A Christian Defense of the War
in Iraq

Removing a dictator, introducing democracy, staying the course in difficult times--it's right, noble, and it's just.


04/19/2006 04:40:59 PM

And let us remember that the doctrine of "Just War" came late, when there were "Christian" emperors of Rome: until then, one of the reasons Rome persecuted Christians was their rabid pacifism (see accounts of martyrdoms of Sergius & Bacchus, how when Vladimir converted to Christianity he outlawed capital punishment because as a Christian prince he could not put anyone to death, etc). And Mr. Land says he believes in the Declaration of Independence. Which Ecumenical Council added that document to the Scriptures? And is it not the height of arrogance to impose our values and standards on others? Should we not follow the example of Jesus, and persuade, teach, help people instead of leveling a gun at their heads? I am NOT convinced Mr. Land is a follower of Jesus of Nazareth.


04/19/2006 04:33:53 PM

As horrible as Saddam Hussein was, life for Iraqis has declined since the American occupation. Americans killed thousands of civilians, women and children, in the "Shock and Awe" campaign. We are contributing to the death of innocent civilians through lack of security, lack of medical care, lack of sanitary water, etc etc. How can this possibly be justified? America should be on its knees begging God for mercy -- and doing more to help the people of Iraq, whose lives we have ruined.


04/18/2006 02:39:36 PM

Dear Dr. Land, As a Christian, how do you justify the torture of innocent Iraqis? As a Christian, how do you feel about the fact that Iraq is worse off now than it was when Saddam Hussein was in power? As a Christian, how do you feel about the fact that lies about weapons of mass destruction and connections to Al Quaeda were used to justify this war?


04/02/2006 06:53:08 PM

It must be nice to sit comfortably in the parsonage and defend a war that was promulgated on dubious terms and espouse a "Machiavellan" thought process. Saddam was nuts and a tyrant, but, we do not have the "God" given right to interfere in another sovereign nation's condition. Saddam was cornered with no fly zones that rendered him without influence. There were other strategies that could have been used to topple the regime. Unfortunately we ae stuck and must finish the job so that it does not escalate into a much broader problem including Iran.


03/30/2006 05:27:00 PM

The war is totally immoral and out of control. We are not God and telling the people of Iraq they need domacracy is not our business. After 9/11 I thought it was Bin Ladin we were going after. When and why did the rules change. And "STILL" we don't have Bin Ladin. We should get out and mind our own business and protect what is ours.


03/28/2006 02:49:28 PM

That's quite expensive.. Yes, not to mention that some estimate the way to cost a trillion or more (which we haven't seen the effect of yet because it has simply been added to our debt). However, rest assured our childen, grandchildren, and us will be paying this debt for a long time (reduced social programs, medicare, raised taxes, etc. etc.).


03/28/2006 02:00:49 PM

"there is a price for freedom" over 2,000 american soldiers, countless soldiers from the coalition, over 30,000 Iraqi civilians - that's quite expensive...


03/28/2006 12:58:36 PM

On top of the mountains of evidence that we were led into this war by deceipt, we now learn in today's news of a secret memo involving Bush and Blair that they were previously trying to provoke Iraq. Such things as painting spy planes with UN colors to get the Iraqis to shoot at them..Yea, I am sure that Christ really approves!


03/28/2006 12:37:54 PM

Well put indeed, NightLad. "I agree too. Neither Gandhi or King could have accomplished WWII. Nor could either of them have accomplished the core of the Civil Rights Movement or the liberation of India. It was God who accomplished that, through Gandhi and through kind." If "God" wanted that done why did that god just not establish colonialism in India and slavery in the US to begin with? It really doesn't make any sense to claim an all-powerful god was responsible for a change for the good in the world because if it wanted the new, good condition it could have just avoided the old, bad condition.


03/28/2006 12:08:56 PM

What can I say NightLad? Extremely well put. If it's about compassion, then why aren't we in Darfur? If it's about WMDs then why aren't we in North Korea? Because the truth is staring us in the face...it's about oil.


03/28/2006 10:53:12 AM

Since the late 1700’s, a little over 1.5 million American’s have lost their lives while serving in the armed forces. That counts every single war that America has ever been involved in. Since 1997 in the Congo over 3 million people have been butchered in meaningless Genocide wars. Before the invasion of Iraq, Iraq’s currency was worth more than America’s. Why do you think America cares so much for the well-being of Iraq, but does not say a word about the Congo? The Congo does not have any oil. Before Bush was elected his agencies had plans drawn up for the invasion of Iraq. How many times have their changed their story about the motivation of invading Iraq? First it was to find WMDs, which they did not. Then it was to bring democracy, which is not a viable excuse for invading a foreign nation. Then it was to depose a bad leader – you’d have to invade every other country on earth, if that was a good excuse. Perhaps they foreshadow their true agenda?


03/28/2006 08:35:17 AM

I agree that, in a truly just war effort (and yes, I think WWII -- stopping the menace of Hitler -- could not have been accomplished by Gandhi or Martin Luther King, much though it pains me to say it) civilians should be asked to make more genuine sacrifices. I agree too. Neither Gandhi or King could have accomplished WWII. Nor could either of them have accomplished the core of the Civil Rights Movement or the liberation of India. It was God who accomplished that, through Gandhi and through kind. As irrational as "Turn the other cheek" in times like these sounded to many people who claimed to have Christian faith, God won out. But every World War just seems to be followed by another. Will the power of God prevent WWIII or will we have to just keep on fighting until 500,000,000 of us are eventually met with as Condaleeza Rice put it, "a mushroom cloud"?


03/28/2006 07:20:28 AM

It was started on a lie. geedubya LIED and that is immoral. The US has stopped looking for the people who destroyed the WTC and that is immoral. Now it's just about wholesale killing... Kill as many as possible... No this war is not moral.


03/28/2006 06:27:03 AM

I believe the war in Iraq is not morally justifiable coz no war is ever moral. However,i believe that their should be a move to do concerning terrorism. The leadership of Saddam Hussein is a terror to his own country and people as well as to other countries or people. We have learned what he has done under his leadership.


03/28/2006 12:23:13 AM

Is the war in Iraq morally justifiable? No. Killing is a sin. TA


03/27/2006 11:00:13 PM

IndyNate But that is not my choice to make. I am not the president or a general or any person of power. “People should not fear their governments. Governments should fear their people.” – V, from the movie “V for Vendetta” You do have power. Without your support, these government officials have no power of their own. They only exist in the positions they have because you put them there. To make a change all you have to do is stand up and be counted. One voice alone may be weak, but there are thousands more adding to the chorus every day. Silence equals complacently.


03/27/2006 02:54:36 PM

Someone needs to tell Mr. Land that there is not a shred of evidence that we went to this war for humanitarian reasons of any kind. Not only that, but whatever evidence was given for why we should be there was either cooked or an outright lie. And that is the way it is. And that's why the fruits of this war have been disorder, death, torture, and the destruction of America's reputation. I know I am pointing out the obvious, but to maintain that this was a just war in the face of all this means that either the writer does not want to face reality (understandable), or is simply too partisan to do so.


03/27/2006 02:38:23 PM

"Would you rather do away with the FBI, CIA, Army and the Police altogether? I'm not saying I agree with everything they've done but there is a price for freedom." Do away with them, who said such a thing? Price for freedom, I do not understand how a price for freedom means taking away the freedom. Are you saying we give up the freedom for the freedom, that means we do not have the freedom, no? It is very simple, follow our Constitution. That is the law, and all are sworn to uphold it. I never voted for them to undo the Constitution, and I do not agree with that.


