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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.

Continued from page 1

That was your view of events from a political perspective. How do you reflect on the war as a Christian?

I believe in just-war theory, and the first item in just-war criteria is that it has to be a just cause. 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 who had perpetrated horrible atrocities and crimes against humanity, against his own people, as well as his neighbors. We removed him and we are giving the Iraqis the ability to defend themselves and to build a stable democracy.

 

I as a Christian believe that all human beings have unique dignity and the right to freedom, the right to freedom of conscience. I believe the Declaration of Independence, which says that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The people who were responsible for the drafting and approval of that were people who were operating mostly from a Judeo-Christian worldview. They understood that to be what the Bible taught, and I agree with them. The Iraqis have the same right to freedom.

 

I would also say that there's a very important principle in scripture that says that to whom much is given, much is required. As an American, I have been given much. We have freedoms that we didn't die for, we have freedoms that we haven't sacrificed much for. To use a biblical metaphor, we drink from wells we didn't dig, and we live in houses we didn't build. We benefit from tremendous rights that we didn't do much sacrificing for, at least not in my generation. My father did, my father was in a good deal of combat in World War II to help defend and secure those freedoms. But we have been given much. And to whom much is given, much is required. And I believe that makes it incumbent upon us as Americans to help others when we can to secure the same freedom that we have. The idea of American exceptionalism is not a doctrine of empire, it's not a doctrine of domination, it's a doctrine of responsibility and obligation. 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.

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Richard Land
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