God's Politics

God's Politics


Iraq and Christian Identity (by Jim Wallis)

posted by God's Politics

I got a LOT of responses to my post at the end of last week, in which I said the war in Iraq presents the American churches with an issue of Christian identity. Nobody really denied the fact that the worldwide body of Christ is overwhelmingly against the war and the whole thrust of American foreign policy in the post-9/11 era. And that fact remains true even for evangelical Christians around the world. The global body of Christ has no deep trust in the political motivations or geopolitical interests of the U.S., nor do they welcome American hegemony in their regions of the world. Some of my responders have no real concern that their perspective as American Christians in support of their government’s war policy puts them in a distinct minority among believers around the world. But many others, like me, are worried by the American Christians who are more allied with their own government than they are with their brothers and sisters across the globe, especially when our nation is the world’s military and economic superpower. One of those e-mails came from my own pastor, Scott Garber of Washington Community Fellowship. Scott said:




I just wanted you to know that I especially appreciated your emphasis on Christian opinion outside the US. Very well put. Your question about whether American Christians know things that others don’t really gets at the hubris of our ethnocentrism. Though most American Christians have never even seriously considered this question, that further bit of ignorance is no excuse. And the matter of misplaced loyalties and kingdom confusion is a serious one. In fact, it was the subject of my July 4 sermon this year.


I also read a moving piece by Andrew Sullivan, an articulate conservative who supported the war but now has no heart for it. I share his reflections with you in A Humbled President.



The case was so weak, the argument so thin, the evidence for optimism so obviously strained, that one wondered whom he thought he was persuading. And the way he framed his case was still divorced from the reality we see in front of our nose.


And my Beliefnet colleague, Rod Dreher, had this to say in his post The Absurd Bush Speech.



I found myself watching the president’s speech tonight astonished and infuriated that he had the nerve to say the things he was saying. I don’t know if it’s worse to imagine that he’s cynically saying things he doesn’t believe, or that he really believes such nonsense. Whatever the case, it was a deeply dishonest speech.



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jesse

posted September 18, 2007 at 11:14 am


Jim,
I respectfully urge you to consider the weak logic of appeals to authority. This post is essentially that. First, you appeal to Christians around the globe, then you appeal to three different sources. This is one of the classic logical fallacies. The validity of a claim does not follow the credibility of the source. I can take these appeals into consideration, but I won’t find them wholly persuasive.



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kevin s.

posted September 18, 2007 at 11:22 am


I struggle to understand why Sullivan still labels himself a conservative. He is a conservative by no measure of the term. I’m glad that Wallis reads Dreher. Dreher does stuff like engage ideas and evaluate both sides of a particular issue.



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 18, 2007 at 11:27 am


The validity of a claim does not follow the credibility of the source. I can take these appeals into consideration, but I won’t find them wholly persuasive.
You just proved his point succintly. Thing is, when you’re committed to your viewpoint even when it’s proven defective and you challenge the idea that other, independent people think the same way you actually weaken your own viewpoint. I mean, c’mon — if folks personally witnesses something that directly contradicts your agenda, do you then dismiss eyewitness accounts?



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jesse

posted September 18, 2007 at 11:38 am


if folks personally witnesses something that directly contradicts your agenda, do you then dismiss eyewitness accounts?
–Not at all, but this isn’t totally about eyewitness accounts–or the degree to which it is, it’s about different eyewitnesses (Petreaus is one and Wallis isn’t, actually).



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James

posted September 18, 2007 at 11:44 am


Isn’t bearing false witness a sin? Didn’t Bush bear false witness?



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Don

posted September 18, 2007 at 12:07 pm


Jesse, I understand your concern about appeals to authority, but here the issue is really solidarity with and loyalty to Christ and his alternative kingdom over and above all earthly kingdoms. Moreover, it’s a beam-in-our (i.e, a lot of American Christians)-eye thing. The fact is that the rest of the world easily sees the beam that we are so stubbornly oblivious to.
Americanism or nationalism–whatever name one wishes to call it–like all idolatries, is insiduous. We don’t think we have misplaced our allegiance. We think we’re being loyal to Christ and just good Americans too. We are unable to recognize the idols we have made of our nation, our way of life, and even our freedoms.
Are American Christians really ready and willing to examine themselves and their loyalties in the light of the First Commandment? In most venues around the country, the merest suggestion that Americans might have some self-examination to do meets with glazed eyes and suspicions of disloyalty on the part of the one making the suggestion.
I really don’t think Rev. Wallis is guilty of appealing to authority, unless of course you mean the Supreme Authority to whom we all have to give an answer some day.
Peace,



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 18, 2007 at 12:08 pm


Not at all, but this isn’t totally about eyewitness accounts–or the degree to which it is, it’s about different eyewitnesses
Does Douad Kattub count?



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Moderatelad

posted September 18, 2007 at 12:15 pm


‘…worldwide body of Christ is overwhelmingly against the war…’
Based on what evidence. Mr. Wallis – your ‘gilttering generalities’ just don’t add up. You look at web-site from different countries and other ministries around the world and they are not overtly supporting the war in Iraq – but they are not condeming it either. Many know that the only thing standing between them and a world gone nuts is the US. My friends in New Zealand and the UK understand what the future holds if Iraq fails.
Bottom line is – if the former Pres of the US and Sect Gen of the UN had done their job – we would not be in the mess that we are today. Yes we know the job that got done on their watch, the inspectors were called back and one made a lot of money undermining the Allied sanctions against Iraq.
Later -
.



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N.M. Rod

posted September 18, 2007 at 12:16 pm


What those who are appalled at the disingenuity neat to realise, is that under certain circumstances, determined by the authorities, bearing false witness is OK. This is known as the Rahab Defense.
Just War Theory can be applied to every instance where we might need to “fight fire with fire,” be more evil than evil to triumph over evil.
Just War Theory never claimed that war was anything but sin, just how to sin with the minimum harm in a fallen world in which we need to continue to sin to function.
The same arguments for Just War can be made for Just Lying.
There is a Just Stealing Theory, too.
Basically, all just need to be invoked with some sort of proof that the enemy started it first.
With all the sin abounding, we are fortunate that God can pour out his Grace ever more abundantly, thereby bringing glory.



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kevin s.

posted September 18, 2007 at 12:33 pm


I think Jesse’s point is not that we should disregard what Christians worldwide believe about Americans. Rather, it is insufficient to assert that their disagreement denotes a compelling argument.
There are a variety of reasons the Christians he encounters hold a different viewpoint. His sample is assuredly skewed to those who are sympathetic to his cause, and it is not as though Europeans are pre-disposed to give Americans the benefit of the doubt anyway.
Their concerns say more about their pre-dispositions than they do about the efficacy or morality of our Iraq policy. I suspect that they are sympathetic to Wallis’ viewpoint on a whole host of issues, from centralized government to abortion rights.
Did Wallis challenge their conclusions, or present the opposing point of view? That isn’t really his style, though he may have made reference to the fact that he considers American Christians to be a bunch of Dispensationalist nutjobs.
But to simply say “these people agree with me” is not an argument, and Jesse is correct that it constitutes an empty appeal to authority in lieu of argument.



