God's Politics

God's Politics


Diana Butler Bass: ‘Elaborate Lies’

posted by gp_intern

Two events this week should cause all Christians to stop and consider the relationship between truth and war. Both the congressional hearings in the Tillman/Lynch cases and the Bill Moyers PBS special about the media and Iraq point out one of the dimensions of war: lying.

When religious people protest war, they most often protest killing and the loss of life. Indeed, Christian ethicist (and just-war theorist) Jean Bethke Elshtain makes the case that “the national identity that we assume, or yearn for, is historically inseparable from war. The nation-state, including our own, rests on mounds of bodies.” Those bodies include both soldiers and citizens – the direct result of the “nationalistic enthusiasm” that sustains war in a democracy.

But how does a democracy create a necessary climate for ordinary folks to kill or be willing to be killed? Well, it appears that they sometimes have to lie. And it isn’t just the “big” lies about cooking military intelligence for war – those lies can be much smaller.

Take the cases of Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch, two soldiers whose stories were “hyped” by someone (that’s what the congressional panel is trying to determine) who apparently wanted to deflect attention away from the less-glamorous aspects of American action in Iraq (including, evidently, the Abu Ghraib torture scandal). The image of the good soldier motivates heroism, giving people a reason to kill and die. Heroes are necessary for war.

Christian ethicists, both pacifists and just-war theorists, criticize contemporary warfare because war depends on absolute loyalty to the state – and the state has a tendency to bend morality to fit its purposes to create heroes. As Stanley Hauerwas has written, “The state needs to convince its citizens that it can give them a meaningful identity because the state is the only means of achieving the common good. …To preserve themselves, all states, even democracies, must ask their citizens to die for them.”

Is that what Christians believe? That – no matter what – the state maintains the common good? The Christian tradition says “no.” It teaches that the common good is grounded in God, founded on charity, lived through the church, and modeled by the saints.

War teaches a rival belief: that the common good is grounded in a political system, founded in courage, lived through citizenship, and modeled by soldiers. Indeed, in warfare, soldiers replace saints as cultural heroes – the military maintains an elaborate cult of sainthood that celebrates obedience, self-sacrifice for the state, and death in battle; its virtues resemble that of pagan antiquity more than that of the church. (For more on this argument, read Stanley Hauerwas and Charles Pinches, “Courage Exemplified,” 1993.) Anything that forwards the state serves the good. Of that, philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre says that being asked to die for a modern state is “like being asked to die for the telephone company.”

Consider this observation of Randolph Bourne from 1918, during the Great War:

“War – or at least modern war waged by a democratic republic against a powerful enemy – seems to achieve for a nation almost all that the most inflamed political idealist could desire. Citizens are no longer indifferent to their Government, but each cell of the body politic is brimming with life and activity … in a nation at war, every citizen identifies himself with the whole, and feels immensely strengthened by that identification.”

The hyped cases of Tillman and Lynch offered some “inflamed political idealist” a perfect moment to promote the cause, to bend the truth in service to the state’s good. Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch were ideal candidates for sainthood. Of all American youth, who moves us more than a star football player and the girl-next-door? They served as ultimate American archetypes, young people whose sacrifice helped us identify “with the whole,” giving others a reason to die for the state. Somewhere in the government, some very smart person knew that Tillman and Lynch were the perfect PR vehicles for war. Lies were told. Lies that could sustain the greater lie that the Iraq war is good, necessary, and just. The hyping of their stories was both cynical and immoral.

Those lies echoed through the pulpits of our nation – through television, radio, and the internet. Without a willing media (the focus of Bill Moyers’ special), the stories of Tillman and Lynch would have never been known (indeed, news stations broadcast Tillman’s funeral and a TV movie was made about Lynch). For true believers, critique is not allowed, only true doctrine permitted in the “church” of modern warfare is acceptable. The media was lied to, bought lies, broadcast lies, and proclaimed lies. Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch were lied about for the dark – and probably political – purposes of sustaining nationalistic fervor.

The irony is, of course, that Mr. Tillman and Ms. Lynch are heroes. Not for their hyped-up stories, but because the lies told about them are leading, finally, to truth. Speaking for their son, the Tillman family believes that Pat was victimized by the lies. Pat Tillman’s brother, Kevin (also in the military) said, “The least this country can do for [Pat] in return is to uncover who was responsible for his death, who lied and covered it up, and who instigated those lies and benefited from them.” Ms. Lynch insisted to Congress that she is not a hero (as she has insisted in many venues): “… the American people are capable of determining their own ideals for heroes, and they don’t need to be told elaborate lies.”

Thank you, Mr. Tillman and Ms. Lynch, for witnessing to truth. It is hard to believe that shards of honesty are emerging from all these lies.


Diana Butler Bass (www.dianabutlerbass.com) is an independent commentator on religion and American culture. She is the author of Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transforming the Faith (Harper San Francisco), which was recently awarded Book of the Year by the Academy of Parish Clergy.



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Carl Copas

posted April 25, 2007 at 8:29 pm


I believe it was Kant who said that enough dishonesty in the public sphere will eventually lead to social lunacy. Thank you Diana for an excellent think-piece.



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Donny

posted April 26, 2007 at 4:47 am


How fascinating that you will decry the lies that bring us war info, but sit in complicit silence to the lies about abortion, socialism and homosexuality promoted by the liars of those ills. All things that “Christians” should oppose “too.” The most incredible thing about the Progressive view, is what is sold to and what is sold out. You claim authentic Christian preaching on things like war and violence, and then lie your _______ off about abortion, taxing the family into communism, looking the other way to dishonest immigrants, your collusion with Hollywood debauchery and of course, the acceptability of gay and lesbian behavior. 20% Gospel truth is hardly honest Christian preaching. And one thing I’ve noticed of late, Progressives are preaching ad infinitum.When looking for liars selling us falsehoods for political power, please look towards military propagandists and Liberal-Progressive (Secular Humanist) activists. Oh yes, the monologue of the Religious Right is over. Thank God. Now we can start “testing all things,” as Progressives present their side of religion, and we can prove how wrong most of it is. I notice also though, that only the Leftists are allowed unfettered access to “free” speech on the university campus.Welcome to the dialogue (where it is allowed to happen). I for one, welcome the opportunity to see “The Left” in the light of day.



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splinterlog

posted April 26, 2007 at 5:23 pm


Donny – let me try, let me try… The Liberal biased media in cahoots with the secular humanists on our college campuses are turning our nation into a new Sodom.Woe betide you communists wearing the sheepskin of progressives. Because you hate America and you hate freedom you will not inherit either. Peace can only be achieved through military might. Don’t you read your Bible? … how was that? :)



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Tim

posted April 26, 2007 at 5:26 pm


So what about my two grandfathers? They fought in World War II, followed Jesus, and were heroes because they risked their lives standing up for the weak (…all those countries Germany just decided to take over…). Apparently they didn’t read enough of Hauerwas. Then they would have realized that fighting against Hitler was a sin and that they were wrong to risk their lives so that Jews would not be senselessly murdered, France could have a country again, and that Japan could no longer oppress their neighbors. Its OK pacifists, keep talking. Those of us fighting will continue to protect you. Yes, you can follow Jesus and fight. Laying down your life for others is still a good thing…at least I thought it was.



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Don

posted April 26, 2007 at 5:29 pm


Diana: Who was it that said the first casualty of war is the truth? Bill Moyers also wrote, “One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress.” When the history of the 21st century’s first decade is written, people will shake their heads in amazement and wonder at the level of deception and obbfuscation that we have experienced and accepted over the last six years. The current inept and morally bankrupt administration has been captivated by a culture of deception. Maybe the truth about Jessica’s and Pat’s stories will begin the needed unraveling of this influence of the delusional. We can only pray that it be so. Thanks,



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splinterlog

posted April 26, 2007 at 5:39 pm


Tim – well your grandfathers didn’t have to read Hauerwas – they could have just read Thomas Muentzer or Menno Simons or Tolstoy or even that pagan unbeliever Gandhi. Too bad that they didn’t get a chance to and ended up murdering people under the excuse of war.You know it’s one of your war-happy historians on the right, Niall Ferguson, who claims that a peaceful and equitable solution to WW1 would have created a Europe in which Nazi Germany would have been unneccesary. Of course – he’s just talking plain crazy! So please take your immoral protection racket and military industrial complex somewhere else. It just makes bad problems worse.



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Mark

posted April 26, 2007 at 5:44 pm


Donny, I appreciate dialogue and truth telling, so let me understand you correctly in an attempt to dialogue. You say that Diana Butler Bass (or do you mean the religious left?) is guilty of lieing on 3 issues: Abortion, Socialism, and Homosexuality.I can see how you might disagree with completely pro-choice Christians, but I don’t think that makes them liars…The same goes for the issue of blessing homosexual relationships. It’s not as if Diana believes those relationships are sinful but is telling people otherwise! If indeed she does bless homosexual relationships, I’d assume it’s because she doesn’t believe them to be sinful.So on those two issues, I think you’ve confused lieing with bad theology, and that’s a crucial distinction that can’t be overlooked if we are going to dialogue.As for socialism, well, it’s not the same thing as communism, and I think you really need to be clearer about what you want to say if you actually hope to engage anyone in conversation. Otherwise it’s just a shouting match, and no one has time for those.



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letjusticerolldown

posted April 26, 2007 at 5:50 pm


I admire what I saw in Pat Tillman’s brother and mother as they sat before the congressional committee. Ms. Tillman stated, “Truth is never more painful than a lie.” Her story was one of the lone citizen who had already paid the biggest price having to battle a bureacracy for the truth; AND feeling she still does not have the full story. What saddened me is that I inferred from her testimony that she did not consider the Committee particularly any more committed to getting at the full story than all of her prior experience. But it was in this context that triggered my admiration of her courage and clarity. I side with Ms. Tillman. I do not particularly trust the Committee or media who suddenly are so interested in the ‘truth.’ They are more than willing to use her as part of their “Story this week” and express how much compassion they have for her battle. So I just caution you about jumping on the “exposing lies about Tillman/Lynch as example of truthtelling” bandwagon. I believe Christians can honor, build and serve governments as a common grace–including giving one’s life (in life and death); but we ought be self-reflective and not place the government in a place of idolatry. Christians ought be the most enthusiastic supporters of just govenment and critics of idolatrous and unjust government. And we ought give space to different members of the Body being spirit-led to have different stances towards the state at different times. I assume from the Diana Butler Bass blog that she would advocate for small government with limited power.



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Mark

posted April 26, 2007 at 5:50 pm


Splinterlog,I have many sympathies with pacifist lines of thought, and so I have to ask you, how is berating people on this thread is doing anything productive or to the glory of God? I don’t think you can equate being a soldier with being a murderer. I do believe almost all killing is wrong, but all killing isn’t murder, and calling someone’s grandfather a murderer for fighting in WW II only makes the intellectual divide worse.