03/27/2006 02:21:05 PM

I agree that, in a truly just war effort (and yes, I think WWII -- stopping the menace of Hitler -- could not have been accomplished by Gandhi or Martin Luther King, much though it pains me to say it) civilians should be asked to make more genuine sacrifices. As I said below, I supported this war initially because I believed there were WMD's, but I also had great reservations about the "rush to war" which seemed to stem more from the Bush Administration's desire to go to war, come hell or high water, than from the kind of forethought and planning (Oh, please -- from Cheney and Bush?) that is required before taking this momentous step. I have great respect for the soldiers and their families who are making the greatest sacrifices over there. I only wish we had better leadership in charge when we made the decision to put them and tens of thousands or more of Iraqi civilians in harm's way.


03/27/2006 02:16:41 PM

Indy, Im glad we can agree on some things :) But I dont think we are safer. And as I mentioned, my husband served in Afghanistan (that unfortunately forgotten war on terorism) and they sure could have used some help. Why do you think it is that so many military pros (that have actually served - I dont mean Rumsfeld) not only opposed this Iraq war but also questioned the methods used? What about terrorism experts that foretold the problems we are seeing there now? Its because those who are experienced knew this wsnt a good idea. But youre right, we cant do anything about whats done. Still we can call our leaders to task.


03/27/2006 02:16:21 PM

tovart; there is always a difficult balance between liberty and protection. Would you rather do away with the FBI, CIA, Army and the Police altogether? I'm not saying I agree with everything they've done but there is a price for freedom. If everyone drove responsibly we wouldn't need speed limit signs would we? Unfortunately, can't count on everyone to behave responsibly, so we have to put in place certain things to protect the innocent. Don't look for the Garden of Eden here. We already gave that up so this is what we have to deal with...


03/27/2006 02:11:52 PM

Agreed Dunamus. And as a granddaughter, neice and wife of soldiers - who among them have served in 3 wars, 2 active combat - (my husband most recently in Afghanistan) Id like it if those NOT serving or sacrificing take a little more care in choosing the wars in which we will participate. Everybody expects military to go out and risk their lives, but what about the rest of us and our responsibility to choose our military actions seriously, and hold our leaders responsible for their actions? Or are military lives expendable for any old reason, and any old war? Is it so crazy to ask for accountability?


03/27/2006 02:10:51 PM

wifeinlove I agree that war sucks, for whatever the reason it was started. Innocent people will die. Land and landmarks will be destroyed. Many bad things happen in war. To a certain extent I wish we had never gone to war in Iraq. I wish we had conducted the WAR on TERROR in a different way. But that is not my choice to make. I am not the president or a general or any person of power. All I can do is pray for those in power. There are many places we COULD wage war to "liberate" people, but we shouldn't and don't. One thing about Iraq is, it will change the entire face of the Middle East if a democratic nation is established in the region. I don't have room here to explain all of the effects this will have on the world. But I will say, I do feel safer knowing that the terrorists are rather focused on Iraq, and I do think it has protected us by what is and what will happen there.


03/27/2006 02:00:43 PM

As the widow of a staunch soldier who gave thirty years of his life to the military, and passed away as the result of a service connected injury, and the mother of a daughter who is presently serving with the military in S. Korea, I sure would like to see more love and respect among my fellow citizens here in America.


03/27/2006 01:58:14 PM

"...But if they or we ever allow the acts of terrorists to drive behavior, then the terrorists have won. That's what these terrorists want." That is so true, and in light of our domestic surveillance program, spying on our own, the Patriot Act, the division, the slash and burn of our Constitution and this ongoing support for the Bush regime, I agree even more so. They have succeeded in driving US behavior, even to the point of the invasion of a sovereign nation, that BTW did not attack us.


03/27/2006 01:18:33 PM

Proud and Indy, would you support any war that liberates somebody from something? Or is there something in particular about this one that appeals to you? First people supported this war because it was for our own protection. Now, its for the liberation of the Iraqi people (from the administration of a pres who during his candidacy the first time promised to pull our troops back home and stop policing the world. anyone remember that??) So what is a good reason to go to war? Or is any reason ok? Because it seems to me some of the same people throwing a fit over the Yugoslav wars are now championing the liberation of the Iraqis. If anything more people were in danger in the genocide of the Yugoslav wars, AND we had international support to do it! So what gives?


03/27/2006 01:08:56 PM

"They must want something? What could it be?" Money to feed their families.


03/27/2006 01:03:18 PM

While there is no doubt that our soldiers are doing a remarkable job and are true patriots, this does not mean that the "reasons" that our leaders went to war were right and just. It also does not dismiss the absolutely stupid way they have conducted this war. You can't wrap everything in the flag and call it a just "Christian" cause!


03/27/2006 12:50:43 PM

Only the very naive would think that reaching democracy in Iraq would occur in a relatively short time span. It is work in process, painful at that. For every 7 steps forward, there might be 3 backwards. But, the tenacity of the committed Iraqi people who want a democracy so bad that they can taste it, will prevail. The media will tell us that the Iraqi people don't want us there. Of course there are some Iraqis who don't want our presence. We represent a threat to those who would rather live in their chaotic world that they were accustomed to.


03/27/2006 12:41:01 PM

I wonder why those recruitment centers are such valuable targets to insurrgents? I mean, if people weren't showing up in droves to try and become a part of the "new Iraq" and defend and build their country then I seriously doubt you'd see many suicide bombers blowing up empty recruitment centers. And apparently, even this threat doesn't seem to keep Iraqis away; they keep coming. They must want something? What could it be? Ultimately the Iraqis themselves will have to secure the peace. But if they or we ever allow the acts of terrorists to drive behavior, then the terrorists have won. That's what these terrorists want. They don't just want American troops to leave Iraq. They want the destruction or conversion of everyone who would resist them. Resistance is NOT futile! We will NOT be assimilated! These terrorists do what they do in the name of God. They are hijacking the good name of God Almighty for their own selfish ends. They must be resisted.


03/27/2006 12:19:09 PM

Eh, they can't even secure the *recruitment centers.*


03/27/2006 12:18:07 PM

Thats what I hear from people coming back -- a lot of seemingly little things are going right. Schools opening up, water and power running, fewer acts of violence. And the Iraqi police and military are doing the work more and more.


03/27/2006 12:06:15 PM

Thank you Rev. Land for speaking out. He certainly is giving people a chance to blow off pent up steam, isn't he? It is too bad my son can't log on to share his views of this war, for he is serving on his second tour in Iraq. He would certainly share the positive changes that is occuring in Iraq, positive changes that the media doesn't share with us.


03/27/2006 12:05:50 PM

Well, one of the problems with the 'democracy' of this is, about the only thing the Iraqis agree on is wanting us out... That fact undermines the very democracy the Bushies are patting themselves on the back for creating.... And means that we can't honour the will of the Iraqi people without leaving the security interests that justified the war in the first place.... In a far worse state. That, simply, is why this invasion was a colossal blunder. Especially cause it got screwed up while the Bushies were playing the PR. Now, there's really no way to 'win.'