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Payshun

posted September 18, 2007 at 1:11 pm


Kev:
Their concerns say more about their pre-dispositions than they do about the efficacy or morality of our Iraq policy. I suspect that they are sympathetic to Wallis’ viewpoint on a whole host of issues, from centralized government to abortion rights.
Me:
that’s bs. The morality of this war is on their hearts and minds and many Christians that don’t support this war do so because of the lack of morality our country has put into this war. Right now we have as many private contractors in this war as we do soldiers. These contractors have no oversight from the government and any time any is suggested republicans block the measures from passing. Some of these contractors do good work but some don’t and instead of dealing w/ any real consequences about this we as a nation ignore it. All the while trying to spin the war in Iraq as some nobel endeavor when that was never our primary intention.
check out
http://www.warslavery.org.
My tax dollars are still going to promoting some contractors using slave labor in Iraq. My tax dollars are being used to pay for corporate greed and dead truck drivers. That’s the truth about this war that only one other person has brought up since we started this discussion. This war is absolutely immoral and for some reason none of you conservative folks pay any attention to the other aspects of our war that have nothing to do w/ our military but actually focus on other aspects of our foriegn policy. (those other aspects include contracting out much of this war to American companies w/ no oversite.)
p



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Don

posted September 18, 2007 at 1:13 pm


“His sample is assuredly skewed to those who are sympathetic to his cause, and it is not as though Europeans are pre-disposed to give Americans the benefit of the doubt anyway.”
And so you replace Rev. Wallis’ alleged argument from authority with an argumentum ad hominem.
Moreover, my guess is that most of the Christians Rev. Wallis is encountering aren’t from Europe. I thought I recall his mentioning of Singapore somewhere.
Peace,



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Payshun

posted September 18, 2007 at 1:13 pm


Jim,
Keep preaching. Eventually they will get it.
p



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Eric

posted September 18, 2007 at 1:31 pm


Why does Wallis assume that the Christians in the U.S. who support the war are motivated by nationalism/Americanism or are putting their country ahead of their faith, yet the Christians he talked to in Singapore are motivated by their faith and not something wordly like the American Christians? Why is there this presumption of innocence (for lack of a better phrase) for the foreign Christians? Aren’t we all subject to prejudices?



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Moderatelad

posted September 18, 2007 at 2:01 pm


Posted by: Eric | September 18, 2007 1:31 PM
‘…Christians in the U.S. who support the war are motivated by nationalism/Americanism or are putting their country ahead of their faith…’
Because almost every cause needs their scape-goat and conservative christians are it. Remember it is easier to deal with those who ‘don’t get it’ than those who have been deamed ‘wrong’.
Blessings -
.



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kevin s.

posted September 18, 2007 at 2:04 pm


“And so you replace Rev. Wallis’ alleged argument from authority with an argumentum ad hominem.”
This sentence doesn’t make any sense. I am simply attempting to explain why it is insufficient to simply declare that people agree with you.



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 18, 2007 at 2:12 pm


Why does Wallis assume that the Christians in the U.S. who support the war are motivated by nationalism/Americanism or are putting their country ahead of their faith, yet the Christians he talked to in Singapore are motivated by their faith and not something wordly like the American Christians?
Because no Christian in his right mind in, say, Singapore would equate ever his country with the Kingdom of God, wrapping it in the flag. We do this routinely here, especially in the 1980s. There are no “patriot pastors” in other lands.



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Payshun

posted September 18, 2007 at 2:34 pm


Mod said:
Because almost every cause needs their scape-goat and conservative christians are it. Remember it is easier to deal with those who ‘don’t get it’ than those who have been deamed ‘wrong’.
Me:
Well you all r both so what’s your point?
p



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Moderatelad

posted September 18, 2007 at 3:16 pm


Posted by: Payshun | September 18, 2007 2:34 PM
‘Well you all r both so what’s your point?’
No – I am the group that ‘gets it wrong’ according to Mr Wallis.
Blessing -
.



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 18, 2007 at 3:25 pm


am the group that ‘gets it wrong’ according to Mr Wallis.
The proof is in the pudding.



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Moderatelad

posted September 18, 2007 at 4:02 pm


Posted by: Rick Nowlin | September 18, 2007 3:25 PM
no comment
.



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N.M. Rod

posted September 18, 2007 at 4:13 pm


“Am I my brother’s keeper?”
“Who is my neighbor?”
“Bomb them all to Hell in the name of the Lord.”
Those are various negative responses of accountability from various religious figures in scripture and in recent memory – the last from a distinguished, now deceased, grossly obese War Jesus preacher.
And now, more of this self-justifying bilge how we are there not to serve ourselves but others – while many of us gorge ourselves on spoils paid for by the blood of others, whether our own countrymen, our own and foreign civilians and other maimed and dead.
Then Blackwater, the outsourced private mercenary outfit owned by the son of one of the billionaire board members of Focus on the Family, kills civilians in Iraq in an orgy of vengeance after coming under fire or fearing they will. The Iraqi government orders Blackwater to leave, but neither Blackwater nor the US complies at all, ignoring the Iraqi “government.” That’s only in the last few days.
What kind of religion is it that acts as the unquestioning “bring it on” cheerleader for a secular government, war and militarism?
Historically, we know that every tribe, people or nation that decides to go to war needs its own atavistic War God to justify it and imbue its combatants with a sense of divine mission as they go out to conquer and kill by state sanction, in order to overcome their individual moral consciences.
We’re the richest, most powerful victims in world history.
Is our civil religion Christianity, or is it something else that we’ve replaced it with, that elevates us above any accountability?
Just what are we as purported “missionaries” spreading around a world that needs a Savior from all its alienation and violence? The world needs our corporate-branded Christianity of messianic violence like it needs another larger caliber hole in the head.
We’ve forgotten that all our own righteousness is as filthy rags.
We should not have forgotten that the first corollary of believing in God, is the realization that we are not Him. That’s quite a bifurcation, one that ought to produce humility and doubt of our own motives.
But then, I read so many voices saying that “Jesus is silent” or “God does not speak to us” on all these moral issues. We clap our hands to our ears and scream bloody murder to make sure that when He does speak to us, we won’t hear.
One can expect this from all those who don’t know better, have been taught incorrectly without knowledge of true religion – they simply still follow the same path that led out of the Garden of Eden and away from God as far as the East is from West.
But from those who purport to know Jesus, and have the wisdom of the Holy Spirit?



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Kevin Wayne

posted September 18, 2007 at 4:18 pm


Their concerns say more about their pre-dispositions than they do about the efficacy or morality of our Iraq policy. I suspect that they are sympathetic to Wallis’ viewpoint on a whole host of issues, from centralized government to abortion rights.
That’s just broad generalizations and tagging with a broad brush on your part. Thing is, he travels overseas and so can at least claim to have seen & heard something. You on the other hand, can only speculate.



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Anonymous

posted September 18, 2007 at 4:27 pm


moderatelad: “Bottom line is – if the former Pres of the US and Sect Gen of the UN had done their job – we would not be in the mess that we are today.”
No, the bottom line is that Moderatelad’s “bottom line” completely evades the present issue of whether it’s wise, or not, to remain militarily involved in Iraq. How long are conservatives and Republicans going to keep blaming Clinton for everything? The man’s been out of office for over 7 years. Are you that bereft of ideas?
On kevin s and ad hominem, I don’t find his response to be ad hominem. I _would_ like to know about kevin’s certainty that Wallis’s sample is skewed.
On the issue of non-American Christians. My first allegiance is to the body of Christ. Thus, when sizeable numbers of fellow members, American or no, voice a particular opinion, I listen. I may not ultimately agree, but my love for them as fellow followers of the Way compel me to give them a hearing
Moderatelad, there are polling numbers available that suggest that large numbers of people around the world condemn U.S. action in Iraq. That doesn’t automatically translate into we must concur, but it’s a little more persuasive than glancing at a few websites.
And as for “Many know that the only thing standing between them and a world gone nuts is the US,” that was certainly true during the Second World War, probably true during the first two decades of the cold war, esp. in Europe, and IMHO emphatically not true today. Indeed I wonder what is the only thing standing between the rest of the world and the US going nuts. Look for example, at how China and Russia are cozying up together–that may provide one answer.



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James

posted September 18, 2007 at 4:34 pm


OK, one more time–didn’t Bush bear false witness in this and other speeches? If not, what is “bearing false witness?”



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Kevin Wayne

posted September 18, 2007 at 4:38 pm


Just War Theory can be applied to every instance where we might need to “fight fire with fire,” be more evil than evil to triumph over evil.
Amen. It’s surprising how many “appeal to” the authority of a so-called “Just War.” The problem is, you can just about force it’s application and play with the details when and wherever you like to get the outcome you want.
The concept of the “Just War” was originally conceived to counter Christians who had become violent revolutionaries. One has to wonder what Augustine might have thought about going to war over desert hobgoblins. What would have his response been to curb our modern Politicians who claim the authority of God in what they do?
But what can’t be force-fit to suit any countries agenda and what can’t be argued against is this: Yahweh is never recorded as having sanctioned any wars after the era of the Old Testament came to a close. That would be some 400 years before the time of Christ.