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letjusticerolldown

posted April 26, 2007 at 6:04 pm


Thank you Mark, and others, who work at building valued dialogue. I really have trouble with ‘public life as shouting match.’ I have a very sarcastic/snide streak in me that always lurks. And another streak much more interested in editorializing than listening. It is helpful, I believe, to recognize that persons who come at us in a very resistant/oppositional manner at least have the love and commitment to speak/engage. Appreciate you listening and seeking valuable dialogue



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Aaron

posted April 26, 2007 at 6:36 pm


Christian ethicists, both pacifists and just-war theorists, criticize contemporary warfare because war depends on absolute loyalty to the state and the state has a tendency to bend morality to fit its purposes to create heroes I’d say that’s been a tendency of many hagiographers of the past, and not all State sponsored.



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splinterlog

posted April 26, 2007 at 7:01 pm


Ummm and berating the writers on this blog is according to the will of God?I’m trying to stick as close to a consistent life ethic as possible – if abortion is murder in every circumstance, then war is murder in every case too. No exceptions! There is a glorious myth that is told about soldiers – that they defend freedom. The people who defend freedom live at home and fight government and corporate incursions into our daily lives. These poor souls who are sent out to fight battles for corporate and government interests in other countries are just the arm of the M.I.C – nothing more and nothing less.



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kevin s.

posted April 26, 2007 at 7:05 pm


At least Splinterlog is carrying pacifism to its logical end. If we are called to be pacifists, our troops are active sinners by way of murder.



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letjusticerolldown

posted April 26, 2007 at 7:31 pm


Splinterlog– Please consider whether all killing equals murder. Please consider if any person or state may legitimately use coercive power to restrict evil. Please consider if there are ever circumstances in which the dignity of human life can only be sustained by killing. Would you allow for an abortion if the failure to abort would result in the death of the mother and the death of the fetus? Do you consider the passengers on Flight 93 that attempted to forcefully take the plane back from the hijackers to be murderers? Is there no evil–Rwanda, Cambodia, Stalin, Mao, Darfur to which you would apply lethal force to stop? If you were in a Virginia Tech classroom with Cho having shot half the class and another student had a gun, raised it to shoot Cho; what would you do? Jump in front of Cho so he would not be murdered? Please clarify.



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Mark

posted April 26, 2007 at 7:45 pm


I suspect much of Splinterlogg’s argument rests on Matthew 5:39, “But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”In the current climate, I think these words have been hideously neglected. As a nation, and as individuals, we’ve ignored Jesus’ words. In fact, I don’t think a nation could survive if everyone adhered to this verse…which I’m ok with if it means following Jesus. Jesus was a revolutionary after all, so maybe following him means breaking a few nations apart.However, I think we must also consider what it means to love our neighbor. Because Jesus’ teaching only addresses ourself, I don’t think we have the ability to say that Jesus is commanding us to never restrain any evil to anyone no matter what. I think it’s possible to restrain someone out of love for their soul… But is it possible to kill them out of love? I don’t know.Regardless, I regard our soldiers as being misguided by a larger system. Are they murderers? Well, not in the same since as anyone who commits murder domestically. They’ve gone through extensive training that teaches them to hate their enemies (which is necesarry to effectively fight). My point is that their actions are a result of a much bigger system of myths about “redemptive violence”.



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moderatelad

posted April 26, 2007 at 8:06 pm


Tim | 04.26.07 – 11:31 am | #Great post – You will realize sooner of later that Sojo and the authors that they ask to write articles for this site will in my never to be humble opinion support any military action whatsoever. They really will go out of their way to blast it if a conservative brings us into war. (they will never ask me to write an article and I wonder what they said when Clinton took us in to a number of conflicts – we are still in the Bulkins) Sojo for the most part believes that you just need to talk them out of killing people – reason with them. I have yet to figure out if that is a conviction of theirs or if they just are a group of pacifists that will not stand up against great evil in the world for fear of being injured or killed for someone that needs their assistance. We have several thousand heros in the millitary that are made up of the brightest and best. (Kerry refers to these people as too dumb for college so all that is available to them is the millitary) How sad. SO – if we have lost the war according to Harry Reed – then who won? Who offered us the document to sign for surrendering to them?Harry feels that the war is going to their advantage so that more liberals will be in congress as of the next election. How many more of our brightest and best have to die to secure your majority Harry? SHWS – because Harry and Company will make political hay out of any conflict. Later – .



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bobc

posted April 26, 2007 at 8:39 pm


moderatelad Actually Wallis is quite clear about the need to go to war. We must go to war if the peaceful means do not give the desired result. The process is most important. We don’t just say screw it and fight. We try to work out out differences with violence as the last resort. It takes effort and a real concern for others. It takes working with others for the common good. It is a collective thing. We blast everyone for rushing headlong into war. Did Clinton rush us into the Balkans? He would not go until Bob Dole gave him the go ahead. It was a UN effort and the US had to take the lead because the other neighbors were too highly coupled with WWII atrocities. The ethnic cleansing went on until the people demanded action. We all hate war and will do everything to avoid it. But sometimes, it cannot be avoided.



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kevin s.

posted April 26, 2007 at 8:55 pm


“I suspect much of Splinterlogg’s argument rests on Matthew 5:39, “But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” ” The context of this is a repudiation of the “eye for an eye” methodology, wherein people seek revenge. If the case for Iraq was revenge, then this argument applies. It certainly doesn’t apply to World War II. “In fact, I don’t think a nation could survive if everyone adhered to this verse…which I’m ok with if it means following Jesus. Jesus was a revolutionary after all, so maybe following him means breaking a few nations apart. ” It is fine if you believe this, but it isn’t supported by the text. There is no call for Christians to break the nations apart. When a Roman military leader requested that Jesus heal his servant, Christ exclaimed that he had never seen such faith. Why no rebuke of his involvement with the military? Far from rebuking him, he says that many of the sons of the kingdom will be cast from heaven, while folks like him will sit at the table with Abraham. Jesus was interested in faith.



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moderatelad

posted April 26, 2007 at 9:12 pm


bobc | 04.26.07 – 2:44 pm | #War is the final act of a rational society to deal with an irrational enity. Look at all the support on tape for ‘regime change’ from that pillars of the left. Clinton – Kerry – Reed – etc.ethnic cleansing Yes but now the blue helmets are allowing it to happen again all the while that they are there. ONLY – it is now the Islamists that are killing the Christians. Not sure that Dole had that much to do with the Balkins – think that Clinton made that decision himself with his Cabinet. But sometimes, it cannot be avoided. But I do not think that Wallis or Sojo would ever find it nessesary to join into armed conflict. One thing I have learn with reading Wallis is that he is into the ‘glittering generality’ with his retoric. He is very adept at making things sound wonderful and that this is the plan and everyone supports it. Only to find out that it is a minority that supports it and that not everyone is what he claims them to be. We all hate war and will do everything to avoid it. AMEN – but when it is determined that all has failed and you are out of options. (except to do nothing) You go to war to win – none of the ‘perportional’ bull. As Patton said – ‘you do not die for your country – you let the other SOB die for theirs’. Hit them fast – hit them hard and get it over asap.Have a great day -Later – .



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Another nonymous

posted April 26, 2007 at 9:15 pm


I’m not sure that what Diana is advocating is a pacifist position. What she is pointing to is the paradox of just war theory: the more just you believe your cause to be, the easier it is to justify doing practically anything in its support. Therefore, a Christian attitude toward war should value truth as much as it values human life.



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Mark

posted April 26, 2007 at 9:17 pm


Kevin S., In stating, “I don’t think a nation could survive if everyone adhered to this verse…which I’m ok with if it means following Jesus. Jesus was a revolutionary after all, so maybe following him means breaking a few nations apart” I meant to suggest that Jesus’ teachings call us act in ways which run contrary to our culture and government.The easiest and most obvious example is the call to love our enemies. It’s clear that part of our motivation for going to war with Iraq was pre-emptive. Yet, how are the Iraqi people being loved in this? Especially when they view our entrance into their country as a crusade. Say what you will about the war, but I think we all can agree that we haven’t fought out of love of neighbor or our enemies.With that said, I’m hard pressed to think of conflicts where military force would be used in order to love the people we’re fighting. That is why I said what I said about nation’s breaking up. If we really followed Jesus’ words so many things would be different…(don’t even get me started on how our economic system would change)



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Payshun

posted April 26, 2007 at 9:37 pm


Bill Moyers special was good. Seeing footage from the hearings was tragic and at the same time comforting. it was healing to see people seek justice. p



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kevin s.

posted April 26, 2007 at 9:55 pm


Mark, And I am saying that Jesus did not call on nations to abandon their militaries. We are called, as Christians, not to seek vengeance, but Romans outlines a clear authority for government. That government is comprised of people, and I doubt Paul was calling on people to sin.Again, if Jesus believed his messages on peace pertained to the military, wouldn’t he have mentioned this to the Centurion? If pacifism were so vital to his value system, don’t you think he would have mentioned it?



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Ron Parker

posted April 26, 2007 at 10:01 pm


the old saying, in war, the first casualty is truth. how true.



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HASH(0x1178f27c)

posted April 26, 2007 at 10:02 pm


Moderatelad You know full well that Kerry never intended to suggest that GI’s were too dumb to go to college. The fact that you try to bring up that worn-out and debunked incident shows that you are perpetuating a lie to try to support your position. Most of the people here are too smart to fall for that.



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splinterlog

posted April 26, 2007 at 10:35 pm


I’m just trying to draw attention to the fact that abortion and war are not apples and oranges. If you oppose one you cannot be consistent and not oppose the other. Now that’s how things are in an ideal world.In the real world, the use of force is a necessary (evil) in order to maintain law and order or to protect life. I think anyone from Bob Nozick to Stanley Hauerwas agrees on that. This harldy justifies the actions of a war machine. By that same token, there are situations in which which the termination of a foetus is unavoidable. This does not equate to there being abortion mills in America.We’re either consistent with the pro-life ethic or we admit that there are situations in both cases where we have to go against what seems to be our moral intuition.



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splinterlog

posted April 26, 2007 at 10:38 pm


if Jesus believed his messages on peace pertained to the military, wouldn’t he have mentioned this to the Centurion? If pacifism were so vital to his value system, don’t you think he would have mentioned it? But He did mention it, several times. As for the centurion – this is pericope tries to demonstrate that even an opressor can have faith in Jesus. I think a discussion on pacifism would have been quite out of line with the point of the narrative.