03/27/2006 12:01:59 PM

"Or is this someone else willing to fight to my last breath without any risk or cost to himself?" lol, yes, he may likely be another one of those! I think that more should be demanded of civilians during war. You can bet that there would be a lot less support if they had to give up their alcohol, or they had limits on gasoline use, or other resources. Or imagine if taxes were raised to pay for the costs (they should be in my opinion)! If the average American had to actually sacrifice during times of war, this country would become a nation of doves! We wouldnt be in Iraq right now, thats for sure.


03/27/2006 11:49:52 AM

I wonder what this person's actual knowledge of war and the military is, as he has apparently never served, either as a troop or as a chaplain. What people has he put his life on the line to liberate? Or is this someone else willing to fight to my last breath without any risk or cost to himself? I believe that a stable and democratic Iraq is now a neccesity for the US and I pretty much know when my tour is coming up.


03/27/2006 11:36:05 AM

Trying to create a democracy at the point of a gun in any country will not be successful. The military can overthrow a dictator, but then the people of that country have to find the consensus that comes from respect and love for their neighbors. So far, in Iraq, the sectarian flavor of the country is preventing that crucial dialogue. The United States may make things worse by taking sides in this sectarian conflict. What most Iraqis seem to have a consensus about is that they want the U.S. military out. They don't perseive us as liberators, but as crusaders intent on occupying and perhaps trying to suppress their religion. The Iraqis need to find democracy on their own, with some support from the U.N. The U.S. military is an impediment to this process.


03/27/2006 10:06:54 AM

I guess the creation of this country defied YOUR laws of physics then. The very freedom you enjoy today that enables you to write this posting, and that enabled the creation of things like computers and the internet, was started with bombs and guns and people willing to die for that liberty. The only problem being, in Iraq, 'Liberty' isn't the top of the list of things people with the bombs and guns are willing to die for. Neither are harmony and brotherhood, for that matter.


03/27/2006 09:33:59 AM

The war is not justified. Richard Land's article is just one more indication of how fallen away we are from Christ. this is not what jesus would do. Bush did not put forth primarily the libertation of Iraq as the purpose of war, but that Iraq was an immenent threat- which now is shown to be all false and based on lies and sexed up intelligence. Christians have to decide are they followers of Christ first or of the America Empire. Land is leading people to disobey Christ.


03/27/2006 08:20:30 AM

From Jimmy Row -"You can't create something beautiful like liberty, harmony, and brotherhood by the destructive means of bombs and bullets. It's contrary to the laws of physics." I guess the creation of this country defied YOUR laws of physics then. The very freedom you enjoy today that enables you to write this posting, and that enabled the creation of things like computers and the internet, was started with bombs and guns and people willing to die for that liberty. I am not a "war-monger," but even God had the Israelites wage war on people. Not that we have the righteous judgement God does, but it is a fact of life in this fallen world. People with bombs and guns are needed to protect the peace. If that were not the case, we should get rid of our army AND even the police. Paul even says in Romans 13:4, that the authorities do not "bear the sword" for no reason. They are there to punish people who do wrong. We gave up the Garden of Eden, so this is what we have to deal with.


03/27/2006 01:32:04 AM

You can't create something beautiful like liberty, harmony, and brotherhood by the destructive means of bombs and bullets. It's contrary to the laws of physics. This war is not about liberation or democracy. This war is about control - control for material power sake. To say otherwise is denial of the truth. If we'd come in the spirit of liberation, we'd be embraced as liberators. That's human nature. Jesus teachings taught us to love God, love Nature,and to love our fellow man. Men who embrace Christ's teachings would not take up arms against their fellow man. Only a fanatic would make war as a means to achieve some good ideal. You can rationalize all you want. Every leader that ever instigated war had a strong intellectual rationale for doing so. But a man with Christ in his heart becomes wise. Wise men don't succumb to fear. Wise men don't fuel darkness with darkness. Pre-emptive war perpetuates war. Wise men shine light where there is darkness.


03/27/2006 12:27:01 AM

For all the blather about Bush being in denial, who's in denial now?


03/26/2006 08:24:27 PM

I just heard Dennis Leary say "you can't fix stupid."


03/26/2006 08:20:25 PM

The only blessing of this Charlie Foxtrot is that at least Bush overextended anything he might otherwise use for further adventures in faith-based military policy. Of course, that could be a *real* problem if a *really* credible threat materialized, or if anyone actually cared to do anything about the ongoing wanton atrocities in Sudan or anything like that... Or, I dunno, if the National Guard guys who signed up to fill sandbags for floods and the like were actually needed for the purpose... say, if a city they couldn't afford to reinforce the levees to cause of the Iraq war and tax custs for millionares... like... if it flooded or anything. That's OK... *outsource our port security* so we can 'fight a war on terrorism...' Anyone noticing a pattern, here?


03/26/2006 08:12:37 PM

This is going to be the start of WWIII. I see North Korea, Iran, and Saudi Arabia as next on the list.


03/26/2006 08:08:52 PM

Was that one of the reasons that the US attacked Iraq? Because they were doing business with Russia and France? I missed that one.


03/26/2006 08:04:05 PM

As stated, the US did business with Saddam, too. So now, everyone who ever did business with Iraq is what? Evil and needs to be invaded or something?


03/26/2006 08:02:50 PM

To an individual of Iraq, what difference would there have been to them if some heads of state were doing business with their head of state; how is that more significant to them as, say, the imposed sanctions were?


03/26/2006 07:52:14 PM

They may say "So what" too. I'm not French or Russian. So what? Is that kind of looking a Saudi in the eye and saying that the Bush family is just doing business with ABDALLAH bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud?


03/26/2006 07:42:03 PM

Again, not that Saddam wasn't a bad guy, but this is a five hundred *billion* dollar albatross we strapped around our collective necks to make the place exactly what we were supposed to be preventing it from becoming in the first place.


03/26/2006 07:40:03 PM

Oh and tovart..try looking an Iraqi in the eyes and telling them "so what" France and Russia were just doing business with Saddam.


03/26/2006 07:38:43 PM

How many times do Bush&co have to be caught lying, cheating and distorting before you stop insisting it's some kind of treason not to give them the benefit of the considerable doubt? Mind you, I *hope* the elections work out, but it's very likely, 'Gang up and legitimize your own theocracy,' at this point. Or, choose sides: 'Bomb Them Till they Choose our Religious Strongman,' or 'Bomb Them Till The Majority Government Collapses.' Elections are great, but they aren't a panacaea, and they certainly aren't necessarily going to suit the security interests that were used to justify the death and destabilization in the first place.


03/26/2006 07:20:36 PM

Jimmy, the imposing democracy story is a myth. How many Iraqis do you have to witness voting before you stop perpetuating that lie?


03/26/2006 06:47:43 PM

It breaks my heart to watch this war proceed. I pray daily for our troops and for all who are affected. I wish that our President had listened when Pope John Paul II begged him to not invade Iraq. Or was the Pontif, like many other religious figures, also an evil-doer and complicit with the Axis of Evil? Colin Powell, in his address to the United Nations, convinced many that Sadam had weapons of mass destruction and was prepared to use them against us. He now says this is a blot on his record that he greatly regrets.


03/26/2006 06:02:40 PM

1. Saddam Hussein was secretly funding terrorism. 2. Israeli intelligence photos, not ours or the Brits showed WMD's being trucked across the border to Syria. 3. We find more every day about Iraq's connections with Al Quada's members even if he didn't agree with bin Ladin. 4. It is our duty to defend the United States against any country which sponsors or finances terrorism. Saddam Hussein certainly qualifies. 5. The atrocities committed by the Hussein Bathist government against the people of Iraq certainly justified going in to rescue them. 6. The present insurgents are not the Iraqi's we rescued. They are Islamic fundimentalists from other nations determined to keep Christians out of Islamic nations.