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Moderatelad

posted September 18, 2007 at 4:39 pm


Posted by: squeaky | September 18, 2007 4:27 PM
‘Clearly your skills at ignoring need further honing =)’
Sorry – you have my permission to beat me with a wet noodle next time you are in town.
Blessings -
.



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Don

posted September 18, 2007 at 4:43 pm


“This sentence doesn’t make any sense.”
Here’s what it means.
You wrote:
“There are a variety of reasons the Christians he encounters hold a different viewpoint. His sample is assuredly skewed to those who are sympathetic to his cause, and it is not as though Europeans are pre-disposed to give Americans the benefit of the doubt anyway.:
I considered this an ad hominem argument because first you assume that all the people Rev. Wallis has been talking to were Europeans, when most were not, and then you generalize about them, saying they aren’t predisposed to cut America any slack. This seems to me to be an attack on their character. Further, it does not support Jesse’s assertion that Rev. W. is engaging in argument from authority. It’s only a snide remark regarding your perception of the character of Europeans vis-a-vis America.
Eric wrote:
“Why does Wallis assume that the Christians in the U.S. who support the war are motivated by nationalism/Americanism or are putting their country ahead of their faith…”
I can speak from personal experience here. Those individuals I know who continue to defend the war in Iraq are indeed putting America ahead of their faith. And I’m not speaking of people on this blog.
Peace,



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 18, 2007 at 4:45 pm


Clearly your skills at ignoring need further honing =)
What he needs is truth serum. Because if it weren’t I it would be someone else.



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N.M. Rod

posted September 18, 2007 at 4:52 pm


Just War Theory is often invoked, but seldom examined.
Why is that?
There are really four positions -
Two are intellectually sustainable, while two are not.
Pacifism.
Non-violent resistance.
Just War Theory.
Holy War.
The crusading proponents of the last usually like to make straw man arguments against the positions of the middle two by slandering non-violent resistance as “passivism” which conveniently in English sounds just like “Pacifism.” (Maybe that’s why European religion is so impervious to considering peace, unlike the eastern Buddhist tradition?) Holy Warriors also like to invoke Just War Theory as an unexamined excuse for and conflation with their Holy War position.
What’s particular striking is that these four positions are staked out among every nation and people, regardless of religion. It appears they are common states of mind to humanity, and their adherents end up with similar outward behavior regardless of ethnography or history. This is an overwhelming indication that often religion is not the underlying motive, but the means to achieve what is already desired. Religion becomes the mere means to the end, and to paraphrase Eisenhower, we don’t care which one it is, as long as we get what we already want.



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dthompson

posted September 18, 2007 at 4:55 pm


For those who supported our President when he advocated his “preemptive strike” war theory, I have just one question.
Based on recent rhetoric from our Administration, coupled with our actions in the region, do you believe Iran would be judtified in launching a preemptive strike against the United States, say perhaps a nuclear strike against DC?
If not, why not?



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Italian88

posted September 18, 2007 at 4:58 pm


With all due respect, how does Jim know that other Christians around the world have not fallen into the same trap as American Christians? That is, they may be choosing their OWN nation and their OWN set of prejudices over their allegiance to Christians here. It seems to me that American Christians are not the only ones subject to this temptation. Unless there is always a presumption of guilt when we discuss American Christianity. I refuse to believe we’re the only ones capable of such blindness.



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Eric

posted September 18, 2007 at 4:59 pm


Rick – you responded to my question by saying “Because no Christian in his right mind in, say, Singapore would equate ever his country with the Kingdom of God, wrapping it in the flag.”
This doesn’t answer the question though. Just because foreign pastors may not engage in the same rhetoric that some American pastors do (or did in the 1980s) doesn’t mean there aren’t other issues that could influence their thinking on the Iraq War outside their faith.
Again, my question is why does Wallis assume the foreign Christians he talks to are pure of heart while assuming that American Christians are not?



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justintime

posted September 18, 2007 at 5:02 pm


But many others, like me, are worried by the American Christians who are more allied with their own government than they are with their brothers and sisters across the globe, especially when our nation is the world’s military and economic superpower.- Jim Wallis
Many Americans have been worried about this from the beginning of the Bush administration.
Many Americans (maybe 30%)saw right through Bush from the very beginning.
Having watched BushCo steal the presidency, we recognized BushCo as being more like a crime syndicate than a legitimate government.
We’ve watched BushCo destroy America’s good reputation around the world, the US Constitution, the US military, the US Treasury, untold thousands of human lives and the future of the Republican Party.
We’ve been shocked and dismayed that our fellow Americans have ignored this reality for over six years now.
So we have to ask Americans who come late in recognizing BushCo for what it really is:
“What was your first clue?”
Conservative fundamentalist Christians were duped into helping this Christofascistic crime syndicate take over America.
They should be praying for God’s mercy, instead of trying to deny the facts.



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N.M. Rod

posted September 18, 2007 at 5:13 pm


It is completely true that Americans are not the only morally blind people in the world, and that self-identifying Christians who aren’t Americans are as equally able to commit the same sins as Americans.
However, it’s an old cheat to justify your own sins by invoking someone else’s, instead of engaging in self-examination and responsibility.
After all, the only person you can really change is yourself. Avoiding that by changing the subject to someone else is just going to result in a withering away of any spiritual growth and closeness to God.
It’s called avoiding the issue.
You may have noticed that your own judgment is far more discerning when applied to the sins of others rather than your own. Therefore, it is sobering to realize that if you extend that to others, it is likely that they as well recognize your own foibles far more accurately than you do yourself.
Therefore we really ought to listen to others’ criticisms instead of shutting them down in a fit of holier-than-thou self-righteousness.
This is even true about our purported enemies – we should still talk to them instead of stopping our ears – but when it comes to our own family of God, the very brethren, it is compulsory, or we are no longer in fellowship with the invisible Church – the only real one there is.



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jesse

posted September 18, 2007 at 5:29 pm


I really don’t think Rev. Wallis is guilty of appealing to authority, unless of course you mean the Supreme Authority to whom we all have to give an answer some day.
–When he appeals to scripture, he is appealing to the “Supreme Authority”, but here he is only appealing to “the majority”–fallible people who will not be judging us. When he does appeal to scripture, I think he tends to have sloppy exegesis, but that’s another matter…
Do you not think that a majority of the world’s evangelicals disagree with Wallis on an issue or two? Do these disagreements carry the same weight in his eyes? Wallis told Jon Stewart and his audience that you just need to take care of the poor to get to heaven. Wallis also has liberal views on abortion and homosexuality that are likely not shared by most evangelicals. What to make of this? He must be wrong since most of the world’s evangelicals disagree with him, right?



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Italian88

posted September 18, 2007 at 5:30 pm


N.M. Rod, I’m not sure if you were addressing my post or not, but please allow me to reply.
“However, it’s an old cheat to justify your own sins by invoking someone else’s, instead of engaging in self-examination and responsibility.”
I’m not sure we are addressing “sins” here, but merely the blindness that can infect us all. That’s especially important when discussing a blog entry like Jim’s here, where he is appealing to the opinion of other Christians. If Christians in other countries have, in fact, been blinded by the same sense of nationalism as we in the U.S., then appealing to their opinions loses weight.
That doesn’t mean the criticisms of other Christians elsewhere are worthless, of course. It only means that we shouldn’t accept it simply because it exists. And yet Jim seems to have appealed to it so strongly lately, and almost seems to want readers to accept it on that basis.
Of course, Jim has made a much broader case elsewhere. So my post wasn’t meant as something that would completely undermine his opposition to the war. I personally think we should stick to Biblical arguments (or even practical, historical etc.). After all, Christians elsewhere can be wrong too.
That was my point.
God bless you.