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Hali

posted April 26, 2007 at 10:57 pm


Donny began, “How fascinating that you will decry the lies that bring us war info, but sit in complicit silence to the lies about abortion, socialism and homosexuality promoted by the liars of those ills.” Way to change the subject. Are you opposed to the lies that were told about Mr. Tillman and Ms. Lynch, or not? Although there was plenty in the article you could have sunken your teeth into, you chose to go off on a rant that has absolutely nothing to do with the subject. Did you read the article? Why didn’t you respond? kevin s. “At least Splinterlog is carrying pacifism to its logical end. If we are called to be pacifists, our troops are active sinners by way of murder.” And if we are called to be Christians, we understand that God loves them profoundly in spite of it. “Again, if Jesus believed his messages on peace pertained to the military, wouldn’t he have mentioned this to the Centurion?” Do you think that everything that Jesus ever said to anybody was recorded and preserved? “moderatelad” “Yes but now the blue helmets” Oof, your pseudonym is so deliciously ironic… :)



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kevin s.

posted April 26, 2007 at 11:05 pm


“And if we are called to be Christians, we understand that God loves them profoundly in spite of it.” Does God love non-Christians? That is not a settled question. He certainly doesn’t ignore their sin. Either way, I would like to see someone here call a military man a forgiven murderer to their face. “Do you think that everything that Jesus ever said to anybody was recorded and preserved?” This argument could be used to justify the mandatory purchase of pogo sticks. The point is that Jesus didn’t call on governments to be pacifistic. You can be a pacifist if you like, but do not pretend that it is demanded by the Gospel text.”But He did mention it, several times. As for the centurion – this is pericope tries to demonstrate that even an opressor can have faith in Jesus. I think a discussion on pacifism would have been quite out of line with the point of the narrative.” In what manner was he an oppressor? He helped the Jews build their synagogue, and had the respect of his community. Jesus doesn’t even admonish him not to sin again.Jesus never explicity advocates pacifism. Therefore, we must glean his views from context. This context suggests that Christ was indifferent to the question of whether the faithful can or ought be soliders.



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kevin s.

posted April 26, 2007 at 11:07 pm


“You know full well that Kerry never intended to suggest that GI’s were too dumb to go to college.” There is no other valid interpretation. Get educated, get smart, or go to Iraq. He didn’t stumble over his words, there was no place in his cadence to add in a joke. He didn’t smile. Either Kerry is profoundly inarticulate, or he meant what he seemed to mean. And I think this view is indicative of a certain class of people who hold the military in low esteem.



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 26, 2007 at 11:12 pm


The point is that Jesus didn’t call on governments to be pacifistic. You can be a pacifist if you like, but do not pretend that it is demanded by the Gospel text. I rarely agree with Kevin, but this time he’s right on the money. Paul said about governments that, basically, “they do not bear the sword for nothing.” Even John the Baptist, when he was calling on people to “repent,” never told soldiers to leave, only “be satisfied with your pay.” We need to understand this is a peace and justice website, and sometimes justice is indeed administered by the point of the sword (though that too can be overdone).



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 26, 2007 at 11:16 pm


There is no other valid interpretation. Get educated, get smart, or go to Iraq. He didn’t stumble over his words, there was no place in his cadence to add in a joke. He didn’t smile. You clearly didn’t read his original statement, which I did — in that context it was clear he was talking about Bush, not the troops. Even the Associated Press, which wrote the original story that got people angry got the story completely wrong.



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Payshun

posted April 26, 2007 at 11:17 pm


In what manner was he an oppressor? He helped the Jews build their synagogue, and had the respect of his community. Jesus doesn’t even admonish him not to sin again. I am assuming that question was sincere so I will answer it. He was a soldier of an occupying land that was taxing Palestine (aka Judea) excessively. He may have been one of those God worshipping Romans (like the Centurion in Acts) but he was still part of a class of people that were treating the Jews like crap. Kevin, Here’s the actual quote. No he was not talking about the troops but about Bush Jr. “You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well, and if you don t you get stuck in Iraq.The implication was that Bush was not smart, did not do his homework in getting us in Iraq and is very stupid. That’s what the joke meant. p



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splinterlog

posted April 26, 2007 at 11:23 pm


The centurion was an officer in the army of the opressive Roman occupiers. What would an American officer in a similar story in the Middle East, represent today? So now you believe that the Romans were benign?Jesus was indifferent to the question of violence??? I’m afriad I don’t agree with you there and I know that you knwo what my reasons are.Here’s my question – even if Kerry meant to say get an education or go to Iraq, why is this so scandalous? Isn’t this the truth for so many of our young men right now?



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bobc

posted April 26, 2007 at 11:32 pm


moderatelad As far as Dole urging Clinton to get involved..yes he gave Clinton the politcal cover to get involved. The horrible thing is Bubba never did a full-court press to stop the violence. It was pretty much get permisson and start bombing. He is as bad as Bush in this case. Wallis is very specific in his book about using violence. It is the last and not the first. The problem I have with Bush and Clinton is they did not give peace efforts enough time. The inspectors were still looking for WMDs and the link to al Gueda was already proven false. Religous leaders were pleading for more time as their views were not properly discussed. The rush to war and the way we entered it insured the moral standing would be lost. Without a clear moral mandate, the war is lost. Iraq was lost before the first shot was fired.



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bobc

posted April 26, 2007 at 11:34 pm


Kerry was brain dead on that issue and paid the price for his mistake. Actually, his written speech had the correct comments so he truly did misspeak. But lies and distortions are so much more fun to beleive if they reinforce your position.



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Joy

posted April 26, 2007 at 11:35 pm


Kevin: How can you(or anyone) say the question of whether God loves non-Christians is still not settled? All humanity is made in the image of God and John 3:16 says “God so loved the world…” the whole world-not just those who were already believers. As to calling a returnig soldier a forgiven murderer I doubt any of us would be so callus. But did you know during the Middle Ages returning soldiers were required by the church to undergo years of penance for the sins they commited on the battlefiled? Sometimes communion was withheld for as long as three years because church leaders were concerned about the spiritual state of those returning warriors.That is a far cry from religious leaders today who tell soldiers going off to war not to worry or even think about the moral ramifications of what the state is asking them to do because they are already forgiven in advance by God. I believe that is what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called cheap grace. Maybe we in the church nedd to look in the mirror when we decry the moral failings of our society. Maybe it is time we started admitting that while there are certain instances when we are faced with a choice of two evils (such as doing nothing to stop Hitler or engaging in all out world war to stop him) both choices involve sinful actions which we need to repent of just as we repent of wrong actions in our personal lives.Someone who shoots and kills an intruder in their home in order to protect their family may still feel terrible for having taken a human life even if it was for a greater good.



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Another nonymous

posted April 27, 2007 at 12:06 am


Well said, Joy.



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bobc

posted April 27, 2007 at 12:19 am


We had this discussion on another topic… As a two tour VN vet, taking a life gets easy in war but living with it later is hard. You are in the moment..bad guys all around…the noise…the screaming…the explosions…the whistle of nearby bullets…never hesitated pulling the trigger…the nerve collapse afterward as the adrenelin wears off…the nightmares long afterward…the constant praying for forgiveness…seeing people in the mall and thinking about those who never had a life and watching an instant replay of what you went through by another administration that is clueless of the effects on others for a mission all based on lies.



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Another nonymous

posted April 27, 2007 at 12:53 am


Remember too that the church fathers, like Augustine, who developed just war theory, assumed that pacifism was the default Christian position, and that any other view would require elaborate justification. The glibness (and I don’t know what else to call it) with which some posters here are willing to connect Christianity and militarism has nothing to do with historical Christianity.



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Don

posted April 27, 2007 at 1:08 am


Another nonymous is right. Even when Christians deem that war is a justified and necessary thing, we never consider it a good thing. Militarism indeed has nothing to do with Christianity, but I would go one step further. Nationalism, which breeds militarism, is idolatry. Peace,



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bobc

posted April 27, 2007 at 1:10 am


Another nonymous Thank you for reminding us. I had forgotten about the just war theory. Here is what I have about just war..from American Catholic Just cause. War is permissible only to confront “a real and certain danger,” i.e., to protect innocent life, to preserve conditions necessary for decent human existence and to secure basic human rights.Competent authority. War must be declared by those with responsibility for public order, not by private groups or individuals.Comparative justice. In essence: Which side is sufficiently “right” in a dispute, and are the values at stake critical enough to override the presumption against war? Do the rights and values involved justify killing? Given techniques of propaganda and the ease with which nations and individuals either assume or delude themselves into believing that God or right is clearly on their side, the test of comparative justice may be extremely difficult to apply.Right intention. War can be legitimately intended only for the reasons set forth above as a just cause.Last resort. For resort to war to be justified, all peaceful alternatives must have been exhausted.Probability of success. This is a difficult criterion to apply, but its purpose is to prevent irrational resort to force or hopeless resistance when the outcome of either will clearly be disproportionate or futile.Proportionality. This means that the damage to be inflicted and the costs incurred by war must be proportionate to the good expected by taking up arms.



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Sarasotakid

posted April 27, 2007 at 1:48 am


Here is what I have about just war..from American Catholic…bobc It is obvious that if you apply these criteria, there was no way we were justified in going into Iraq. Jesus was interested in faith. kevin s.Kevin, as vehemently as we have sparred in the past, I don’t know if I agree with all of your reasoning and interpretation in your previous post. I do believe that it cogently and reasonably argues against a pacifist position and puts forth the best argument for not being a pacifist. I do believe that you’re right in that it is faith that matters. You can be for or against the war, but as long as you have faith in Jesus, you are in good standing with God. Part of our experience here on earth is the reality that we don’t know everything and I believe that we are Christians regardless of our position on the war as we are saved by grace.



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Don

posted April 27, 2007 at 2:03 am


True, in the case of the centurion, Jesus was most interested in faith. But it’s an argument from silence to say that because Jesus never mentioned pacifism, he must not have thought pacifism was important. I’m not arguing for pacifism. It is true that the early Christians were pacifists, but they were also a persecuted minority in a powerful empire. No Christian was in a position of authority whereby he had to decide about going to war or not. When Christianity became the majority religion, all that changed, which is why Christian thinkers then wrestled with the idea of warfare, and why Augustine eventually came up with just war theory. Jesus never said anything directly about pacifism as we know it, but Jesus did say that peacemakers were blessed. I’m not really sure what that means, or what (if anything) it has to do with what our attitude toward warfare or military service should be. (It does seem to me that too many Christians are mixing God and country in an unhealthy way, as I mentioned earlier.) Pacifists, of course, use that passage to affirm their pacifist position. But what does it mean to the rest of us? Peace,



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 27, 2007 at 2:09 am


I do believe that you’re right in that it is faith that matters. You can be for or against the war, but as long as you have faith in Jesus, you are in good standing with God. Part of our experience here on earth is the reality that we don’t know everything and I believe that we are Christians regardless of our position on the war as we are saved by grace. That’s not the whole story, however. James says that if the faith is not confirmed with deeds it’s not legitimate. (This, of course, is not to say that deeds get you saved, only that if you’re not doing works that God requires your salvation should be questioned.