03/26/2006 05:01:56 PM

To impose democracy is the antithesis of democracy.


03/26/2006 04:33:39 PM

The BeliefNet poll results on this page -- over 60% think the war in Iraq is immoral -- indicate that Mr. Land ought to reconsider his convictions. Iraq was a war of naked U.S. aggression. It was launched under false pretenses -- even the White House now admits that. (W says he didn't lie; he was just misinformed. Same difference in the just war theory.) It's worsened the security of the Iraqis and ours as well. Before we invaded, Iraq was not a hotbed of terrorism. Now it is. We have not protected the innocent -- over 50,000 Iraqis have died at our hands and more than 20,000 innocent people have been imprisoned without due process. Clearly we have created a situation much worse than the one we found (which, I'll admit, was pretty dismal.) According to Augustine, a just war is defensive, it produces more good than harm, it protects noncombatants, and it has a chance of success. Iraq fails all four tests. Gary Davis, Lincoln, IL


03/26/2006 04:28:29 PM

If they had been the ones responsible for 9/11, I could agree with it being just but they had nothing to do with it: And if they *had* been, as the Bush administration was constantly trying to tell people, well, just or not, that'd be all the more reason to take a long, hard look at the situation, and all possible outcomes... Plan for the contingencies, ...and not screw it up royally on the execution. "Just" isn't the only criterion for when, whether, and how you start taking all the life in hand that you do when you initiate military action.


03/26/2006 03:28:36 PM

A threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, but the threat is far worse when we are the ones bringing about the threat.


03/26/2006 03:10:15 PM

I am also a Christian and I think ChaplainJ really summed things up nicely . "What would Jesus do? What would the Buddha do? What would Ghandi do? What would Martin Luther King do? What would Mother Theresa do?" That is all that needs to be said. It is a shame, when some own twists the teachings of a religion to justify their own egocentric views.


03/26/2006 01:37:01 PM

Chaplain, Thank goodness there are Christian leaders like you.


03/26/2006 01:35:16 PM

"I wonder if Mr. Land owns one of those little “WWJD?” bracelets and, if so, if he ever looks at it." What would Jesus do? What would the Buddha do? What would Ghandi do? What would Martin Luther King do? What would Mother Theresa do?


03/26/2006 01:33:00 PM

I'm not shocked at what this guy said. Unfortunately, it is the stance that Christian supporters of Bush and his war take. I am a Christian and government major (middle-aged woman back in school for my 2nd career) and this war was completely unjust! If they had been the ones responsible for 9/11, I could agree with it being just but they had nothing to do with it: no weapons of mass destruction, no ties to al-Qaeda; nothing but oil up for grabs. And what progress? A country that was once rich with history, historical landmarks, rich in beauty has been completely destroyed! A country with no terrorist ties is now the breeding ground for terrorism. And now, we cannot leave and bring our men and women home. Our men and women are being disfigured, killed, and suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome. Wow, what a Christian thing to do!


03/26/2006 01:02:56 PM

I think everyone will agree that the US's venture to invade Iraq was for sure with the "intent" of protecting some "interest," whichever flavor of "interest" of the day, or which President Bush articulates this week, or what the right says. Today for purposes of a Mr. Land's defense it is for being "noble." However, if any other country acts to protects its interests, it's somehow sinister.


03/26/2006 12:59:41 PM

So what? France and Russia were doing business with him. So were we once upon a time.


03/26/2006 12:19:03 PM

Simplicity, everyone knows Saddam was a bad guy. What many on the Right fail to understand when trying to 'morally justify' a nasty and counterproductive war, is that *just cause he's a bad guy doesn't mean a war against him will *help.** Shiite radicals, (or someone much like himself: if you liked him, you'd love his sons...) were pretty much always the only likely result of directly deposing him, and it's really hard to put international pressure on a power vacuum. Especially when you've destabilized the whole region and cheesed off the entire world.


03/26/2006 11:49:11 AM

Also in the Times article is the comments of former top aide to Saddam, Tariz Aziz," Saddam's belief he would stay in power was fed by the support he got from France and Russia, France and Russia each secured millions of dollars worth of trade and service contracts in Iraq with the implied understanding that their political posture with regards to sanctions on Iraq would be pro-Iraqi. In addition the French wanted sanctions lifted to safeguard their trade and service contracts in Iraq."


03/26/2006 11:13:49 AM

Washington Times Article, March 25,2006 A seized Dec. 15 2002 memo written by a Iraqi intellidence agent POSING as a UN escort states, "Inside Badar WMD inspection site there are Russian and Turkish scientists. When we visited the site, they were forced to hide from inspectors' eyes." Also, Russian spies relayed information to Saddam in the March 2003 invasion. As US troops encircled Baghdad in April, Russia's Ambassador fed information to Saddam regarding US troop movements.


03/26/2006 10:56:19 AM

Shanti99, Maybe most Americans dont know about what Ali Ibrahim al-Tikriti, former southern regional commander of Saddam's Fedayeen Miltia said in an interview. He goes on DEBUNKING the myth that the US brought Saddam to power and gave him WMD. He actually says that it was the Soviet Union who supported the Ba'athist Revolution and that the KGB was actually training Iraqis.


03/26/2006 10:47:40 AM

*Last sentence should have said "Christian". My post was apparently too long, so I'll continue now. I believe we have seen our current administration's disregard for our nation's Constituion - which protects the rights of all American citizens. I think we have also have seen in the aftermath of Katrina, that minorities are still getting the bad end of the deal in this country. I believe that we can still stand up as American citizens, all I am trying to say is that I believe our national pride too often gets in the way of justice. I believe it was Abraham Lincoln who stated that instead of declaring that God is on our side, maybe we should stop and ask if we are on His. If Christians truly thought and acted as citizens of the Kingdom of God, then we would not condone illegal and immoral acts to be made by our president nor endorse and defend senators and other leaders who rip of Native American tribes and support sweat shops in Saipan.


03/26/2006 10:40:32 AM

Cusidh, I agree with you. The Kingdom of God as it is being represented by the majority of American Evangelicals is a horrible misreprentation. I feel like many Christians in this country feel: my faith has been hijacked! The Christ I follow calls upon me from the scriptures to take care of the poor, to do good to others, to stand up against injustice, to speak out for equality and to hold leaders accountable - regardless of nation - for their immoral actions, whether they claim to be a Christ or not.


03/26/2006 10:29:25 AM

"consists" of. Sorry for not editing that evidence.


03/26/2006 10:28:37 AM

"The irony of it tovart is that the Left fell for Saddam's scheme." Just another one of those odd "plots." Rest easy. And as soon as us lefties figure out just what that plot consisters of, we'll make a videotape and send it on for evidence.


03/26/2006 10:06:43 AM

Personally, Chaplain, I think there's quite enough 'forgetting our American citizenship for this Kingdom of God' already. No wonder there's so much treasonous disregard for our Constitution, the rights of minorities, our responsibility to the future and our freedom, our place in the world community as Americans, and all that other inconvenient stuff that falls by the wayside when people think they're doing 'God's will.'


03/26/2006 09:33:23 AM

I wonder if Mr. Land owns one of those little “WWJD?” bracelets and, if so, if he ever looks at it.