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Jeff

posted September 18, 2007 at 5:31 pm


James,
Specifically what in this speech do you deem as bearing false witness and why?
Jeff



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kevin s.

posted September 18, 2007 at 5:33 pm


“Amen. It’s surprising how many “appeal to” the authority of a so-called “Just War.” The problem is, you can just about force it’s application and play with the details when and wherever you like to get the outcome you want.”
I agree with this. The issue always boils down to whether a military effort amounts to good or ethical policy. If it does, then who is going to argue whether it is just?
“Based on recent rhetoric from our Administration, coupled with our actions in the region, do you believe Iran would be judtified in launching a preemptive strike against the United States, say perhaps a nuclear strike against DC?
If not, why not?”
Because the expressed aim of their leader is worldwide domination for Islam. You could ask the came question, and substitute any United States military effort for this one. This is why moral equivocation doesn’t work. Even Wallis conceded that Saddam had to be put out of power by force.
However, it is a moot point. If they attempt a nuclear attack, it will be against Israel, and we will partner with Israel to pulverize them.
“Christofascistic crime syndicate”
Are you blogging for John Edwards now?



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 18, 2007 at 5:33 pm


With all due respect, how does Jim know that other Christians around the world have not fallen into the same trap as American Christians? That is, they may be choosing their OWN nation and their OWN set of prejudices over their allegiance to Christians here.
Where are the “patriot pastors” in other countries? Which non-American Christians wrap their faith in the respective flags? If they did you’d certainly know it. Especially in Europe, Christians abroad know the danger of getting religion mixed up with partisan/ideological politics — hey, even the Protestant Reformation surrounded power politics every bit as much as redefining the historic Christian faith. That’s why Europe is so secular today.



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Italian88

posted September 18, 2007 at 5:41 pm


Rick, it seems to me that you are assuming that all manifestations of nationalism will be the same. True, we may have “patriot pastors” here, and not “there” (i.e., in those nations to which Jim is appealing).
But my point wasn’t in trying to assert that. I was merely calling attention to the possibility that Christians in, say, the Netherlands, might just not like the U.S. for a number of reasons (legitimate, illegitimate, I don’t particularly care), and that might color their appraisal of U.S. policy.
So when Jim says “they” are opposed, that doesn’t mean much to me. On the other hand, their REASONS for opposing U.S. policy would interest me.
That’s the weakness of appealing to authority in a case like this.



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Italian88

posted September 18, 2007 at 5:44 pm


And by the way, Rick, I think this blog runs as dangerously close to conflating religion and partisan politics as any run by right-wingers.
God bless!



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justintime

posted September 18, 2007 at 5:45 pm


“Christofascistic crime syndicate”

Are you blogging for John Edwards now?

Edwards, or anyone else for that matter,
has my permission to use the term:
‘Christofascistic Crime Syndicate’
when referring to the Bush administration.
It’s more syllables than I would like.
But it’s totally accurate and very appropriate.
Now it’s in the public domain.
Let’s see if it catches on.



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Payshun

posted September 18, 2007 at 5:55 pm


Mod said:
No – I am the group that ‘gets it wrong’ according to Mr Wallis.
Me:
Actually the rest of us know you got it wrong too. It’s just not Mr. Wallis.
p



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justintime

posted September 18, 2007 at 5:56 pm


Do you think ‘Christofascistic crime syndicate might be an accurate description of Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy?
Just asking.



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N.M. Rod

posted September 18, 2007 at 6:09 pm


Do all the folks on here fancy themselves little Rush Limbaughs, Al Frankens or Ann Coulters?
I get the feeling from the “talking point” litanies and liturgies that people spend way too much time watching and listening to the TV and radio “talking head” and celebrity political hack wars and then in a kind of hierarchy down into the barnyard echo it all across the blogosphere.
It seems a lot like a kind of masturbatory and irrelevant narcissitic self-stroking, looking in a mirror with parted lips and never being real to anyone or anything outside.
God is me and I is He and it’s all TV inside of me…



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 18, 2007 at 6:11 pm


But my point wasn’t in trying to assert that. I was merely calling attention to the possibility that Christians in, say, the Netherlands, might just not like the U.S. for a number of reasons (legitimate, illegitimate, I don’t particularly care), and that might color their appraisal of U.S. policy.
You have to remember, however, that most nations know far more about us politically, culturally etc. than we know about them — in most countries you have to learn to speak at least one other language, for example. They’re not anti-U.S. in the least on a consistent basis but (because of their own history) can become quite annoyed when we move unilaterally.
And by the way, Rick, I think this blog runs as dangerously close to conflating religion and partisan politics as any run by right-wingers.
I disagree 100 percent, because right-wing organizations actually absorbed conservative Christians beginning in 1978. Comparatively speaking, this blog is far more grass-roots and thus less “organized.”



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Payshun

posted September 18, 2007 at 6:11 pm


Italian88,
I can understand why you would not care. The rest of us do that means we should pay attention to their legtimate criticisms especially when it continues to create schisms in the rest of the world and helps to provide fuel for extremists to hone their evil and ridulous ideas.
p



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justintime

posted September 18, 2007 at 6:14 pm


Having just discovered ‘christofascism’ already has 601 googles, I was rather disappointed.
But ‘christofascistic crime syndicate’ is new and somewhat original.
I think it’s quite accurate when referring to the Bush administration.
So help yourself to it.



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justintime

posted September 18, 2007 at 6:23 pm


God is me and I is He and it’s all TV inside of me…
You might be right about that, NMR.



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squeaky

posted September 18, 2007 at 6:34 pm


“Sorry – you have my permission to beat me with a wet noodle next time you are in town.”
What kind? Angel hair? Lasagna? Fettucini? The distinction could be very important!



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ds0490

posted September 18, 2007 at 6:41 pm


“Based on recent rhetoric from our Administration, coupled with our actions in the region, do you believe Iran would be judtified in launching a preemptive strike against the United States, say perhaps a nuclear strike against DC?
If not, why not?”
Because the expressed aim of their leader is worldwide domination for Islam. You could ask the came question, and substitute any United States military effort for this one. This is why moral equivocation doesn’t work. Even Wallis conceded that Saddam had to be put out of power by force.
—————
You missed the point of my question. President Bush used the threat posed by Saddam Hussein as justification to enter into a preemptive war against the nation of Iraq for the purposes of removing the threat posed to the US and that region by Saddam.
Using that same reasoning, i.e. that the United States under President Bush poses a threat to the nation of Iran and the Persian Gulf region, do you believe a case can be made for a preemptive Iranian strike against the US?
Also, as aside question…if the US were in a position where the only weapons it had for defending itself were nuclear weaponry, do you feel that we would be justified in using that weaponry in the face of a non-nuclear threat?



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Donny

posted September 18, 2007 at 7:08 pm


Look Jim,
Quit making Christians look like some kind of bad people. There is not one Christian war going on anywhere on earth. And what’s it been a thousand years or more since anyone marched to war under a Cross? At that was only “to take back” what Muslims took by force of war!!!!!
Deal with Muslims and Islamic totalitarianism. How many people have been killed TODAY JIM, by Muslim Jihadists?????????????
What’s wrong wth you? Why the incesant need to inflict Americans and Christians with your Marxist-Socialist Humanism hidden behind Christian labels?
Stop implying that Christians are some how a problem to the world and start focusing your anti-war, pro-Democrat PAC babble, towards the real war mongers on this planet.
Start at Mecca and move in any direction outwardly from there.



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justintime

posted September 18, 2007 at 7:12 pm


Only twisted Christians are the problem, Donny.
Do you think we should drop the big one on Mecca?



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rthompson

posted September 18, 2007 at 7:52 pm


Of course Christians like Donny think we should nuke Mecca. They believe they can help usher in the return of Jesus by fomenting nuclear war in the region.
Who cares if it kills a few million Muslims, right Donny? I mean, they are going to hell anyway, and a death by nuclear attack can’t be anything compared to eternal torment. Besides, a few might convert at the last moment, and then be ushered into the bosom of Abraham.
Praise God and pass the plutonium…right Donny!