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kevin s.

posted April 27, 2007 at 2:11 am


“How can you(or anyone) say the question of whether God loves non-Christians is still not settled?” Because it isn’t settled. “All humanity is made in the image of God and John 3:16 says “God so loved the world…” the whole world-not just those who were already believers.” I tend to believe that is pretty irrefutable, yes, though I have heard it argued differently. “As to calling a returnig soldier a forgiven murderer I doubt any of us would be so callus.” So long as we do it behind their back, it isn’t callous? What’s right is right. If they are murderers, deem them so and suffer the antipathy. “But did you know during the Middle Ages returning soldiers were required by the church to undergo years of penance for the sins they commited on the battlefiled? Sometimes communion was withheld for as long as three years because church leaders were concerned about the spiritual state of those returning warriors.” I have heard quite a bit about this. I am not sure where this process is Biblically prescribed. “That is a far cry from religious leaders today who tell soldiers going off to war not to worry or even think about the moral ramifications of what the state is asking them to do because they are already forgiven in advance by God.” No sin is forgiven in advance by God for non-Christians. The question is whether they are sinning by being involved in combat. I don’t believe they are. “I believe that is what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called cheap grace. Maybe we in the church nedd to look in the mirror when we decry the moral failings of our society.” Sure. But as it pertains to war, I don’t think this is necessary. “Maybe it is time we started admitting that while there are certain instances when we are faced with a choice of two evils (such as doing nothing to stop Hitler or engaging in all out world war to stop him)” There is nowhere in the Bible wherein people are required to sin. God examines the heart, which brings us back ot the Centurion. Jesus was uninterested in Roman politics. He knew the Centurion was a servant, and blessed him accordingly. I don’t believe the war to stop Hitler was evil at all. To allow him to continue his destruction was evil. “Someone who shoots and kills an intruder in their home in order to protect their family may still feel terrible for having taken a human life even if it was for a greater good.” That’s different from saying that the intruder committed a sin in order to protect their family. I feel bad when I have a stomach virus, but it is not a sin to have a stomach virus. YOur argument presupposes that war is sin, and I still don’t find support for that in the scripture.



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moderatelad

posted April 27, 2007 at 2:21 am


Anonymous | 04.26.07 – 4:07 pm | #Please – the guy was dead serious – period. He never did the rim-shot, just kidding or even a ‘Tee Hee’ so that we could all enjoy the joke.This is not the first time he dis’d the millitary and it will not be the last – believe me.Later – .



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Mike Hayes

posted April 27, 2007 at 2:22 am


Diana, Thank you. How do we get beyond the perception that the US is obligated to “stay the course”, even though the decision to invade Iraq was misinformed?



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moderatelad

posted April 27, 2007 at 2:41 am


bobc | 04.26.07 – 5:37 pm | #The problem I have with Bush and Clinton is they did not give peace efforts enough time. What is ‘enough time’? Saddam blew off 15+ UN resolutions. Was killing thousands of innocent citizens of his country. 5 more UN resolutions – two more years of negotions? The inspectors were out of Iraq for over a year or more prior to Bush entering the White House. They were quite inneffective the last few years that they were there. I understand what you are saying – just need to know the definition of ‘enough time’. Wallis is very specific in his book about using violence. It is the last and not the first. So do most of the conservatives believe and understand that war is the last responce. Did you think that Bush had to redo the things and Clinton and the UN had done up to the time he took office? It had been tried and it had failed. But again the question is when is it enough so that we know when it is time to act? I am not beating up on you – it is a legetitmate question. we entered it insured the moral standing would be lost The real moral standing that has been lost is that the Harry Reed Democrates would never allow a Republician to have sucess in this type of venture so they are assuring that we will go down in flames – just like Teddy did with VN.I wish – dear gussie I wish that war could be a sanitary and surgical as Reed and Peloci talk about it being – but it is not. Harry is an embareassment and Nancy with her foreign policy trips is a disgrace. What I would love to say if I weren’t a believer. Just to say I hope their political careers go down in flames the next time they are up for reelection.Item – Does God love non-christians. Yes he does in that while were we sinners – Christ died for us. We are adopted into the family. Be blessed – all of you! Later – .



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Sarasotakid

posted April 27, 2007 at 2:46 am


That’s not the whole story, however. James says that if the faith is not confirmed with deeds it’s not legitimate. (This, of course, is not to say that deeds get you saved, only that if you’re not doing works that God requires your salvation should be questioned. Rick NowlinRick as I was writing my post, that very thought came to my mind. I struggle with the whole issue of pacifism vs. just war. My heart is with the pacifist stance, my head is with the just war stance. I believe that the equivocation comes from a sincere desire to do and believe what is right. I believe that people on the right and left have the same struggle. We simply do not know everything and that is where grace comes in. I think that there is a qualitative difference between those in favor of the war and sincerely believe that what we are doing is right and those who see war as a first (and preferred) option. I believe that those in the latter category are intentionally sinning by advocating violence and bloodshed as a first and preferred option. If those in the first category are sinning at all (and I am not sure that they are) it is a sin of ignorance. Have you ever heard of Pastor Andre Trocme? Google him sometime. He was a pastor of a reformed church in France that sheltered many Jews in several villages in France. Right under the nose of the Nazis. It is well documented. Maybe as Christians we should be pacifists but active resisters putting our lives on the line like any soldier would, only in the cause of peace. If there had been more Andre Trocmes in the occupied countries during WWII, would it be possible that the Nazi regime would have totally failed on its own? I’m not sure but it is worth considering. To those who cast pacifists as stay-at-home and do nothing in the face of evil, there is a shining example of pacifist resistance. Maybe you would want to consider it as an alternative to outright support of killing and war. Here is a link: http://www.chambon.org/weapons_en.htm



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Sarasotakid

posted April 27, 2007 at 2:47 am


I wish – dear gussie I wish that war could be a sanitary and surgical as Reed and Peloci talk about it being – but it is not. Harry is an embareassment and Nancy with her foreign policy trips is a disgrace. Moderatelad. So you hate Pelosi and Harry Reed. Tell us something we don’t know.



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Don

posted April 27, 2007 at 2:54 am


Moderatelad, once again, your arguments are based primarily on personal attacks against people you have disagreements with, not on facts. Ad hominems are not valid arguments! We lost control of the situation in Iraq long before Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid came to leadership positions in their respective chambers. In fact, the fact that we lost control is the REASON they came to their leadership positions. Don’t you remember the elections last November? (And by the way, why don’t you learn how to spell their names?) Give us proof that Ted Kennedy assured our defeat in Vietnam–if you can. I fully supported Speaker Pelosi’s courageous mission to Syria. I’m praying that some positive fruits will be borne from her trip. She wouldn’t have made the trip–or needed to–if Bush were willing to open dialogue with the people he needs to be talking to. But someone needs to hold the inept and morally bankrupt Bush administration’s feet to the fire. IF she doesn’t I certainly hope someone does. You might be interested to know that the congressional Representative from my district went with Pelosi to Syria. And he’s a Republican. Hasta luego,



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Sarasotakid

posted April 27, 2007 at 3:00 am


You might be interested to know that the congressional Representative from my district went with Pelosi to Syria. And he’s a Republican.Hasta luego, Don He must be a communist Republican! (just joking)



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Don

posted April 27, 2007 at 3:04 am


Sarasota– He has taken a lot of flak from the (Republican) Representative from the neighboring district. During his long career in Congress, I hadn’t known him to do anything even remotely risky, so I was quite shocked. I need to write him a note letting him know my support. Later,



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moderatelad

posted April 27, 2007 at 3:12 am


Sarasotakid | 04.26.07 – 8:52 pm | #So where the %^&* did I use the ‘hate’ word? Embareassment – yes, disgrace – you’re correct. Not hate – I do not remember using the ‘H’ word and please do not put words in my mouth. Be blessed. .



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moderatelad

posted April 27, 2007 at 3:18 am


Don | 04.26.07 – 8:59 pm | #OK – so if Newt had done the same with Clinton you would have supported him…I don’t think so. I there had been a Republician Speaker when Carter was in the White House and that person started to talk with countries around Iran because of a precieved inept adm handling the hostage situation – you would have supported that person…I don’t see it happening. Label the current adm anyway you like because it gives you permission to do anythng you wish. State Dept not with standing. There is an old Islamic saying that when a mother cat is going to eat her litter she says they look like mice.The end justifies the means…whatever. Later – .



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Sarasotakid

posted April 27, 2007 at 3:20 am


Look, Moderatelad, this argument over semantics is ridiculous. You clearly do not like the Democrats. We know that, okay? Now tell us something we don’t know.



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Sarasotakid

posted April 27, 2007 at 3:24 am


“I there had been a Republician Speaker when Carter was in the White House and that person started to talk with countries around Iran because of a precieved inept adm handling the hostage situation – you would have supported that person…I don’t see it happening.” Moderatlad Even James Baker, Bush Senior’s former Secretary of State, recommended engaging Syria and Iran in a dialogue. Baker met with Aziz before the start of Gulf War, Part 1. Please, Moderatelad, pacifist, just war advocate or whatever your theological leanings might be, don’t you think that we have a duty to at least try to negotiate before we resort to more forceful means of achieving our objectives? If we can’t agree on that much, there is precious little we can agree on.



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Don

posted April 27, 2007 at 3:29 am


Excuse me, moderatelad. You don’t know me. You must think I’m a Democrat. I’m not. I’m a Republican. I voted for Republicans every presidential election since the first time I was old enough to vote–1972. I even voted for Bush in 2000 (though not because I liked him; I liked your friend Al Gore less, though. I didn’t think either was qualified to be president). But I didn’t vote for him in 2004–the first time I broke with my party in a presidential election–because of my opposition to the Iraq invasion. I would support anyone–Republican, Democrat, or whatever–trying to open diplomatic talks with Syria and Iran–it’s desperately needed. The Baker commission report said so, and Baker is also a Republican. FWIW, I probably would have supported anyone’s effort to end the hostage standoff in Iran back in 1979 also. Carter indeed wasn’t handling it well. So, just like in the GW debate, you only want to bash people you disagree with; you don’t want to engage in serious, fact-based arguments. Later,



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Bren

posted April 27, 2007 at 3:40 am


I don’t understand why anyone here speaks of just war and its possible application to the Iraq war when the war in Iraq was based on government lies. Anyone who watched the Bill Moyers’ special can understand how the repetitions of certain phrases like ‘the mushroom cloud’, the Weapons of Mass Destruction’, the so-called relationship between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda, was simply repetition of certain phrases often enough that people came to believe them to be true. To this day, there are people who believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. It’s not true! Hussein was a horrible man, responsible for many horrible things, but 9/11 isn’t among them. There were no WMDs, there was never the possibility of a nuclear blast. Invading Iraq was a top priority activity for Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rove & Co. long before 9/11. 9/11 gave them an excuse to follow through. In the light of these realities, consideration of ‘just war’ theory just doesn’t make sense. What I found most depressing about the Moyers program was hearing one journalist after another acknowledge that they dropped the ball, didn’t ask the questions that should have been asked, –and didn’t feel they had any alternative because the price they would pay, in lost jobs, smearing, unfree speech were too high! There is similarity between the military deciding it was more important to cover-up their own mistakes than to acknowledge the friendly-fire killing of Pat Tillman and the media playing along with the charade of asking soft questions at White House press conferences. There has been no moral high ground in this war, except for the occasional soldier who, realizing s/he’d been lied to, decided to opt out, no matter the personal cost.