03/26/2006 08:58:55 AM

I really wish that we Christians in America could, for once, pretend our American citizenship does not exist and that our citizenship belongs solely to the Kingdom of God. I believe if we did that we would be a little (or a lot) less eager to endorse the majority of the policies and perrogatives of our country, such as our endeavor in Iraq.


03/26/2006 08:39:44 AM

Most Americans don't know that in the 80's we installed Sadam and gave him wmd's (biological for sure). Then we setup terror training camps in Afganistan (which later became Alqada). Then we sold weapons to Iran and used the profits to fund death squads in central America. Then we give the average Isrealie nearly $500/yr, (and weapons) and nothing to thier neighbors. We are in bed with the Saudies for oil while they oppress thier people and chant "hate America". And people wonder where terror comes from.


03/25/2006 11:44:43 PM

That's true Greling, from what I've read the UN is still wondering what happened to the nuke that Saddam bought from Russia.


03/25/2006 10:35:46 PM

I often wonder about propaganda sound bites when I see these "polls" "I find it particularly intriguing, in light of public opinion in the United States, that the Iraqis, when they are polled, are more positive about their country's future than Americans are about their country, and certainly more than Americans are about Iraq." In America we have freedom of the press.. so we see all the sides, not just the one-sided view of military controlled and occupied country.


03/25/2006 09:52:41 PM

We must first ask: who armed Saddam and created bin Laden? The answer may in fact surprise you.


03/25/2006 09:47:31 PM

The irony of it tovart is that the Left fell for Saddam's scheme. As the audiotapes and documents from the Saddam tapes are reveiling the contact Saddam had with bin Laden and that he did have WMD.


03/25/2006 08:27:57 PM

My word, how people ca delude themselves this way! The US invaded a sovereign nation premptively-read were the aggressors- based on lies and distortions to fight an enemy who was not even there. But to try yo align this with Christian values is in and of itself disgusting. These Evangelicals are fond of bandying "What would Jesus Do?" about as their moral center, but I find it hard to believe the Jesu I know would act like this. Under the glib defense I suspect lies more than a little racism and religious bigotry. And beyond that, an incredible ignorance of the truth that what has been brought to Iraq is not "freedom" but death, destruction, and imminent civil war.


03/25/2006 08:22:27 PM

NJLee Do you think these 50 million people are now loving each other? I have no problem working toward human rights and liberty for people. It can (and has to) be achived without violence. Further, you seem to assume that freeing Iraquies from Sadam was our purpose. It was not. WMD was the reason given, but there were many other agendas such as control of oil, Haliburton non bid contracts, and building permanent military bases. Also the US split up the Iraq army and pitted them against each other. How do these things (and abu grab) help these 50 million people love each other?


03/25/2006 07:49:55 PM

Where were those WMD again?


03/25/2006 07:23:23 PM

Richard Land’s defense of the war is compelling. Forget WMD that everyone knew that sad man had, but we were not able to find. Jesus is proud to know that we have given 50 million people the freedom to “love one another” and to be free from the bondage of a dictator who restrained humankind and stripped them from their God given rights to life, liberty and prosperity. Everyone should now know that we at war with an evil force and we must win. We can do it because of our power, both military, political and humanitarian. God Bless the US and our President.


03/25/2006 06:31:05 PM

"What we are witnessing now, is many who oppose the war are rallying around Saddam, saying we overthrew a sovereign leader based on a lie about WMD." Now that would be the epitome if Ironies if Saddam ends up back in power after all of this. If that is forthcoming, I just hope that is also on Bush's watch.


03/25/2006 06:14:25 PM

Thank you Greling for that!


03/25/2006 05:12:58 PM

Also of interest to all Americans should be former Senate Democrat and 9/11 Commissioner, Bob Kerry's comments on the Saddam tapes. "He acknowledged the great importance of the documents and the truths they reveal." He said" Saddam was a significant enemy of the US and he believed America's understanding of the deposed tyrant's relationship with Al-Qaida would become deeper as more captured Iraqi documents and audiotapes are disclosed."


03/25/2006 04:33:50 PM

Greling, Thanks for posting Martin L. Kings nonviolence receipe for peace. In order to have achieved this, Bush's government should have used diplomacy and discussion first, as many leaders in Europe wanted to do; talks with the U.N., etc. We had the wrong President in office when all of this started, it seems.


03/25/2006 04:30:19 PM

It appears from recent news articles there were 2 things Saddam regarded as the reasons Iraq wouldnt actually be invaded:1) France and Russia, 2) that Americans wouldnt want casualties thus they wouldnt fight. Also a news article where Ali Ibrahim al-Trkriti, former southern regional commander of Saddam's Fedayeen Milita was quoted as saying,"What we are witnessing now, is many who oppose the war are rallying around Saddam, saying we overthrew a sovereign leader based on a lie about WMD. This is exactly what Saddam wanted and predicted." He went further to state Saddam had not only WMD but ties with Al-Qaida.


03/25/2006 04:13:57 PM

Greling - Very good post about non-violence. When are these fake Christains going to awaken from thier ignorant stupor and help make the world a better place? All they do now is divide it and spread evil, hate, and violence.


03/25/2006 03:33:29 PM

Land:"They understood that to be what the Bible taught" bible teaches to avoid those with different religious views, obviously not a democratic principle Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.


03/25/2006 12:50:46 PM

cont. 4. Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform. Nonviolence willingly accepts the consequences of its acts ……. 5. Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate. Nonviolence resists violence of the spirit as well as body. Nonviolence is active, not passive. Non-violent love does not sink to the level of the hater. Love restores community and resists injustice. Nonviolence recognizes the fact that all life is interrelated 6. Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice. The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win.


03/25/2006 12:50:36 PM

Nonviolence is that answer: Both the leaders, Gandhi & King had the dream of ending oppression. Martin Luther king proposed and practiced six principles of nonviolence: 1. Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people. It is active non-violent resistance to evil….. 2. Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding. The end result of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation…. 3. Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people. Nonviolence recognizes that evil doers are also victims


03/25/2006 12:46:12 PM

There is no such thing as a "Christian" defense of war. Christians are supposed to be part of the world but not of it. Who would Jesus bomb? Who would Jesus kill? Afterall, the word "Christian" means to be "Christ-like". Thou shall not kill. Turn the other cheek. Remove the mote from thine own eye before looking at your neighbor's. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Warheads and machine guns don't create democracy, but neither does ignorance and complacency. We Christians need a better stragegy to save much of this world, but we must remember that nothing good can come of evil.


03/25/2006 02:28:06 AM

Mr. Land, There is no truer principle than"To whom much is given, much is required." To me the US has been blessed with prosperity due to its willingness to help and give to others. If a time should come when we as a nation are no longer willing to help and to give for the sake of others that will be the beginning of our downfall as a nation.


03/25/2006 12:53:19 AM

sorry - that should have said while I, like most military families, worry about....


03/25/2006 12:52:39 AM

As I said, I wasn't speaking for the rest of the country - I was speaking for my family, and why my husband, based on what he saw before the war, chose to go and try to help these people. I, like most military families, worry about the over-extension of the military, I do think it's a crime that we've not done something to help the people of Darfur, the Sudan, and etc. Just like we should have done something to stop Hitler before he exterminated 6 mil. innocent people. Again, I'm not speaking for why the gov't went, or whether they were right or wrong - frankly, it's a moot point, they did it - I just know why we chose what we did. Some of my friends are against it, some are for it. Of the against, some have points I agree with, some don't. Of the pro Iraq war, some have reasons I share, and some I don't. I'm just saying there are people, on the ground there, that choose to be there for noble reasons, regardless of the reasons of the gov't or the opinion of the press, or whatever.