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Trent

posted September 18, 2007 at 7:53 pm


ds0490 has raised a good point.
Iran would, according to the standard set by the Iraq preemptive strike, have grounds for a pre-emptive strike against the US. In fact they’d have more grounds as the US already has WMD ready for a strike against them (as opposed to the suggested possibility that Iraq might have been developing them).
They wouldn’t have grounds for a strike against Israel, as Israel has not been threatening them.
And regarding the biases of the rest of the world, it is possible, albeit unlikely, that every country outside the US is jealous of the US or in some other way biased against the US and that that is why Christians in those countries disagree over US foreign policy. It’s possible. The uniformity of opposition, even from Christians in US ally countries (like Australia and the UK), suggests that it’s unlikely. In contrast it’s much more likely that the portion of Christians in the US who support the foreign policy may in this case be in the wrong. (unless we’re postmodernist again and it’s both right and wrong simultaneously).
Be Blessed,



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canucklehead

posted September 18, 2007 at 8:00 pm


Would someone please drop “the big one” on Donny? His posts are implicit requests to be put out of his misery.
———————-
Posted by: Rick Nowlin | September 18, 2007 3:25 PM
no comment
.
Posted by: Moderatelad | September 18, 2007 4:02 PM
———————-
I think they teach in Psych 000 that the silent treatment is an attempt at control. If the shoe fits, wore it.



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jerry

posted September 18, 2007 at 8:02 pm


jim’s opinions are just that. he has no knowledge other than the smattering of opinions he has picked up over time. his blatant dislike of opposing views negates his authority.
would someone please give me a good definition of a christian, please.



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James Palmer

posted September 18, 2007 at 8:26 pm


Personally, I don’t subscribe to the notion of “just war.” I find the term sort of hilariously ironic actually–no matter its origin. If you embrace the concept of nonviolence (and make NO MISTAKE JESUS PREACHED NONVIOLENCE!!! I SAY IT AGAIN JESUS PREACHED NONVIOLENCE) then war never brings justice. The notion of a just war is what modern day therapists call, a “convenient rationalization…”



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kevin s.

posted September 18, 2007 at 8:36 pm


“It’s more syllables than I would like.
But it’s totally accurate and very appropriate.
Now it’s in the public domain.
Let’s see if it catches on.”
As a Republican, part of me hopes so. However, considering Edwards ran from his flirtation with the looney-bin as though it were the plague, I am not optimistic.
“You missed the point of my question.”
I got the point of your question just fine.
“President Bush used the threat posed by Saddam Hussein as justification to enter into a preemptive war against the nation of Iraq for the purposes of removing the threat posed to the US and that region by Saddam.”
To the extent that an attack on one who had deliberately disobeyed UN mandate time and time again could be considered pre-emptive, okay…
“Using that same reasoning, i.e. that the United States under President Bush poses a threat to the nation of Iran and the Persian Gulf region, do you believe a case can be made for a preemptive Iranian strike against the US?”
Sure, a case can be made. Again, this is why your moral equivalency fails, and could apply to any tyrannical regime anywhere. Have we threatened to wipe Israel (or any nation) off the map? Nope.
“Also, as aside question…if the US were in a position where the only weapons it had for defending itself were nuclear weaponry, do you feel that we would be justified in using that weaponry in the face of a non-nuclear threat?”
This is a bizarre question. If the only weapons the LAPD have at their disposal are nuclear weapons, does that justify the LAPD using nuclear weapons?
I think the point of your questions is that the only way Iran can use violence to co-erce the world is by using nuclear weapons. As such, they are not justified in using such weapons, for the reason mentioned above.
Again, I think Jim Wallis would nod his head and approve of this line of questioning. In his mind, Israel has no right to exist, and Iran is on the same moral plane as America. He should just be more honest about it. Don’t you think he should be honest about it?



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Donny

posted September 18, 2007 at 9:16 pm


My point, my hysterical Leftist earth dwellers, is that Christians are not doing anything violent in the name of Christ.
Insulting me shows your lack of understanding what is going on in the world. It is NOT Christians detonating suicide bombs.
Jim Wallis and the rest of you lefties, rant and rave about anti-war this and that, but you only attack Christians. Christians are not killing anyone. Get over your gay marriage anger for a moment and save lives worldwide.
Do the math bobbleheads.
You say NOTHING TO or ABOUT Muslims and Islam. Like Kevin S, so accurately alludes to, Wallis and his zombie-hordes of progressive anti-Christian Humanists, are nothing more than Marxists communists hell-bent to deceive peaceful Christians and other Americans into joining them in their mind-frozen dance of apathy.
I make it clear that non-violence is the ONLY acceptable way of life on this planet AND THAT IS WHY . . . Muslims have to be opposed from Mecca to Main Street USA.
It is not Christians Jihading all over the world. In fact Christians are feeding the poor and needy all over the world. Some, meeting their deaths at the hands of guess who? No don’t. I’ll tell you MUSLIMS!
Peace starts with contending against Islamic war in just about every segment of mankind.
Get a clue lemmings.



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kevin s.

posted September 18, 2007 at 9:18 pm


“NO MISTAKE JESUS PREACHED NONVIOLENCE!!! I SAY IT AGAIN JESUS PREACHED NONVIOLENCE”
Well, now that you say it in all-CAPS, you needn’t make an argument, then.



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 18, 2007 at 9:22 pm


I think the point of your questions is that the only way Iran can use violence to coerce the world is by using nuclear weapons. As such, they are not justified in using such weapons, for the reason mentioned above.
You deliberately ignore one reality, Kevin: WE have nuclear weapons and likely Israel does too. Right now. To complain about Iran getting even one, which it won’t have for a while anyway, is roughly analogous to a little kid bringing a gun to school in order to deal with some bullies — which has actually happened in my city. If Iran weren’t afraid of the West it wouldn’t stoop to that.



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justintime

posted September 18, 2007 at 9:33 pm


would someone please give me a good definition of a christian, please.-Jerry
A person who follows the teachings of Christ.



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justintime

posted September 18, 2007 at 9:37 pm


‘Christofascistic crime syndicate’
It’s more syllables than I would like.
But it’s totally accurate and very appropriate.
Now it’s in the public domain.
Let’s see if it catches on.”


As a Republican, part of me hopes so. However, considering Edwards ran from his flirtation with the looney-bin as though it were the plague, I am not optimistic.

You lost me there, Kevin.



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Payshun

posted September 18, 2007 at 9:46 pm


Donny,
You first. You mistakenly believe that the Latin population is going to rise up and cause a civil war. You believe and equate conservatism w/ Christianity when Christ’s own disciples were diverse politically, socially and by class. So if anything the only real lemming here is you. Please when you get a clue then we can have an adult conversation.
Jerry said:
jim’s opinions are just that. he has no knowledge other than the smattering of opinions he has picked up over time. his blatant dislike of opposing views negates his authority.
would someone please give me a good definition of a christian, please.
me:
Look his authority is not negated because you don’t agree with him. What’s negated is your respect for him. His authority, whatever it is intact and from God. (I would say the same about Falwell and others that are his polar opposites.) You have no respect for anyone that opposes your views. The thing is I respect you but I vehemently disagree.
Just a quick question. What’s your idea of a Christian?
Kevin:
Again, I think Jim Wallis would nod his head and approve of this line of questioning. In his mind, Israel has no right to exist, and Iran is on the same moral plane as America. He should just be more honest about it. Don’t you think he should be honest about it?
me:
Kevin he doesn’t believe Israel has no right to exist. Would you please stop saying that? Iran is on the same moral plane as America. What have they done that we have not? We did not have Israel to destroy but we sure did wipe out a few other nations to get what we wanted. To date we are the only nation in the world to use nuclear weapons.
Honest about what exactly? how he wants Israel to not exist? Some clarity would be helpful.
p



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Don

posted September 18, 2007 at 9:47 pm


Ummmm, Donny—
Who’s being hysterical?
Signed,
One more bobblehead



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Payshun

posted September 18, 2007 at 9:57 pm


Correction.
Kevin He does believe Israel has the right to exist. But Sometimes Israel goes overboard in it’s own defense.
p



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Michael

posted September 18, 2007 at 10:00 pm


I, for one, reading the title of this thread, assumed it was about the forgotten IRAQI CHRISTIANS – the Chaldean Catholics, Syriac Orthodox, Assyrian and Ancient Church of the East, the few Armenians, Melkites, Antiochian Orthodox, Maronites, etc. Why are neither the “evangelical Christians”, the Republicans, the Democrats, or anyone else concerned about their well-being?