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Bill Samuel

posted April 27, 2007 at 4:18 am


War has always been built on lies. If you are honest and straightforward, you won’t convince people to engage in the horrendous evil called war. In the first three centuries after Christ, the church assumed that the teachings of Christ were incompatible with participation in war. You can find direct statements by early Christian leaders that being a Christian and being a soldier are incompatible. They believed that when Christ rebuked Peter for using the sword he disarmed every Christian. Perhaps the early church’s view was more faithful than the post-Constantinian view. The “just war theory” was developed after Constantine as a rationale for changing the historic position of the church. And even the just war theory, taken rigorously, has little practical difference from opposition to all war. The current pope, before assuming that position, stated that he could not imagine any conflict in today’s world ever meeting the criteria for a just war. More recently, he has seemed to take the peace position even more clearly. See On the Revolution of Love.



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Bill Samuel

posted April 27, 2007 at 4:26 am


PART 2 – there seems to be a length limit here which prevented me from finishing in one message. The church of Jesus Christ needs to challenge the lies of the war advocates. Christian leaders should not be backing them, whether this is directly like the sycophantic religious right leaders who went we went to war on Iraq rushed to declare it a just war (an act of blasphemy, in my understanding) or Sojourners which last year ran a major campaign on the budget as a moral document but never mentioned that the largest part of the budget goes for war and preparations for war (a major reason why the social programs Sojourners advocates never get adequately funded, which should be fairly obvious but Sojourners either doesn’t get it or decided not to tell the truth). The idea that massive militarism is “defense” and supports social justice is a Big Lie. I haven’t read Jim Wallis’ book, but if the reports on this thread are accurate, apparently he has been taken in by the Big Lie. This could explain the otherwise inexplicable failure to address the moral issue of resources going to death rather than to life.



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 27, 2007 at 6:23 am


This is not the first time he dis’d the military and it will not be the last – believe me. Oh, please — remember, he was in the military, which you can’t say for most of the people trying to prosecute this war.



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moderatelad

posted April 27, 2007 at 6:24 am


Sarasotakid | 04.26.07 – 9:29 pm | #But it is wrong to over step the State Dept. and undermine the adm regardless of who is in there and party affilation. But is so many ways we have lost our moral center and it is open season on this adm so do whatever you believe is best. (kinda makes us look less united – but I don’t think that matters anymore) I would have publicly chastized Newt had he done it to Clinton.don’t you think that we have a duty to at least try to negotiate before we resort to more forceful means of achieving our objectives Yes we do and I think that a lot was done with the UN and all before we attacked. Should we have done more – again I ask – when is enough really enough? Should we have gone through 3 to 5 more UN resolutions? More sanctions so that the French and Russians and let us not forget Koffe and Son making millions of dollors undermining those sanctions? I am willing to dialog about this but when is enough – enough? Don | 04.26.07 – 9:34 pm | #So, just like in the GW debate, you only want to bash people you disagree with; you don’t want to engage in serious, fact-based arguments. Not true – I only name Reed – Kennedy – Peloci and a few others – not all democrates. There were some dems that were voted in from other states (not mine) that I like. I even voted for HHH Sr. when he ran for the senate and some local dems in the community.All this and some of you wonder why I say SHWS.NOW – and this is good – we are talking about Darfur – what are we going to do? If history repeats itself and it does – it will be another Iraq in about 5 to 7 years because the UN and world community will just talk and thousands will die. We have had articles about Zimbabwe and all that is or is not going on there. PLEASE FOLKS – I can not keep up with you and you move on to what I see as the next cause celeb and have done nothing substantial to make the pervious cause any better. I think you feel better because you talked about it and sized it up and told each other what should be done. That is like a group of Doctors looking at the sick person or dying person on the table. Coming to consencous about what is the problem and what should be done so that they can get better and lead a productive life. Then you walk away to the next person without doing what was decided on for the last one.Beam me up Scotty – there is no one to protect my family down here…(LOL – its late) Blessing all – sleep well Later – .



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kevin s.

posted April 27, 2007 at 6:49 am


“The implication was that Bush was not smart, did not do his homework in getting us in Iraq and is very stupid. That’s what the joke meant.” Where is this implied? Are his speechwriters that tone deaf? If they are, how did he win the Democratic primary, surrounded by those who are so incompetent, w/r/t messaging? Come on. The majority of college students would agree with his statement as it was expressed. He knew that, but was unaware of the Youtube effect (as was MC Rove, obviously).



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kevin s.

posted April 27, 2007 at 6:58 am


“I would support anyone–Republican, Democrat, or whatever–trying to open diplomatic talks with Syria and Iran–it’s desperately needed. The Baker commission report said so, and Baker is also a Republican.” I’m curious as to what you think of Robert Gates. That is all.



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Sarasotakid

posted April 27, 2007 at 11:46 am


don’t you think that we have a duty to at least try to negotiate before we resort to more forceful means of achieving our objectives. Sarasotakid Yes we do and I think that a lot was done with the UN and all before we attacked. Moderatelad I was referring specifically to Iran and Syria in the present.It is the height of arrogance for the U.S. to not even engage them in some sort of dialog before resorting to military force. In my opinion, Bush was putting on a charade of diplomacy in the lead up to the Iraq invasion. Inspectors were on the ground in Iraq. They weren’t finding the weapons of mass destruction so we invaded anyway. Then we didn’t find the weapons either.If you think that we’re doing such a great job in Iraq, Moderatelad, please explain to me why the Iraqi people have consistently expressed a desire for us to leave the country in the opinion polls. Beam me up Scotty – there is no one to protect my family down here…(LOL – its late) Moderatelad Yeah, I know that it is scary. I just don’t know what I would do if the Iraqi insurgency came and took away my house in the United States! It’s something I worry about every day.



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bobc

posted April 27, 2007 at 11:56 am


When you base a war on lies, you have no moral center. The ends never have and never will justify the means. How you do things is just as important as what you do.



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bobc

posted April 27, 2007 at 12:02 pm


And of course, we have our Attorney General: the torturers apprentice deciding to what degree we can torture people. Has anyone every seen water boarding? We used to turn our prisoners over to the South Vietnamese and they would water board them. It is so disgusting and horrible, we quit turning our captured folks over. Not one spec of useful informatin was ever gleaned. The church’s position is mixed as the Catholic Church was the leader in toturing people. Individual Bishops and other church leaders have come out against it but I haven’t hurt any edicts from the Pope.



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 27, 2007 at 2:02 pm


Where is this implied? Are his speechwriters that tone deaf? If they are, how did he win the Democratic primary, surrounded by those who are so incompetent, w/r/t messaging? Come on. The majority of college students would agree with his statement as it was expressed. He knew that, but was unaware of the Youtube effect (as was MC Rove, obviously). Kevin — did you read his published remarks? I did. The target was clear, and even a whole lot of Republicans got that.



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Sarasotakid

posted April 27, 2007 at 2:05 pm


The church’s position is mixed as the Catholic Church was the leader in toturing people. Individual Bishops and other church leaders have come out against it but I haven’t hurt any edicts from the Pope. bobc I think that it is unfair to state that the Catholic Church was the leader in torturing people. You are speaking of the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages. If you apply that standard, then the Protestant churches would need to be judged by the actions of their leaders, which weren’t pretty either- starting with Luther’s anti-semetic tirades to Calvin’s presiding over a dictatorial theocracy in Geneva. In our modern age, the Catholic Church has been good on issues of war and by extension, I am sure that they are equally good on issues of torture.



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moderatelad

posted April 27, 2007 at 2:14 pm


Rick Nowlin | 04.27.07 – 12:28 am | #Oh, please — remember, he was in the military, which you can’t say for most of the people trying to prosecute this war. He has been blasting the millitary since the 70’s, he has little respect for them and has taken advantage of disrespecting them for his political gain. Interisting how a group of VN vets that for the most part are card carring dems can form a organization called Swift Boat with no political affilition, challenge Kerry on several issues and he blames Bush and the Reps for their mean spirited retoric. Kerry = the end does justify the means Later – .



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Don

posted April 27, 2007 at 2:21 pm


Kevin- Briefly, Gates seems to be a competent person, so far as I have seen. But he had the great misfortune of stepping in too late in the game for his efforts to do much good. Now his unenviable task has become trying to support and execute Bush’s “surge” strategy, which IMO was doomed to fail from the outset, primarily because of the gross incompetence of the earlier war planning. If Gates had been there from the beginning instead of Rumsfeld, things might have gone differently and more positively. Although I opposed the invasion of Iraq from the beginning, once it began I at least expected it to be well managed and executed. Alas that it wasn’t. Later,



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moderatelad

posted April 27, 2007 at 2:54 pm


Don | 04.27.07 – 8:26 am | #Have you ever read about some of the gross incompetence of WWII or WWI? Had the party that was not in the W-H done or said simular things like we have experienced in the last couple of years – I wonder what would have been the outcome? Like I have said before – I wish armed conflict was as surgical as Peloci and Reed lead us to believe.I believe that the worst decision Bush made ‘politically’ was to go to war. Praying that we can get past the caustic retoric and establish and free and open Iraq that is able to enter the world market and sell their oil for the benefit of their people. If that can be accomplished – history will see Bush as a great leader. (something that I have yet to hear Reed or Peloci say – do they care that there are Nancys and Harrys in Iraq that would like the opprotunities to give leadership to their country?) Later – .



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bobc

posted April 27, 2007 at 3:16 pm


Sarasotakid, You are correct about the CC doing the torture bit in the Middle Ages. However, I was hoping an edict from the Pope condemning the use of torture would be issued. It bothers me that this has not happened. I beleive Bush is meeting the Pope again soon. I wonder what the discussion will be about?



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bobc

posted April 27, 2007 at 3:22 pm


moderatelad | 04.27.07 – 8:59 am, A nice dream but it will never happen under the current administration. For one thing, we attacked them without premeditation. You cannot force Democracy on people. This war was started on lies and was doomed from the start. Bush never had a moral authority to wage this conflict. Bush will go down in history as the worst President in history. I am hoping his final days are spent in an orange jump-suit eating off of tin plates in Spandau prison with Cheney, Condi, Wolfi, Perle and the rest.