03/24/2006 10:26:14 PM

"Blessed are the peacemakers", "Do unto others", "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind", "Be the change you want to see in the world", "those who live by the sword shall die by the sword". My challenge for those who support the war is this: Come up with a list of spiritual sayings that support war and killing. Ya, right, I didn't think so,


03/24/2006 07:55:03 PM

B N A Mom, You think the rest of the country would have gone along with the war if that were the reason we were there - to liberate the Iraqis? And would your husband also volunteer himself in Darfur, Sudan, etc? Do you and your husband believe that the purpose of our military is to liberate other nations? My husband is military too. And a lot of us dont think its right to support a war that began as a lie - with no game plan, and no end in sight.


03/24/2006 07:38:30 PM

Richard Land and his reactionary Southern Baptist denomination do not speak for all Christians. The "Southern" Baptists were wrong about slavery, and they're still getting it wrong!


03/24/2006 07:05:10 PM

I think the war with Iraq is unjustifiable. The reasons for the war was to find weapons of mass destruction, to keep America safe, and the rest of the world. The person who said the death of 2,000 American soldiers was worth saving 20 million people to free them, in my opinion is wrong. First of all they are not free, and will not be for a very long time. How many Iraqian people are dead because of all this fighting?


03/24/2006 06:38:30 PM

part 1 of 2 John 15:13 says -- Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. My husband and I are Christian. We are not "intolerant people" - among my closest friends are a Pagan and a Buddhist.My husband is in the Navy. He was on a ship doing boarding parties in support of the UN embargo before 9/11. Later, he was on the ground in Baghdad (yes, there are Sailors on the ground - not many, but they're there). We were both AD during the 1st Gulf War (but not in the war). con't


03/24/2006 06:38:05 PM

con't pt 2 of 2 He volunteered to go to Iraq. Not because of what both Rep. and Dem. polititians claimed, and not because of oil. He volunteered to go because, as he put it, he had seen the suffering of the Iraqi people, and he felt they at least deserved a chance, and they deserved hope. While he was there, there were MANY times Iraqis came up and thanked him, wanted to pose for pictures with him, etc. This was the same time they were starting to cut peoples heads off on a regular basis in Fallujia (sorry bout the spelling there). I can't speak for anyone else, and I can't speak for the government, but I can say that the reason my husband went, and the reason I supported him in going, even though I was terrified beyond words that he might not come home, was for a just and good reason. He went to fight for people that were too repressed and too scared to fight for themselves.


03/24/2006 06:34:41 PM

Full disclosure -- I was one of those who people who initially thought we should invade Iraq, because I believed that there was a strong possiblity that the regime had WMD's (though I never believed there was a link to 9/11). But, I also felt that the U.N. inspection process ought to have been permitted to play out, which would have shown that there were no weapons. To me, it is even more clear in retrospect that the Bush Administration was so eager to rush to war in Iraq that it was looking for any justification to do so.


03/24/2006 06:23:27 PM

cont. I am also sick of the tired old "blame the media" game. This is "spin" (also known as lying) to make it seem that the Iraqis are feeling just wonderful about what going on in their country right now. Wonderful about the golden dome of the historic mosque in Samarra being destroyed? Sure.


03/24/2006 06:20:38 PM

This interview really bugs me -- first of all, the justification Land gives for the Iraqi invasion is incorrect. We did NOT invade Iraq in order to liberate the Iraqis -- that was the second or third excuse for going into the country. "Nonetheless, Land is right about Sudan." nnmns, I agree with what he says about Sudan as well, but I think he is using this example solely to bolster up his argument for going into Iraq, and I find that offensive.


03/24/2006 05:33:58 PM

"Those that live by the sword will die by the sword." Anyone want to take a guess who wrote this? Why, I believe it was the founder of the Christian faith Himself. I wonder why his followers still don't want to hear this (anymore than they did in his time)? James 4 says that wars come because we lust to have (US geopolitical influence, oil, etc.). It is hard to comprehend that some still believe that this war was an altruistic effort to bring liberty to the Iraqis. Nevermind the fact that we were lied to about the reasons we went to war. And since when is lying a virtue that we expect God to bless?


03/24/2006 05:07:25 PM

But, President Ford, don't many, perhaps even most people, base their ethical decisions, at least in some way, on religious conviction? Strangely enough, I have to agree with the Southern Baptist leader about Iraq; while war is never a good thing, it is sometimes necessary. Two thousand soldiers may be dead, but more than twenty million are now free, and that makes the choice a moral one in my opinion. God bless!


03/24/2006 04:54:51 PM

I love seeing it when politics and religion mix. No good can come of it, as the good ol' Crusades remind us. Using religion to justify any political decision is a terrible criteria. Basic human ethics, not religion, should be the basis of government. Those in Power have to ask themselves if what they're doing is really good for the people affected by it. ...and who gave this reverend the moral authority to speak on such issues anyways?


03/24/2006 04:46:48 PM

"Thou shalt not kill." "Blessed are the peacemakers..." And does the "just-war" theory mean that it is unjust that we are not invading North Korea? And is genocide in Sudan still a non-issue? Does justice not pertain to genocide?


03/24/2006 04:31:38 PM

you know what cracks me up? long time ago i was sitting around, totally bored, and i was thinking abou tthe phrase, "GOD bless America" . but does HE really? i mean the Bible says to obey your leaders and even when they perscute you and tax you to the extreme you are to "render unto Ceasar...". so were the founding fathers even justified in the revolution? i dont really care either way, but it just cracks me up when "Christians" (which some take to equal "patriot") talk about America like Christ Himself was the founder.


03/24/2006 03:54:25 PM

A question I'm wondering: why do Christian leaders support democracy when their God is still today openly described as being a king?


03/24/2006 03:05:58 PM

What makes this man's statement Christian? Jesus was not an advocate of war. In actual fact, he repaired the ear of the soldier after Peter used his sword against him. Jesus instructed us to turn the other cheek. This man has the right to his opinion. However, to the one who titled this article, why not title it "One man's defense of war". This man did not even quote the gospels. Even Jesus himself used scripture to defend his statements.


03/24/2006 02:19:24 PM

We went to liberate a country that was in the grip of a terrible dictator who had perpetrated horrible atrocities and crimes against humanity, against his own people, as well as his neighbors I'm so sure those words looked different a few years back... didn't they used to say "Weapons of Mass Destruction" ... and something about 4 legs good two legs bad.... We have a responsibility and an obligation based upon the blessings that have been showered upon us as a nation and as a people to help others when we can. This is starting to sound a lot like "white man's burden" to me. North Korea is a situation where we certainly would like to help the North Koreans obtain their freedom, and there are certainly ways in which we can put pressure on the North Korean regime, but military action is not an option, because it would not pass the test of proportionality. proportionality... ah yes. The American-English word for "no oil"


03/24/2006 01:25:15 PM

This guy's line of reasoning is the same one used by bin Laden in his war with the West. It could be used by any nation against another. Just how "right" are we, really, given that our society is morally corrupt?


03/24/2006 12:54:50 PM

I'm reminded of the good Christians who used their Christian faith to justify slavery before the Civil War. Growing up, I personally heard Baptist ministers preach that God wants the races to remain separate (segregation). Now we hear Christian ministers preach intolerance of homosexuals. The fact that he's a minister means nothing to me. He is one man giving his opinion. There are many Christians reading the same Bible who disagree with him. I like those Christians better.


