license to pursue “the American dream”? (Why can’t we see capitalism’s direct relationship to state-sponsored violence?)
9. What is it about the maintenance of the institutions of American Christianity that makes risk-taking, prophetic witness against warmongering increasingly rare? (Why don’t more mainline pastors lose their jobs for speaking the truth?)
10. How can the Church in America recover (or establish for the first time) a thick account of the sacraments as political acts? (How have Baptism and Eucharist become domesticated rituals emptied of their power to challenge the status quo?).