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moderatelad

posted April 27, 2007 at 4:08 pm


bobc | 04.27.07 – 9:27 am | #So something in life that start out wrong can never be made right? Can not force Democracy on people, so we should not try to set people free so that they can determine for themselves. They do have an elected gov’t, constitution, etc within a few years – something that we were not able to do here in the 1700’s – it took us a long time. This is why I say SHWS because we really will never give a hoot for anyone in another country if it is going to cost us. With everyone that was in prison or still is in prison from the previous adm – never did I wish or pray that the occupant on the oval office join them. I wanted people to be held accountable but I would have pushed to a pardon for the commander and chief – and let him live with his shame. Sorry – I can not hate someone as much as you seem to hate this adm. No you did not use the ‘h’ word but I don’t know what to call it. Have a great weekend – later – .



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Sarasotakid

posted April 27, 2007 at 4:11 pm


I beleive Bush is meeting the Pope again soon. I wonder what the discussion will be about? bobc It will probably be about how we should not have gone to war. Bush will ignore it. The beat goes on.



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 27, 2007 at 5:01 pm


So something in life that start out wrong can never be made right? Can not force Democracy on people, so we should not try to set people free so that they can determine for themselves. They do have an elected gov’t, constitution, etc within a few years – something that we were not able to do here in the 1700’s – it took us a long time. Except that when this country started we already had a battle-tested political class who knew how to govern. Their culture is different — or haven’t you figured that out yet? With everyone that was in prison or still is in prison from the previous adm … Excuse me, but who? Sounds like more right-wing gossip to me. Sorry – I can not hate someone as much as you seem to hate this adm. No you did not use the ‘h’ word but I don’t know what to call it. Yeah, you do — you just insinuated that you despise Clinton, and even worse than we supposedly hate Bush. But your contempt for Clinton, as also that of most on the political right, is purely for ideological reasons and based on sheer envy, while we’re tired of Bush because of what he has said and done to besmirch this country’s name, and — get this — he is completely unrepentant. In other words, don’t you dare compare the two because they are as different as night and day.



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moderatelad

posted April 27, 2007 at 5:37 pm


Rick Nowlin | 04.27.07 – 11:06 am | #Their culture is different So we shouldn’t step in and help them see that there is a better way? Fine – that obsolves us from a lot of the worlds problems as they can figure it out themselves. right-wing gossip to me. over 15+ confictions and over half of them went to prison. Not counting Susan who fell on the sword for the Clintons or Webster who testified against other to keep his backside out of prison.Yeah, you doNo I don’t – I asked that people be held accountable and I would not like to see any president in prison – if convicted they should be pardoned and they can live with their shame.unrepentant like Bill standing before the Pres. Prayer Breakfast saying that ‘I have sinned’ but not addmitting to anything as the same day his lawyers are in court denying he had done it. Hate Clinton – no, I never did. I was able to use him as an example to my oldest that he needs to remember that any female that he gets involved with is someones sister, daughter, friend and not just to satisify some base animal urge. Also that cigars are for an oriface a little closer to the top of your head, amoung other things.No I can not hate him, there is worse evil in the world that deserves to be hated if you have hate something. (I do not wish this on the Clintons because the victim is not them…but what would he do if someone treated his daughter like he treated women in the White House and elsewhere. My thinking is that he would consider cutting something off that person) No hate but not much respect either as he showed little respect to people that he had power over. Later – .



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 27, 2007 at 6:10 pm


So we shouldn’t step in and help them see that there is a better way? You see where that’s gotten us so far. …over 15+ confictions and over half of them went to prison. Not counting Susan who fell on the sword for the Clintons or Webster who testified against other to keep his backside out of prison. Again, details, please. In the case of Susan McDougal, she knew full well that the charges for which she went to prison were trumped-up and politically motivated, as Clinton in fact had a lot of enemies in Arkansas only because of his political beliefs; the “right-wing conspiracy,” part of which is based in my city, picked up on and exploited that — and now the whole country knows the truth. So you’ll have to do better than “holding him accountable.” But, on the other hand, you on the political right have consistenly refused to hold Bush, or for that matter any conservative, accountable. Oh, some conservative intellectuals have denounced him (because he supposedly “betrayed” conservatism) and GOP politicians have distanced themselves from him, but for the most part their own arrogance and unwillingness to consider any other point of view are what got them into this mess, and due to their pride they won’t get out of it. Indeed, Bush alone sparked the revival of the activist political left, which was all but dead in this country, and even now more than a few Christians are rethinking their heretofore unquestioned allegiance to conservatism. That’s why this blog exists.



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moderatelad

posted April 27, 2007 at 6:35 pm


Rick Nowlin | 04.27.07 – 12:15 pm | #few Christians are rethinking their heretofore unquestioned allegiance to conservatism. That’s why this blog exists. So – this blog is here to convert conservatives to liberals – %^&* and here all this time I was under the delousion that it was to assist us in finding middle ground so that we could poss. be a little more moderate over radical. That we could talk about the issues rather than bash the person. So I will admit to being a little dim if not slightly stupid. I thought that there might be someone like me on the other side of the fence that desires to remian true to their convictions but willing to come to terms so that we could deal with prverty, health care, jobs and education. I am talking with a bunch of $%&* Walter Mondales who will say anything for discussion but then stab you in the back to advance their agenda.I tried to be kinder and gentler so that we could talk about issues – but the only thing is that you want to convert me or discredit me. I’m too $%^& gullable and nice. That is going to end real soon. OK now lets all do the Rosie. – .



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 27, 2007 at 7:23 pm


I thought that there might be someone like me on the other side of the fence that desires to remain true to their convictions but willing to come to terms so that we could deal with poverty, health care, jobs and education. Except that’s not what you, Donny, Wolverine, Kevin and others have ever done here — like most conservatives I know, you consistently try to reframe the terms of the debate so that everyone else would somehow come around to your way of thinking. You may not see it, but most of us who are not conservatives detected that intellectual dishonesty from the get-go, which is why I give you not one inch and others have given you the business. If I have tried to discredit you, it’s because much of what you believe is just plain false (and is now being shown to be such). The time to do what you say you were doing was in the 1980s, when conservatism was ascendent and trashing its opponents in the process; because of how it has always operated, conservatism has sparked a great deal of resentment that is just now coming to light. If you think the NAACP was nasty, wait. And besides, as I have tried to say before, conservatism has some serious basic flaws, not the least of which its adherents simply do not listen to anyone who disagrees with them or consult any source that calls its basic ideology into question. We’re in Iraq right now because of such tunnel vision; the rosy forecasts of the aftermath of toppling Saddam have been blown to bits by the reality of the residuals of Western imperialism.



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bobc

posted April 27, 2007 at 7:44 pm


moderatelad, Sorry pard but I left all my hate on the battlefield. My feeling for BushCo is not hate but contempt. Contempt because Bush took what he was given which was a budget surplus and real international respect. Beleive it or not but Israel and Palestine were actually talking to each other. North and South Korea were actually talking about reunification. The 15+ folks in jail from the Clinton admin are pure hogwash; and you know it. You do not understand people and how you cannfot force ideas on them without expecting a backlash. Bringing Democracy to a people of tribes will never work if we do it at the point of a gun or through lies. Face it, Iraq is about the oil. If not then tell me Bush has not renounced wanting the Oil contracts. Where has all the billions stolen by Haliburton? How many more have to die. I am not that loving a person. I want to see our the above mentioned earlier tried, convicted and imprisoned for crimes against humanity. But since that won’t happen then continuously drag them up before hearings and lets all find out the details.



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kevin s.

posted April 27, 2007 at 8:24 pm


“Now his unenviable task has become trying to support and execute Bush’s “surge” strategy, which IMO was doomed to fail from the outset, primarily because of the gross incompetence of the earlier war planning.” But part of the ISG recommendation was a surger in troops to secure Baghdad.



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moderatelad

posted April 27, 2007 at 8:35 pm


Rick Nowlin | 04.27.07 – 1:28 pm | #There has been several times that I have offered up the idea that I willing to take a step toward the left on an issue to keep the discussion going and see if we could come to consencous and I can not remember anyone on the other side willing to take a step toward me. I know that there are issues out there that we could come to agreement about what the desired outcome should be – the path to it would be different. But like I said before – so many here weather it is a bad nights sleep – education or the lack of attention from their friends and family – their only answer is ‘impeach Bush’. OK so that is your answer for education – I happen to believe that it is the disfunctional Dept of Ed. so…what should we do to make the education system better for our children – right – impeach Bush. I tried to make life better for the poor and the immigrants in my little community. DID’T WORK – too long a story to get into here except to say that the Dem Machine in my area blocked us and ‘lied’ about us in the paper all because we were trying to be a ‘faith based’ group assisting our fellow man. They will not let a conservative have any success in that area.You know -Clinton could have %^&* any person that his wife would allow him to do as far as I am conserned. (Jack Kennedy did) The difference is when he harrassed them and as in the case of the Dem. from Arkansas, Ms Broadrick -raped her. Everyone stepped in line to support their man. Even NOW did not come to her defense. But you will hang the senator from OR for doing far less than Bill – what standard is that. You know you are right – I came here as a friend thinking that we might be able to put difference aside and create a goodness somewhere – but all most of you want to do is try to convert and if that does not work – label and bash. I have been one that has told servral here to by happy about their convictions – celebrate who you are. God is not liberal or conservative. But I now see what the real premise is on this site. I really don’t care if you are conservative or liberal. but if my liberal friends in MN talked and address me and others the way you excell here – we would not be friends. Respect for each other and the one in the White House, weather you agree with them or not has to be the benchmark. There is not a day that I did not pray for the Pres – regardless of who they were or party the belonged to. NO – I DID NOT HATE ANY THEM EITHER.Now – lets all do the Rosie since that is what seems to be happening here all the time – BITE ME! –



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 27, 2007 at 9:01 pm


There has been several times that I have offered up the idea that I willing to take a step toward the left on an issue to keep the discussion going and see if we could come to consencous and I can not remember anyone on the other side willing to take a step toward me. Not nearly as far as you think you have — the idea is to throw away all your preconceived notions as to what reality is. That’s why we in the media do on a daily basis, and yet we get slammed for being “liberal.” But you still want to be seen as right even in the face of clear evidence that what you believe isn’t true — and I can’t respect that. Examples are below. The difference is when he harrassed them and as in the case of the Dem. from Arkansas, Ms Broadrick -raped her. I have on rock-solid information that this is a bald-faced LIE perpetrated by the right-wing slime machine. And part of such machine is a short walk from where I’m sitting right now. Shame on you for believing and perpetrating it. I came here as a friend thinking that we might be able to put difference aside and create a goodness somewhere – but all most of you want to do is try to convert and if that does not work – label and bash. Another lie — that’s all you’ve done since you’ve been here. Are you that out of touch with yourself? Respect for each other and the one in the White House, whether you agree with them or not has to be the benchmark. Respect has absolutely nothing to do with it — we do not surrender our Constitutional rights to criticize our political leaders just because they feel threatened. Bush’s policies ought to be discussed on their own merits and if they’re wrong people should be free to say so without being branded as “aiding the enemy,” “unpatriotic” or “un-American.”