03/24/2006 12:37:14 PM

I wonder how he feels about this administrations treatment of vets, including the recent cut in benefits and the withdrawl of promised bonuses for reenlistment.


03/24/2006 12:18:22 PM

Like most neocons, he can never admit a mistake.. The enemy (us)might seize on it and beat him about the head and shoulders. Maybe he should read the Beatitudes again. Even I've read them, and don't recall "just war" being there. What happens if the ultimate government of a free Iraq decides Christians need to be beheaded, as is happening in Afghanistan?


03/24/2006 12:18:11 PM

Well, at least he's consistent in his beliefs. If you're willing to "liberate" one country, you should be willing to liberate others, too, esp. Congo. On the other hand, folks like Land should be up in arms about non-political methods of killing, such as our current diet, pollution, and many other aspects of American life. How many fundies do you see activating against these?


03/24/2006 12:09:36 PM

Just about everywhere there's a fundamentalist religious leader, Omar.


03/24/2006 11:55:43 AM

Just another fundamentalist religious leader calling for war. Where have we seen that before?


03/24/2006 11:46:11 AM

This man with this man's influence is utterly terrifying and he makes me feel ashamed to call myself Christain. Should we talk about "just intent"? Felynegrace sewed that one up. This guy's talking about world domination. Constantine turned Bishops into Generals which translated into hundreds of years of Crusades...here we go again..................


03/24/2006 11:31:55 AM

"I believe our cause in Iraq was just; I think it was one of the more noble things we've done. We went to liberate a country that was in the grip of a terrible dictator... That is the current reason we went to war right? To be noble, originally it was because we were on the verge of being attacked by some non decript weapon of mass destruction, then it was because saddam was somehow mythically connected to 911, now we are being noble. Would it not have been nice if we could have used some of the billions being spent there to "make life better" for the Iraqis, here? A fraction of what is being spent there could have provided decent healthcare for the hundreds of thousands without decent healthcare. Another fraction could have been used to build affordable housing for people who are suddenly homeless, many of them past war veterans themselves. Would it not have been just as "noble" of a cause to spend our taxpayer dollars helping people here who are in trouble?


03/24/2006 11:18:46 AM

So Land is saying he supports abortion for Iraqi's? Ya know, pre-emptively kill the child who will grow up to be a terrorist...


03/24/2006 11:12:05 AM

The people telling us today that we must accept "What's past is past" are often the same ones who yesterday insisted we had to bring freedumb-fries to Iraq to stop Saddam from pumping oil, er I mean making imaginary WMDs. So now, we're told we have to think about "which is better for Iraq and the United States" - well considering how badly this has cacked up for the long suffering Iraqis, it is hard to imagine it getting much worse. I think the Iraqis have had all the "help" they can endure for now. Time to call it and pay the bartab, methinks. The US needs to become a humbler nation and cease its idolatrous delusion that it is an agent of God. As the last Pope indicated, when Bush went to Iraq, he went without God, and God has long since made that clear.


03/24/2006 10:41:52 AM

"I'm told that about 60 percent of the country geographically has been turned over to the Iraqi army..." 70% of Iraq is open desert. So, whoopity-flip, Rev. Land. I'm told that nearly 70% of this country has finally come-to about how wrong this war is. How long will you slumber, Rev. Land? Or would coming out against this war rankle your corporate backers too much?


03/24/2006 10:36:18 AM

He only says what he says is b/c he benefits for supporting Bush. He'll do anything and say anything to push his and his likes religious radical agenda. He claims that our democracy in america is a bold statemen of freedom, but i'd bet he'd be quick to judge and condem and deny people their "rights" like right to abortion, gay marriage, immigration... He claims we did a just thing by invading Iraq and "establishing" a democracy, which is far from democracy, so it should be by his judgement to invade all countries that aren't democratic..... This should be called "Keep the Politics" and "A Political Agenda Defense of the War in Iraq"


03/24/2006 10:30:56 AM

"Thou shalt not kill - Richard Land's Bible. Does the US Gov't and its supporters really think that there will ever come a time when people will stop finding political excuses to blow themselves up in the Middle East? If we're gonna wait for that day to pull our troops, then this is not a sacrifice worth making. Their problem is internal and they are sovereign countries need to deal with it interanally- whatever change outsiders try to bring will be rejected by the people from the Middle East because they don't trust us and have no reason to trust us. Let THEM deal with their internal problems and let US deal with ours!


03/24/2006 10:19:34 AM

I am so tired of this. What's past is past. Agree or disagree with it as you like, but let it go, it's over. The question NOW is, which is better for Iraq and the United States: To see it through or to pull out? Who wins if we pull out? The Iraqi people? Is that what you really think? Do you really think Iraq will be a stable, peaceful, non-threatening nation if we pull out now? Really?


03/24/2006 10:16:21 AM

Read your Old Testament, dangerouschristian, that's part of the Christian canon, too, and Jesus was just as much God then as He was in the New Testament.


03/24/2006 09:30:51 AM

As a Christian, I feel that Land is way off the Gospel mark. If he really took the time to read Jesus's words, he'd see that Jesus never advocated "just war." Even James blasted the idea of war and fighting based on lusts (in Bush's case the lust for oil). As another poster stated, I wonder how Land would feel if he was a grunt in uniform patroling the corner of Main and Elm in Bagdhad? How would he feel if any moment a bullet/car bomb/rocket could take him out at any second? He wouldn't see the war as so "just" afterall. But remember too: Land is part of the subculture that Bush panders to-the WASP southern male. And birds of a feather do flock together. Peace (for Iraq too).


03/24/2006 09:23:57 AM

Hell, I wasn't even claiming that secularists were more ethical. I used pragmatism. You're simply less likely to advocate use of an undesireable tactic that you can conceive can end up being used on YOU. And when you're a distinct and obviously unliked minority (such as one that gets compared to Stalin and Mao on a regular basis.. imagine if I compared all of you to, say, Torquemada..), which Christians are not in this country, at least, but WERE in the Soviet Union, then being supportive of torture is unlikely. I daresay that if that question had been put to Christians in Soviet Russia, support of torture as an acceptable tactic would've been considerably less.


03/24/2006 09:19:55 AM

Well, the survey WAS conducted, I believe, in the United States. And if we're going to talk just about specific people who torture, I'm sure we can all bring up names. (Let's get the usual gang of atheists out of the way. Mao and Stalin. There, we said it. Oooh, never heard THOSE names before.) They are talking about overall. Not people who TORTURE. That's a pretty small group, actually, and often done for personal gain or vengeance. They are talking about people who think that torture is justifiable. That it is an acceptable practice. And the results of that were posted. I'm sorry, one or two names isn't really a challenge to that survey.


03/24/2006 08:32:04 AM

I guess if you have the "right" religion, you can justify anything.


03/24/2006 08:26:15 AM

Nonetheless, Land is right about Sudan.


03/24/2006 07:04:25 AM

There actually is a formal Christian group in England that has as it's mission the opposition to and exposure of torture. I know a number of folks who support torture, most of them are Christian - as are most of the people I know who don't support it.


03/24/2006 06:56:34 AM

"I am far from convinced that any sort of statement claiming secularists to be less inclined to torture..." as am I.


