I think it would be safe to say that we cannot commit a sin in order to keep the peace. Would that be a fair statement?
That being said my only frame of reference is the Just War doctrine of Augustine and as a veteran soldier I found that is far from perfect and that no war that I know of has ever met its standards though some may have begun within its standard, after the war breaks out atrocities inevitably happen.
I am more interested in the use of authority to impose penalty or punishment as a means to keep the peace. When does it become unjust?
How does one determine when power is exercised excessively or not when there is a fine line? I know morality is key but what else should be considered?
I think your first statement, Joab, is fair. However, Ss. Boris and Gleb committed no sin. Or am I misunderstanding you? It was their brother who sinned. And he had, I believe, no intention of making or keeping the peace, as witnessed by his actions.
I, too, am a veteran, but of a different army than you probably-Israeli. But that's another story for another time and place. When I was a Catholic, I always had difficulties with the "Just" war theory. In fact, even before I was Catholic I had difficulties with it, which always remained unresolved. Until lately, that is. My spiritual father tells me, "...there is no just war theory in the Christian East. War is both tragically unavoidable and wholly avoidable; it is never justified. Those who fight and who kill, even against their will, are called to penance..." I have come to see the wisdom of this statement, even if I still haven't worked out the "details" of it, as it were.
In a faltering attempt to answer your next question, I would tentatively suggest that there is no clear-cut answer that would fit all situations. Certainly, as Christians
we must always be as charitable and forgiving as we possibly can, especially if we are exercising power or authority, attempting not
to be excessive. And what might be excessive in one situation may be totally appropriate in another. (Gee, how's that for vague?
) Hopefully someone else has better answers than I!