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moderatelad

posted April 27, 2007 at 9:33 pm


Rick Nowlin | 04.27.07 – 3:06 pm | #Broadrick was on with I believe Leslie Stall – hardly a friend of the republicans. It was stated on National TV and if it were not true – the Clintons would have sued her backside. You want me to believe that this was part of the ‘vast right wing conspiricy’ I think not. out of touch with yourself Yes I have had my fun with Reed – Peloci and all but I have not attacked you or others like you. I have questioned public people and they policies, but I have never called Peloci a slut or Reed a lier. (OK – but kennedy is a boozer and fancies himself a ladies man. all I can think is that he must get them real drunk) throw away all your preconceived notions right – and who on this site has done that? I can not defy you I am but I can refine. I can step outside of who I am for discussions sake but I can not forget who I am and what I believe. You may disagree and you have that right – but I may have some convictions that are just who I am. I can change – but I never jump in with both feet. I believed (not anymore) that this could be a place where people could talk respectfully about issues and try to come to an agreement on the end goal but might not on the process. But you summed it up for me. This is a place for liberals to enjoy talking to themselves and to only deal with conservatives that you believe you can convert. The CNN of blog sites. Guess I am a Hannity still looking for a Combs. –



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 27, 2007 at 10:21 pm


Broadrick was on with I believe Leslie Stall – hardly a friend of the republicans. It was stated on National TV and if it were not true – the Clintons would have sued her backside. You want me to believe that this was part of the ‘vast right wing conspiricy’ I think not. In fact it was, and that shows how little you know about the conspiracy, which was funded by a bunch of wealthy right-wingers. If Clinton tried to sue they would have made sure they bankrupted him and in fact nearly did anyway (which is why the “Hollywood elite” held fund-raisers to pay his legal bills after the impeachment). That, BTW, actually happened to several other people who also tried to sue the right. (See “Blinded by the Right” for further details about the Broaddrick “case.”) You may disagree and you have that right… The problem is not that we disagree. The problem is that, in many cases, you are just plain wrong and won’t deal with the facts on the ground –and nothing you say will change that. But you summed it up for me. This is a place for liberals to enjoy talking to themselves and to only deal with conservatives that you believe you can convert. I have done and am doing no such thing. As it is, you want to control the debate and the language of any political debate, and for once you have found a community that won’t let you do that. To paraphrase Jim, “the monologue of the right is over,” and you have to listen to us now, even if what you hear hurts your feelings or offends your sensibilities. Now, several times you have accused us of hating George W. Bush. For the most part, however, we “non-conservatives” gave him a chance, especially after 9/11; those of us who didn’t vote for him voiced support or stayed silent. We now believe, however, that Bush’s rank incompetence in prosecuting the war, Karl Rove’s propaganda campaign and conservatives’ outright contempt for the governing process — among other things — basically disqualify him from support for his policies and, by God, we will criticize them as is our Constitutional right. But you best believe that we will not use underhanded, illegal means to try to remove him from office the way conservatives did Clinton — we have too much integrity for that.



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moderatelad

posted April 28, 2007 at 4:43 am


Rick Nowlin | 04.27.07 – 4:26 pm | #and that shows how little you know about the conspiracy, which was funded by a bunch of wealthy right-wingers. So I am to believe that Broadrick appears on an evening news show with I believe Leslie Stall who is no friend to conservatives or republicans. On a major Network that again is no friend of conservatives or republicans. You are telling me that the ‘vast right wing’ has that kind of control over her and her network? Who is not in touch with whom? There is no way that could happen – Stall would never play along – she has too much integrety. Whatever – .



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 28, 2007 at 6:20 am


Stahl would never play along – she has too much integrity. Once again, you just don’t know just how the conspiracy operated. What the right consistently did was to float false or misleading stories in their own media in the hopes they would get picked up by the MSM — and they were, big time, first by CNN and then by other outlets. They counted on the following: 1) their own ratings/circulation would soar and 2) the MSM would be shamed in to covering things that they would normally avoid for the sake of ratings (and, believe me, they weren’t at all in Clinton’s corner). Juanita Broaddrick’s appearance on “60 Minutes” has to be placed in that context. But, upon further inspection, no rape could be independently confirmed — in fact, I don’t think that charges were even filed. It turned out that she may had consensual sex with Clinton but feared her then-boyfriend, later-husband, so she came up with the rape story to pacify him. That said, did you notice that the Clinton “scandals” ended with the impeachment? There was a reason for that. You see, by this time David Brock started to sing, first to Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal (who thus told her about the “conspiracy”) and then to the press. The results were several extensive articles in major newspapers and the Associated Press and at least three books, plus the “conspirator” who helped to fund the dirt-digging expedition in Arkansas which Brock himself was involved with was hauled into Federal court and questioned about witness tampering. In other words, the MSM realized that they had been had and subsequently quit following leads from conservative media. This came home to me in 2003 when the Weekly Standard published a story alleging ties between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda that the MSM basically ignored. In fact, I found out about it only when someone called me at work about the story; when she told me where it was published I told her, “Don’t believe it.” And sure enough, within two days it was proven to be a hoax.



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Canuckelhead

posted April 28, 2007 at 7:31 am


Ok, you guys, I’m back and this time I have the Truth. I’m open for questions.



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Canuckelhead

posted April 28, 2007 at 7:33 am


Hey, educate this dumb Canuck. Who was the Bush toadie that resigned this week b/c of the call-girl ring thing? Seems to me that the Bush faithful are falling fast, aren’t they? Or is this too just a plot of the liberal media?



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Sarasotakid

posted April 28, 2007 at 2:48 pm


Hey, educate this dumb Canuck. Who was the Bush toadie that resigned this week b/c of the call-girl ring thing? Seems to me that the Bush faithful are falling fast, aren’t they? Or is this too just a plot of the liberal media? CanuckelheadI vote for the liberal media conspiracy theory. Those guys make Bush look stupid too even though it is abundantly obvious by just looking at the guy that he is an utter genius. He is merely trying to parade as the village (Washington that is) idiot so as to throw Al Queda off balance. Brilliant, utterly brilliant!



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moderatelad

posted April 28, 2007 at 2:52 pm


Rick Nowlin | 04.28.07 – 12:25 am | #You are one great writer- let me know when you get a story of your heading for Hollywood – it will be a block-buster movie. So – I am to believe that Broadrick – a card carrying democrat made up this rape story because of her boyfriend/husband and then was willing to go on national TV and keeping lying about this ‘rape’. MSN and CNN were looking for ratings and got caught by the short hair on this one all because of a ‘vast right wing conspiricy’. Move over Steve King – there is an author that can out do you. Horrors – the RWC has that type of control or influence over CNN, MSN etc. Then when you found out this was all a lie – I do not remember hearing any retraction from CNN, MSN, NYT, WP etc.People lie all the time but (almost) no one would go on national tv and lie. Those that lie really want very few to know about it so that they don’t have to keep defending the lie.The ‘(almost)’ was put in there for Anita Hill because she is one that did go on national TV and told her story and when she was exposed, the CNN’s of the world cried foul. She quoted what Mr Thomas had ‘said’ to her only thing was they were quotes from trashy books, almost word for word. My neighboor still is wearing her I Believe Anita Hill button on her coat. Keep writing my frirnd – there is a movie script in you somewhere and it will make you rich and famous. Later – .



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moderatelad

posted April 28, 2007 at 2:59 pm


Sarasotakid | 04.28.07 – 8:53 am | #You know what -Give me video footage of a Graham or even Wallis, Put with it on screen talent with the scrouples and agenda of a Rather, Chung Miss Katie. I will edit any story you want me to do. I will make them look saintly – stupid, foolish – whatever you want. It is not rocket science, and it is done each and everyday. later – .



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Sarasotakid

posted April 28, 2007 at 3:59 pm


Give me video footage of a Graham or even Wallis, Put with it on screen talent with the scrouples and agenda of a Rather, Chung Miss Katie. I will edit any story you want me to do. I will make them look saintly – stupid, foolish – whatever you want. It is not rocket science, and it is done each and everyday. later – ModerateladDan Rather gets booted after airing one incorrect story about Bush’s military record and his “scruples” (notice the spelling Modlad) are berated. Bush launches a war based on lies. Yet we’re supposed to believe that there is a liberal media bias. I don’t think so. By the way Moderatelad. I pledged not to feed the trolls, so I need to keep that pledge and stop responding to your posts. Later.



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 28, 2007 at 5:48 pm


So – I am to believe that Broadrick – a card carrying democrat made up this rape story because of her boyfriend/husband and then was willing to go on national TV and keeping lying about this ‘rape’. MSN and CNN were looking for ratings and got caught by the short hair on this one all because of a ‘vast right wing conspiricy’. Move over Steve King – there is an author that can out do you. Horrors – the RWC has that type of control or influence over CNN, MSN etc. Then when you found out this was all a lie – I do not remember hearing any retraction from CNN, MSN, NYT, WP etc. I personally don’t care if you believe it or not but, as they say, the truth is stranger than fiction. And Brock is the one who said it — after all he was personally involved — and no conservative has ever told him that he’s wrong. Because they know well he’s telling the truth about their machinations, which you don’t want to address, so committed are you to the conservative viewpoint. But that gets to the heart of my message. Modern conservatives over the past couple of decades, even back during the Reagan years, have demonstrated a real moral deficit in the political arena, running smear campaigns against “liberals” and outright lying when it comes to pushing or saving their agenda. Knowing this, I fully expected the Bush Administration to lie when it came to the war in Iraq, and I was not disappointed. And that is why I have no respect whatsoever for the political right. Now, if you want to believe liars that’s on you, but you’re not going to tell blatant falsehoods on this blog without my confronting you on them. You also will have to answer to the LORD Himself.



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moderatelad

posted April 29, 2007 at 2:20 am


Sarasotakid | 04.28.07 – 10:04 am | #Rather gets booted after airing one incorrect story Maybe one incorrect story about Bush – but several incorrect/manufactured over his career. One would not boot him off and if it was only one about Bush – he might have gotten an Emmey. war based on lies that is your opinion – there is plenty of evidence that it might have been bad intel. There are several countries that are still standing by their intel that said the same thing. Britton just acknowlegded that there info on Saddam looking to purchase ‘yellow cake’ it true. trolls So – people that do not agree with you are ‘trolls’? Those that do not accept your side of the story are trolls. Fine – whatever a troll is.Be blessed…if you accept that from a Troll. .