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justintime

posted September 18, 2007 at 10:06 pm


The fact is this is really not a religious war, although some on both sides want to turn it into a religious war.
The invasion of Iraq was an economic war, as most wars are.
Even Alan Greenspan admits it was all about controlling the oil resources in the Middle East.
If you analyze the statements of Osama Bin Laden, you will see that his main beef is about Western domination of the Islamic world and the exploitation of its natural resources.



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Ted Voth Jr

posted September 18, 2007 at 10:14 pm


It’s ironic that we continue to call anyone ‘conservative’ who is as gleefully devoted to savaging the Constitution of the United States as Cheney and Bush, or who support them, either cynically or blindly. It’s ironic, as to the Constitution and the Republic, and any of the other enduring institutions of our national life, we Liberals are the true Conservatives.



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James

posted September 18, 2007 at 10:21 pm


OK, we’re not going to discuss the “bearing false witness” sin. That’s because it isn’t really a sin, apparently. Connecting the war in Iraq with 911 is bearing false witness, for one example. Please read the various fact checks on the President’s speech for more. I don’t see how a Christian can support a man who bears false witness–what Scriptures do you use to justify that?



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Moderatelad

posted September 18, 2007 at 10:54 pm


Posted by: canucklehead | September 18, 2007 8:00 PM
I think they teach in Psych 000 that the silent treatment is an attempt at control. If the shoe fits, wore it.
I am hardly making any attempt to control anyone. I just have a respect issue and therefore respond to those who are respectful.
Have a great day -
.



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kevin s.

posted September 19, 2007 at 12:05 am


“Connecting the war in Iraq with 911 is bearing false witness, for one example.”
I disagree. Many terrorists leaders found a home in Iraq. In addition to this, you had Iraq refusing to allow weapons inspectors to visit the nation. These statements are both true, so the principle argument revolves around whether this constitutes a sufficient connection.
That’s step A.
The next step is proving that, not only does the above not constitute a case for going to war, but also that Bush was lying when he said it did. I am not at all convinced of that argument.
As such, your trump card is not what you think it is.
‘Kevin He does believe Israel has the right to exist. But Sometimes Israel goes overboard in it’s own defense.”
This is unknowable, so I will concede your point, and fully expect JIm Wallis to speak out if and when Palestinians violate my hypothetical peace treaty. I sincerely doubt that he will, but we shall see.
“You deliberately ignore one reality, Kevin: WE have nuclear weapons and likely Israel does too.”
I do not, as it does not change my contention that this is precisely the reason moral equivalencies do not work.
“Right now. To complain about Iran getting even one, which it won’t have for a while anyway, is roughly analogous to a little kid bringing a gun to school in order to deal with some bullies”
This analogy has been discussed to death, but I’ll bite. For starters, you say that complaining about Iran having a nuclear weapon is analagous to my bringing a gun to school to deal with bullies. I think what you meant to say was that Iran is the little kid, in which case, we take the gun away, by force, if necessary.



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JCinSunnyLA

posted September 19, 2007 at 12:27 am


Posted by: justintime | September 18, 2007 5:02 PM
“Many Americans (maybe 30%)saw right through Bush from the very beginning.”
“What was your first clue?”
My first clue came in the 2000 debates when Bush declared Jesus Christ to be the most influential “philosopher” in his life—an obvious attempt to pander to the self-righteous Christian Evangelicals who claim to be arbiters of God’s Will. Of course, these self-appointed moral “authorities” didn’t even care that he couldn’t explain why. They just knew that he was their guy.
I could care less whether any Christians agree with me. I only care whether I am in agreement with the Father and the Son.
I do not support abortion spiritually, but I cannot oppose it politically as long as we continue to condemn children to neglect in the name of “personal responsibility” and “respect” for life. What kind of life will they have with a mother who would have discarded them before they became a burden? I mourn not for the aborted fetuses, for they are free to be with God. I mourn for the mothers who are led to believe that they have no other choice.
Like Sen. Craig, “I am not gay; I have never been gay.” But I was once molested. I have forgiven my abuser, and could care less whether he “marries” another guy. God will be his judge when the time comes.
In my book, there is no such thing as a “just” war—all war is Hell on Earth. The only possible reason for fighting one (and that is not even one mentioned by Christ) is self-defense and not the pretense of ridding the world of evil. The pre-emptive attack on Iraq was nothing more than the age-old story of vainglory in search of a “legacy”. The “decider” has killed us all, y’all.
There will be new life in a world without strife when MY LORD AND SAVIOR returns.
On a purely political note—since so many of us seem to be conflating religion with politics—allow me to submit this little poem that I wrote in the Spring of 2005:
Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle D.C.—
Pied Pipers of “Peace and Prosperity”—
Shameless exploiters of Serendipity—
Seeking control of our destiny.
“Follow ME and y’all will be FREE!”
Bungling Bureaucrats,
Dissembling Diplomats—
Phat Kats for the Fat Cats,
Wily Weasels and Gutter Rats—
Frat Brats who “know where it’s at.”
Players, they play
‘Til the Judgement Day.
“Come follow ME and MY way!
Never mind what others may say.”
(What do they know anyway?)
Gaining the world while losing their soul—
Ignorant of Life’s Ultimate Goal—
The blind lead the blind down a black hole.
“Don’t stop now. We’re on a roll!
Follow ME down the toilet bowl.”
Got an opinion? Let’s have a poll!



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N.M. Rod

posted September 19, 2007 at 1:34 am


The presumption that all our motives are pure is Manichean delusion. There is One who is good.
I’m beginning to think what I once thought unimaginable: that the worst danger to the world would be for a Christian to poise his finger above the armageddon football.
No Christian who would be opposed to its use – those who are pacifists (not passivists) nor non-violent resisters of evil – those who take seriously Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount – would want any part of it, and those who do want that power would be like the candidate who spoke blithely about his dropping a couple on Mecca and Medina as casually as he might sugar cubes in a cup of coffee.
Such a person would be a great danger with apocalyptic powers at his fingertips because of his delusion that if armageddon was triggered, all that would happen would be benign – that Christians like himself would immediately pass to Heaven while infidels – all his enemies (perhaps not just foreign but domestic, too) – would be sent to Hell.
Our best safety lies in a secular person who believes only in this world and that the life attached to it is the only one he and others have.
Doesn’t this tell us that there is something terribly wrong with our majority civil religious traditions if it dulls our consciences so?
Are we as become conservative as the elderly members of the Politburo were, opposed to Glasnost, holding on to man-made theologies that have outlived any possible usefulness and become over time positively demonic, simply because of their long standing practice among men?
I hope that those of us so inclined to be enamored of wielding world-ending power would feel a shudder in their souls, knowing that the Son of Man will deny us, and that it is a fearful thing for us to fall into the hands of the Lord.



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mark

posted September 19, 2007 at 1:42 am


Justintime:
Do you think ‘Christofascistic crime syndicate might be an accurate description of Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy?
I don’t think either of them pretended to care too much about Jesus, just about getting official religion onside. If fascism is a label in which the nazis can be included, then Hitler was more of a wotanofascist.
Mark



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Mark

posted September 19, 2007 at 2:09 am


N M Rod, I want to thank you for your posts, which always speak to me of the Jesus of the New Testament.
N M Rod wrote:
I’m beginning to think what I once thought unimaginable: that the worst danger to the world would be for a Christian to poise his finger above the armageddon football.
I agree. I don’t think it should be surprising, though. The quest for worldly power is against the spirit of Jesus and in direct contradiction to several of his recorded sayings. Hence he gave us no guidance as to how to rule. So I would expect Christians in power (at least the ambitious ones who get their by their own efforts) to be typically rudderless, and tend to overreaction and ruthlessness. (Compare Ferdinand and Isabella’s Spain to the relatively tolerant rule of the muslims that they evicted from power. Or Nehru to the British Raj. Or the popes who ordered the crusades to the cultured and [relatively] merciful Saladin.)
Mark



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Mark

posted September 19, 2007 at 2:33 am


Kevin says that:
Many terrorists leaders found a home in Iraq.
and that
you had Iraq refusing to allow weapons inspectors to visit the nation.
While there was an al-Queda-related group in Iraqi Kurdistan (i.e. in a location where Saddam had no power), I’m not aware of any non-government terrorists active in Iraq at the time of the invasion. (Plenty since then, though…) Perhaps you could enlighten us, Kevin.
While Saddam certainly didn’t make it easy for the weapons inspectors, their withdrawal in the late 90s was (contrary to later media opinion) not at Iraq’s request but because their safety could not be guaranteed during imminent bombing raids by the US and Britain.
So for Kevin to claim that:
These statements are both true
is at the very least an overstatement.
Mark



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Richard Fannon

posted September 19, 2007 at 4:56 am


The then Pope, the Archbishop of Cantebury and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople were all united in their opposition to OIF. Between them, they represent the vast majority of the worldwide Church
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,80875,00.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rowan_Williams#Iraq_War
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2938123.stm



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TheOtherJames

posted September 19, 2007 at 6:39 am


“I disagree. Many terrorists leaders found a home in Iraq.”
Please name Al Qaeda terrorist leaders who found a home in Iraq.