03/24/2006 06:47:10 AM

I am far from convinced that any sort of statement claiming secularists to be less inclined to torture is supportable. The 20th century's worst monster - Stalin - was an atheist. Of far more interest than the demographics of torturers is countering their arguments. You won't stop Land by saying, "He's a them thar Baptist!" You will counter him by intelligently explaining that the Just War's "legitimate authority" article does not necessarily mean the agressor state's government.


03/24/2006 06:41:37 AM

chevy: quoting a 4th century patriarch with regard to 21st century statecraft ethics is a bit of an anachronism, no? Does that mean modern wiccans should be held to account for some of, say, Cicero's more outlandish views? But the fact is that "Just War theory" saw itself mostly expanded on by Thomas Aquinas from the 12th century. And Land doesn't know what he's talking about to invoke it. Pope JPII, a far more capable and intelligent theologian, made abundantly clear why. But then Land's God is the God of America-olatry, not the God of the New Testament.


03/24/2006 04:12:13 AM

On why fewer secularists advocate torture. Maybe.. the more likely you are to think that torture could conceivably be used, some day, for some pretext or another, used on you.. the less likely you are to endorse it? I doubt many unpopular minorities would be big torture fans.


03/24/2006 01:24:39 AM

nnmns, The quote below doesn't surpise me in the least. I was reading a history of Christianity recently which quoted St. Augustine,of all people, justifying the ecclesiastic use of torture on heretics. This would be during the 4th century C.E. Not like it is an alien traditon in Christianity...


03/23/2006 11:02:21 PM

This is from Salon. As far as I know it doesn't relate to Land, but it does relate to Christians and this war: "Now Andrew Sullivan introduces us to another new tribe in the big tent: Christians for Torture. Crunching the numbers on a recent Pew poll, Sullivan discovers that 57 percent of the people who describe themselves as "secular" say that torture is either never or rarely justified. Only 49 percent of white Protestants and only 42 percent of Roman Catholics are similarly torture-averse. "In other words," Sullivan says, "if you are an American Christian, you are more likely to support torture than if you are an atheist or agnostic." Sullivan -- who has been grapplingof late with his own feelings of "shame and sorrow" for errors along the way to Iraq -- calls Christians for Torture "a new constituency" and "another part of the Bush legacy.""


03/23/2006 10:44:35 PM

...that this fellow... sorry tovart - thanks for the kind words.


03/23/2006 10:43:52 PM

While I understand the this fellow would have grieving mothers believe that their children are in a palace in the sky (if they share his faith), I also recognize that mothers whose children stap themselves with suicide bomb belts are told another version of the same story.


03/23/2006 10:40:29 PM

Andrewcyrus - "...by surrendering at the cross, and then he (sic) rose from the dead." Hey, were our troops similarly capable of rising from the dead, their sacrifice might be just as easily made. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, when you pay for somebody else's mistake with your life, you stay dead.


03/23/2006 10:38:08 PM

At least according to Holtz.


03/23/2006 10:33:19 PM

Yes, this man is actually trying to instill guilt in those who advocate peace instead of war. Was Jesus not referred to as the Prince of Peace -- Mars was the God of War.


03/23/2006 10:22:03 PM

Land is right about Sudan and probably those other places. And the consequences of our failure in Iraq will be bad. We can hope the Iraqis will forge a government not led by bad guys, either terrorists or fundamentalists, but it's no sure thing. But if you think about how much better off we would be, and arguably the Iraqis would be, if this invasion had not taken place, you must despair. Imagine all those people not dead or injured or traumatized. Imagine those billions upon billions of dollars going to education, not armaments; to defending our ports, not destroying Iraqi cities. Imagine if the people of the world still thought of us much as they did after 9/11, not after our invasion. Imagine if we'd used American troops to surround Osama at Tora Bora instead of pulling them out for the Iraqi invasion. Imagine if our President didn’t lie to us to goad us into a war he wanted all along.


03/23/2006 09:49:39 PM

MAT 27V20But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. We note that it was the chief priests and elders who wanted the warrior instead of JESUS. We see these replays again and again through out every crusade that was ever issued forth.


03/23/2006 09:34:41 PM

Jesus never advocated war. He overcame this world by surrendering at the cross, and then he rose from the dead. It is his faith that will help those who honestly seek him overcome their fears of "terrorism and economic insecurities". We should not be held to keep a faith in war or economic security. It doesn't represent a real christian, nor does it lead people to Christ. We need to pray for those in leadership positions to make bold stands for JESUS, not bold stands for Pilate, and Caesar.


03/23/2006 08:48:31 PM

WB, that is the best yet. Just a damned War.


03/23/2006 08:38:16 PM

In the latest air assault [Operation Swarmer, in mid-March 2006], there were 1,500 troops—800 of them were Iraqis, and 700 of them were American paratroopers. ...Aaaaaaand, what happened. Nothing. It was a media stunt.


03/23/2006 08:27:56 PM

I feel sorry for people like him. IMO he dare not come to terms with the reality of this debacle. If he were to even for a moment see this truth he would not sleep for the guilt that would wrack him. JMO of course. Paula


03/23/2006 08:23:39 PM

First it was pitched as a just war because Iraq was well on the way to nuking the US. Then, when that threat was exposed as a combination of Republican neocon fear and Ahmed Chalabi's salesmanship, it was pitched as a just war in order to free Iraqis from Hussein's rule. Then, once he was taken into custody and nobody could find the rose petals in the streets Cheney said our liberating armies could expect, it became a just war to plant the seeds of Democracy. Now it's a just war to stave off Civil War. Clearly, it was never about Justice - it is JUST WAR.


03/23/2006 08:12:12 PM

Perhaps Rev. Land might do well to consider where he'd be if Jesus believed in the doctrine of preemption with respect to the punishment of sin.


03/23/2006 07:36:01 PM

Problem here is that Mr. Land is not in uniform, not in Iraq, not holding a gun in his hand, so can easily sit back in his rocking chair and spiel off his offensive comments. First of all NO WAS IS JUSTIFIED. We should have minded our own business instead we are now in debt trillions of dollars, our homeless are still homeless, our hungry still hungry, our children not getting an education equivilent to what other nations are giving theirs, and we have placed our great grand children in debt up to their ears. TAX THE CHURCHES TO HELP PAY FOR IT.


03/23/2006 07:33:03 PM

Nowhere does Jesus talk about a "just war theory". It is no different than an Islam suicide bombing claiming martership. Fundementalists in both camps are creating this war.


03/23/2006 07:30:01 PM

"The consequences of failure in Iraq are horrific for the security of the United States ..." But still to be sure some will insist that we keep on keepin' on and should have done it any ol' way and stay that course inspite of failure, a resultant horrific national security issue, civil war for the Iraqis, and many, many dead, because we will have fulfilled our "moral" obligation and just cause, right?


03/23/2006 07:23:13 PM

"You have to use all of the tests. You have to use the test of just cause, just intent, you have to have..." o i l or some other desireable natural resource.


03/23/2006 07:05:29 PM

Why oh why do they have to title it "A Christian Defense...". So many of us Christians are against this war and have been since its beginning! We're not all of this stripe.


03/23/2006 06:54:54 PM

Another so-called "just war" Christian. Jesus lived in a time that saw his home-land occupied by a foreign aggressor. Militant Jewish groups tried to get Jesus to lend his flock and charisma to the cause against the Romans, but he refused. Jesus refused to raise arms in a situation that I think Mr. Land would call a "just war", but he didn't. Being pro war and being a Christian do not mesh no matter how one tries to justify it or spin it.