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moderatelad

posted April 29, 2007 at 2:30 am


Rick Nowlin | 04.28.07 – 11:53 am | #And Brock is the one who said it… IF – it was a lie, where are the retractions. IF – this vast right wing conspiricy has so much power – do you understand all that people that they dup’d at CNN and MSN and again there has not been a retraction to the Broadrick story. I believe that Stall would have been the first to retract is and it would have been head lines all over the place.BROADRICK – AR DEM, ADMITS LIE ABOUT CLINTON RAPE. That would still be talked about on blogs like this even today.Jones – Even I do not want her as a poster child for my cause celeb. Whiley – her friends back her story about comming out of the Oval Office with her clothes all rumpled Monica – we all know the story, thank goodness she kept that dress to protect herself. The guy shows signs of being a preditor – lock up your wives and daughters. Have a great Sunday – .



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 29, 2007 at 3:06 am


IF – it was a lie, where are the retractions. IF – this vast right wing conspiricy has so much power – do you understand all that people that they dup’d at CNN and MSN and again there has not been a retraction to the Broadrick story. I believe that Stall would have been the first to retract is and it would have been head lines all over the place. Let me ask you a question: Is the story still live? Hardly. And as for all the other “victims,” remember that they also were used by the right. Monica, for example, was used by Linda Tripp (remember her?) for two reasons: 1) to write a book; and 2) to nail Clinton somehow. Indeed, the impeachment was triggered when she got together with the so-called independent counsel Ken Starr and lawyers from the right-wing Rutherford Institute who were representing Paula Jones and concocted what turned out to be an illegal perjury trap. But the case proved so flimsy anyway that it should have never been brought to trial; Clinton’s lawyer shot so many holes in it that the House persecutors had to hang their heads in shame. And even if the story about Broaddrick is true, which I doubt, with whom did she file charges? Where’s the paperwork? Where are the witnesses? Do you see why it is NOT a legitimate story? On a journalistic level you just don’t go on rumors and innuendo on what someone MIGHT have done — how would you like it if someone said that about you? (I do understand that personally.) Anyway, you have said that you don’t hate Clinton, but on the other hand you’re still spreading many of these falsehoods even almost a decade later. You have said that you came to this blog for reconciliation, yet you ended up spreading the same poison that sparked this blog in the first place, denoucning and personally attacking people who don’t think like you. I thus have a hard time calling you anything but a hypocrite. This blog, may I remind you, is about peace and justice, which assumes that there is injustice that needs to be addressed — and much of it from the conservative side. You won’t truly get it unless and until you on the political right face up to your own sins.



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Canuckelhead

posted April 29, 2007 at 3:25 am


can’t believe you guys are still talking about Clinton’s libido – give it up – if I recall didn’t I read that Newt Gingrich was simultaneously scoring a few non-political points himself with some babe other than his wife? what does political stripe have to do w/ controlling one’s sex drive?



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moderatelad

posted April 29, 2007 at 6:09 am


Rick Nowlin | 04.28.07 – 9:11 pm | #And even if the story about Broaddrick is true, which I doubt, with whom did she file charges? Where’s the paperwork? Where are the witnesses?Canuckelhead | 04.28.07 – 9:30 pm | #what does political stripe have to do w/ controlling one’s sex drive? OK – where is the paper work and controling ones sex drive? Then how do you account for Sen. Packwood from OR. There was no paper work filed and the only ‘wittnesses’ were the two ladies that accused him of ‘forcing himself on them’. They did not do this in a court of law but the court of public opinion and I blieve it was on 60 Minutes with Baba Wawa. The Senate went after him and even Kennedy was going to vote against him. The Senator had to resign or run the risk of loosing everything even his pension.SO – my challenging the former Pres. and not ‘seeing it’ like you have framed it. I need to believe that the vast right wing conspircy at that time had such a strangle hold on the media in our country that is seems that we were on the verg of loosing our ‘free press’.I am a hypocrite and ‘You won’t truly get it unless and until you on the political right face up to your own sins.’ Sorry I surender my convictions to no one but the Almighty and if you are going to be my judge and condem me – then let me be damned to hell. I would never put that on anyone like you just did. later – .



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Don

posted April 29, 2007 at 8:11 pm


Kevin wrote: “But part of the ISG recommendation was a surger [sic] in troops to secure Baghdad.” My understanding of the Baker-Hamilton commission (AKA Iraq Study Group or ISG) is that they considered all options, including an increase in troop strengh. However, their recommendation was primarily diplomatic. One easily and certainly got that impression by listening to the speeches they gave when the report was issued. Whether in the end they rejected a troop surge or not, I don’t know, because I didn’t read the report itself. But they definitely leaned quite heavily on diplomacy with Iraq’s neighbors, including Iran and Syria, as the main component of their recommendation. And it’s certainly well-known that Bush chose not to follow that central part of the ISG’s recommendation. Later,



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 29, 2007 at 8:21 pm


They did not do this in a court of law but the court of public opinion and I blieve it was on 60 Minutes with Baba Wawa. The Senate went after him and even Kennedy was going to vote against him. The Senator had to resign or run the risk of loosing everything even his pension. Excuse me, but they had the goods on him. Different scenario. I am a hypocrite and ‘You won’t truly get it unless and until you on the political right face up to your own sins.’ Sorry I surender my convictions to no one but the Almighty and if you are going to be my judge and condemn me… The Almighty will back me up on this. Now, you have said that we are brothers in Christ, and as such I am obligated to tell you flat-out when you’re wrong because what you say and do affects other people, let alone the witness of the Gospel. So yes, at times I do have to judge you — on this blog you have shown yourself to be arrogant, intolerant and mendacious, and you best believe that grieves the heart of God.



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moderatelad

posted April 29, 2007 at 10:12 pm


Rick Nowlin | 04.29.07 – 2:26 pm | #I am not defending Packwood – his actions were deplorable. But I believe that the situation is the same unless being Dem or Pres give you extra credit against sexual minconduct.Almighty will back me up on this… So now you and Wallis are God’s mouthpiece. I get blasted for opening the bible and sharing what I believe that God has revield to me and allowing the other person can come to their own conclusions. So you have the right to judge me – something that I have never said I had the right to do. You state that what I comment on grieves the Heart of God.I have never condemed anyone nor have I spoken for the Almighty on what others have said. You my friend are more intolerant / arrogant than I or many on this site.By what you are saying – I am not sure what political party the Almighty is in your book.How Intolerant – .



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Sarasotakid

posted April 29, 2007 at 11:12 pm


And it’s certainly well-known that Bush chose not to follow that central part of the ISG’s recommendation. Don Don, it has never been this administration’s practice to pursue diplomacy first. Those who would defend the administration are defending the indefensible.



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Don

posted April 29, 2007 at 11:16 pm


Sarasota– I agree. BTW, I found the ISG’s recommendation online (http://www.usip.org/isg/iraq_study_group_report/report/1206/index.html), and skimmed through the executive summary. It says nothing about a surge. It’s recommendation for use of the troops is in training an Iraqi army, not in securing central Baghdad. This is all to take place while the diplomacy is continuing. Later,



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 29, 2007 at 11:46 pm


So now you and Wallis are God’s mouthpiece. I get blasted for opening the bible and sharing what I believe that God has revield to me and allowing the other person can come to their own conclusions. Much of what you say and how you say it actually contradicts the Scripture. For example, there are prohibitions on lying and gossip, both of which you have done here. I have never condemmed anyone nor have I spoken for the Almighty on what others have said. Another lie — you’ve done that consistently on this blog.



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moderatelad

posted April 30, 2007 at 12:58 am


Rick Nowlin | 04.29.07 – 5:51 pm | #BULL You say ‘he lied’ and I say it was ‘bad intel’. I have never held myself up as to what the Almighty has said. I have referenced what I have read and how I believe it communicates the desires or wisdom of the Almighty. But I have never the moral authority and called them a liar then to say that ‘the Almighty will back me on this…’. Your writing and self absorbed attitude are as abrasive if not more so than the people you have contempt for ie. the Dobsons – Farwell – Kenndy and Graham. Go do the Rosie – later. .



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 30, 2007 at 3:20 am


You say ‘he lied’ and I say it was ‘bad intel’. The record supports my position. Your writing and self absorbed attitude are as abrasive if not more so than the people you have contempt for ie. the Dobsons – Farwell – Kenndy and Graham. I don’t deny that I can be abrasive. I just have an outright comtempt for people who use religion to buttress their own authority. Besides, it isn’t simply I who calls you a liar — the Scriptures do nicely. So yeah, do us all a favor — go “do the Rosie” and leave us alone who really want to seek God’s shalom.



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Sarasotakid

posted April 30, 2007 at 3:24 am


who really want to seek God’s shalom. Rick Nowlin Rick, I have had that term (“God’s Shalom”)used in that way in Anabaptist circles. Are you Anabaptist?



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moderatelad

posted April 30, 2007 at 4:55 am


Rick Nowlin | 04.29.07 – 9:25 pm | #Sorry – but your ‘rickopedia’ I believe needs a few updates and reference checks. But then again you are a self proclaimed Oricale of the Almighty. Later – .



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 30, 2007 at 5:14 am


Are you Anabaptist? Hardly — I’m Reformed. But I understand and accept the concept. To moderatelad — No, my facts are and always have been straight. That you cannot accept that is not my concern because I don’t subscribe to a post-modern mentality where all views are considered valid. They aren’t.



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Don

posted April 30, 2007 at 1:06 pm


Rick: Moderatelad’s argumentation style, unfortunately, follows a pattern I have often seen with committed hard-right individuals. Their arguments are almost never based on well-reasoned and supported facts about policies and issues; rather, they form their arguments almost entirely with ad hominem attacks on those with whom they disagree. When the fallacious nature of their arguments is successfully demonstrated, they then turn their ad hominem onto the person who pointed that out. They even will claim that this person is being unfair; that they have always based their arguments on facts, that they’re just trying to have a reasonable dialogue, etc. I certainly see this pattern here. And Moderatelad followed the same pattern during my debate with him on the most recent global warming thread here on this blog. I thought the topic of this post was media behavior in reporting the run-up to the Iraq invasion, not media behavior in reporting Bill Clinton’s personal indiscretions. My guess is that most readers here didn’t want to rehash the latter. I was never a fan of Mr. Clinton; nevertheless, I think the Iraq issue has much farther reaching and longer lasting consequences than Clinton’s missteps from over a decade ago. These are the times we live in, though, when we have to deal with these kinds of red herrings. Peace,



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Sarasotakid

posted April 30, 2007 at 2:53 pm


I would echo Don’s previous statement and say that we should try to refrain from feeding the trolls. They have every right to be here, as this is a public forum, but their nasty banter should not be dignified with a response. It is not because they are conservative that they are trolls. For example, Wolverine, who appears to be staunchly conservative adds to te debate. I appreciated his question about showing how the European press was on target with WMDs. That is a legitimate challenge. It is not a distraction from the thread of the discussion.



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moderatelad

posted April 30, 2007 at 3:33 pm


but their nasty banter should not be dignified with a response. SO – how do you define Troll and nasty banter? Just wondering… Later – .



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