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Sarasotakid

posted September 19, 2007 at 6:44 am


“Conservative fundamentalist Christians were duped into helping this Christofascistic crime syndicate take over America.”
What a great term! For the record, the first one to offer up criticism of the term pretty much plays the role of the Josef Goebbels of the Christofascistic crime syndicate on this blog.



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justintime

posted September 19, 2007 at 9:37 am


Another Christofascistic crime syndicate:
Germany 1918–1939: The Christian churches
Article 24 of the Nazi Party program demanded “liberty for all religious denominations in the State so far as they are not a danger to…the moral feelings of the German race. The party stands for positive Christianity.” However, that rosy view of the future for Christianity changed as the following views from the Minister for Church Affairs in 1937 show. “Positive Christianity is National Socialism. National Socialism was the doing of God’s will. God’s will reveals itself in German blood. The Führer is the herald of a new revelation.” There was little room in German life for what was traditional Christianity.
Hitler promised early in 1933 that he would respect the churches and hoped to improve relations with the Vatican. He did this to buy time and to give an air of respectability to his regime. The Catholic Church had first tried to cooperate with the Nazis in the hope that they would be treated fairly.
On 20 July he signed a concordat (an agreement) with the Vatican which guaranteed the freedom of the Catholic religion and its right to regulate its own affairs.
Almost immediately Hitler broke the agreement. He did this through:
* dissolving the Catholic Youth League
* arresting and charging thousands of Catholic priests, nuns and lay leaders on trumped-up charges
* suppressing scores of Catholic publications
* violating the sanctity of the confessional* (done by Gestapo agents).
The Catholic Church’s public disillusionment with Hitler came on 14 March 1937 when Pope Pius XI issued an encyclical (a statement) Mit Brennender Sorge, attacking the Nazi government.
*In the confessional a Catholic can speak directly to a priest in private, confess their sins and ask for God’s forgiveness. What is said in the confessional is supposed to be private and confidential. This was abused by the Gestapo in order to find out the inner thoughts of ordinary Germans.
The Protestants were a divided group in Germany. Only about 150 000 belonged to churches such as the Baptists and Methodists. The rest belonged to twenty-eight Lutheran and Reformed Churches of which the largest was the Church of the Old Prussian Union with 18 million members.
The more fanatical Nazis among the Protestants organised, in 1932, The German Christians’ Faith Movement, whose most active leader was Ludwig Mueller. This group supported the Nazi doctrines of race and the leadership principle and wanted a Reich Church which would bring together all Protestants.
Opposed to the German Christians was the Confessional Church led by Martin Niemoeller, a former German U-boat captain and an early supporter of the Nazis. This group opposed the Nazification of the Protestant churches and rejected the Nazi racial theories and the anti-Christian doctrines of Rosenberg (a Nazi philosopher).
The majority of German Protestants “sat on the fence and eventually, for the most part, landed in the arms of Hitler” (Shirer). The founder of Protestantism, Martin Luther, had been a strong anti-Semite and a strict believer in absolute obedience to political authority. This tradition was still strong among German Protestants in the 1930s.
Despite the lack of resistance from the Protestant churches, Hitler still had problems with them. In July 1933 Hitler established a new Reich Church, but there was a struggle over who would lead the church. Hitler intervened directly. In 1934 Pastor Niemoeller and his Confessional Church claimed that they were the legal Protestant Church of Germany. Hitler then began arresting Confessional Church pastors and later confiscated their funds and forbade them making collections. Pastor Niemoeller was arrested in July 1937 and was confined in concentration camps until the end of the war. In the face of terror there was little further public resistance.
By late 1938 the majority of Protestant clergy took an oath binding themselves legally and morally to obey the commands of the Führer.
The conclusion of the attacks on the churches is best summed up in some of the thirty articles of the National Reich Church:
* The Reich Church has the power to control all churches within the borders of the Reich.
* Only Reich Church orators are to speak in the churches, not priests or pastors.
* The Bible is no longer to be published. Mein Kampf is to replace it as the most important document in the Reich Church.
* There are to be no crucifixes, bibles or pictures of saints in the Church.
* On the altars there is to be nothing but Mein Kampf and a sword.
* The Christian cross must be removed and replaced by the swastika.



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 19, 2007 at 10:11 am


I think what you meant to say was that Iran is the little kid, in which case, we take the gun away, by force, if necessary.
No, you just don’t “take the gun away” — first and foremost, you deal with the bullies who are tormenting him, otherwise it will happen again. And when you understand that Iran considers the U.S. and Israel the “bullies,” we have no authority in the situation.



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Jeff

posted September 19, 2007 at 10:17 am


James,
It appears you are referencing a difference of opinion with the President and not false witness. Again, can you be specific about the accusation of bearing false witness. I didn’t hear the speech (family time).
Jeff



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kevin s.

posted September 19, 2007 at 10:26 am


“No, you just don’t “take the gun away”
Absolutely you do, and you expel the kid who brought the gun. Then you deal with whatever problems the bullies might have. If I hear of a school shooting, I call the police, you call a psychologist.
” And when you understand that Iran considers the U.S. and Israel the “bullies,” we have no authority in the situation.””
So Iran may do whatever it likes so long as it considers us to be bullies? That is ridiculous. I am not going to wait until this country has established centuries of pristine foreign relations before I support our authority to dismantle nuclear programs.



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jerry

posted September 19, 2007 at 10:27 am


p; my mind is not numb. it is very active. jim’s authority is severly tainted by his intolerance for other’s opinions. my definition of a christian is one who has personally accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. claiming to follow the teachings of Jesus does not cut it.
jcinla; i vote yes on your poem poll.
sarasotakid; help me remember what politicians in congress voted for the war and what religion they profess.
justintime; isn’t wallis attacking the church?
if the sojo crowd wants to “win over” the world they better find a way to incorporate all people into their plan.



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kevin s.

posted September 19, 2007 at 10:48 am


“I’m not aware of any non-government terrorists active in Iraq at the time of the invasion.”
You turned the phrase nicely there. That wasn’t what I (or Bush) said. Rather, terrorists (including those involved in the first WTC bombing) found safe harbor after committing their attacks. Of course, those involved in the second WTC attack did not find safe harbor, on account of they died when the planes crashed into buildings.
“can you explain why my entry wasn’t posted? It contained no bad language, no personal attacks, and made explicit reference to the community of believers.”
You didn’t compare anyone to nazis, and so your tone inappropriate for this blog.



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 19, 2007 at 11:43 am


I am not going to wait until this country has established centuries of pristine foreign relations before I support our authority to dismantle nuclear programs.
What the hell do you think gives US the authority to dismantle another country’s nuclear weapons? That’s WHY they want them in the first place!
if the sojo crowd wants to “win over” the world they better find a way to incorporate all people into their plan.
Which, in your opinion, means letting the conservatives determine what that plan is. However, that was the problem in the first place.
Rather, terrorists (including those involved in the first WTC bombing) found safe harbor after committing their attacks.
FYI, the suspects in the first WTC bombing are now doing hard time.



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N.M. Rod

posted September 19, 2007 at 12:05 pm


For some, there’s no convincing argument that their Christianity means anything other than a theology that contains its whole and begins and ends with the statement, “Jesus is my personal Savior.”
Everything else is up for private interpretation.
I think this is as real as the recruiting slogan appealing to individual ego satisfaction, “Be an Army of One.”



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kevin s.

posted September 19, 2007 at 12:31 pm


“What the hell do you think gives US the authority to dismantle another country’s nuclear weapons? ”
We aren’t threatening to eliminate Israel, for one thing. We aren’t going to sell our nuclear weapons to terrorists, for another.
“That’s WHY they want them in the first place!”
I disagree. I don’t think they are building a nuclear program just in case we decide to nuke them. I see no evidence that they are advancing any sort of mutually assured destruction policy.
They want nuclear weapons so that they can use them as leverage to make demands of the world. And I think they will use a nuclear weapon if they get one. Ahmadinejad has all but said as much.
“FYI, the suspects in the first WTC bombing are now doing hard time.”
Yasin is not, unless something has happened recently. Iraq provided safe haven for him, and tried to leverage him in exchange for the lifting of sanctions, which was obviously unacceptable.



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Payshun

posted September 19, 2007 at 12:42 pm


Jerry,
I am so glad you are not God. You don’t know what’s in Jim’s heart. For you to question his salvation is ludicrous. He doesn’t just advocate for following the teachings of Christ which is quite honestly a good thing. As mentioned in other places he has clearly stated his belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Who are you to judge?
p



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 19, 2007 at 12:49 pm


We aren’t threatening to eliminate Israel, for one thing. We aren’t going to sell our nuclear weapons to terrorists, for another.
That still doesn’t answer the question as to where we get such authority to destroy their weapons. You think that will solve the problem and that they will kowtow to the West? On the contrary — it will make them even more determined!
I don’t think they are building a nuclear program just in case we decide to nuke them. I see no evidence that they are advancing any sort of mutually assured destruction policy.
What else could it be — “get them before they get us”? The attitude is “You’ve meddled in our affairs for far too long — it’s time to take you out.” Osama bin Laden has said as much.



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Payshun

posted September 19, 2007 at 12:54 pm


Kevin said:
They want nuclear weapons so that they can use them as leverage to make demands of the world. And I think they will use a nuclear weapon if they get one. Ahmadinejad has all but said as much.
Me:
The man has some craziness but he won’t use it. If he does his country is toast and I don’t think he wants that. But your right he does want to use it for leverage but realistically that’s about it.
p



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JamesTheOther

posted September 19, 2007 at 1:22 pm


“That wasn’t what I (or Bush) said. Rather, terrorists (including those involved in the first WTC bombing) found safe harbor after committing their attacks. Of course, those involved in the second WTC attack did not find safe harbor, on account of they died when the planes crashed into buildings.”
You are the one who twists words. You make the definition so broad that nearly any state can be subject to attack. The US shelters known terrorists as well- Luis Posada Carilles, for example.



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kevin s.

posted September 19, 2007 at 1:51 pm


“You are the one who twists words.”
Not intentionally.
“You make the definition so broad that nearly any state can be subject to attack. The US shelters known terrorists as well- Luis Posada Carilles, for example.”
No one component of the case for war against Iraq was intended to stand alone.
“That still doesn’t answer the question as to where we get such authority to destroy their weapons.”
We have the authority based on their threats to an ally. If that isn’t sufficient, then you could ask the same question of any military effort in United States history.
“You think that will solve the problem and that they will kowtow to the West? On the contrary — it will make them even more determined!””
Determined to what? What are they determined to do now, and why are you so comfortable with them having nuclear weapons a their disposal to achieve what they want to do?
“The man has some craziness but he won’t use it. If he does his country is toast and I don’t think he wants that. But your right he does want to use it for leverage but realistically that’s about it.”
He will use it in such a manner that ostensibly prevents Iran from being identified as the perpetrator of the nuclear attack. Given that the international community has given extraordinary latitude and benefit of the doubt to Iran, any response by the U.S. or Israel will be met with outrage.



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Moderatelad

posted September 19, 2007 at 2:05 pm


Posted by: Payshun | September 19, 2007 12:54 PM
The man has some craziness but he won’t use it.
Are you sure? Are you willing to bet on the lives of all in Israel – Europe and the coast of the US? Remember – these are the same people that took over the US Embassy with no regard to international law. These are the same people who believe that to die at war is a first class ticket to their paradise.
Yes – I know – we have the bomb and are the only country to use it in war. But we used it to stop something – not start.
Blessings -
.



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Payshun

posted September 19, 2007 at 2:22 pm


Mod asked:
Are you sure? Are you willing to bet on the lives of all in Israel – Europe and the coast of the US?
Me:
Yes. Well considering Israel’s response to it yes. Israel would turn all of Iran into a smoking crater. They have enough Nuclear power to end it. Your assumption that all Muslims in the region are that deluded is not true. We would be killing a lot of innocent people if we attacked them first.
Besides that Iran doesn’t have the technology to get a nuke to Europe or the United States so your point is lost on me. We are not dealing w/ hypotheticals here. We are dealing w/ what they already have. No not all muslims in the region believe in a heaven like the way you described it.
p



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Payshun

posted September 19, 2007 at 2:26 pm


One last thing:
Yes – I know – we have the bomb and are the only country to use it in war. But we used it to stop something – not start.
This makes that better how. Like how does us using the nuke to try and end war make what we did ok?
p



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 19, 2007 at 2:41 pm


What are they determined to do now, and why are you so comfortable with them having nuclear weapons a their disposal to achieve what they want to do?
That’s beside the point. Do you think for a second that they will stop just because we demand they do, even by force? As you well know, that kind doesn’t respect even force — they consider us a bully and want our influence out of that region BAMN. And you can’t kill them all because they have allies too.



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kevin s.

posted September 19, 2007 at 2:46 pm


“This makes that better how. Like how does us using the nuke to try and end war make what we did ok?”
Depends on what you mean by “ok”. Ok as in, demonstrated by the light of history to have been the best possible decision? Maybe not. It might have been best to continue the war as it was progressing, but that would have resulted in innocent death (not least of which our own military) as well.
I don’t think it is possible to say whether it was entirely okay or entirely not okay. Examining the purpose (to end a war that was initiated by the opposing side) does shed light on whether we were in the wrong or in the right.
I do not see Iran in a similar position here. To the extent that they would use nuclear technology as leverage, there has to be some threat of them using or selling the technology. In this light, I am uneasy (to say the least) at your implied suggestion that we should simply allow them to produce nuclear weapons.



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Moderatelad

posted September 19, 2007 at 3:23 pm


Posted by: Payshun | September 19, 2007 2:22 PM
Israel would turn all of Iran into a smoking crater. They have enough Nuclear power to end it.
Little hard to end it if you have been removed from the face of the earth. If Israel has the bomb – they have shown great restraint.
Your assumption that all Muslims in the region are that deluded is not true. We would be killing a lot of innocent people if we attacked them first.
I did not say that – never said that ‘all Muslims’ – but the ones in power shure seem to be. Yes – we would be killing a lot of innocent people – but are you saying that we have to be attacked first and die before we are allowed to do anything to prevent it from happening?
Besides that Iran doesn’t have the technology to get a nuke to Europe or the United States so your point is lost on me. We are not dealing w/ hypotheticals here. We are dealing w/ what they already have.
But they do have the technology to launch off a merchant ship with a short range missle. They also could deliver a divice by others means to anywhere in the world.
No not all muslims in the region believe in a heaven like the way you described it.
I understand – but they for the most part are not in charge. They are not making the decisions.
So – do we have to die first before we remove the nuclear war option from Iran? Or – how many of us have to die before we are justified in responding to their aggression?
Just so you understand my opinion -
They seized our Embassy and we did not retaliate.
Their Embassy and US personnel were still in the US after our Embassy was taken over and will allowed the safe passage to exit the country.
They are suppling the insurgants in Iraq with weapons and IED’s to kill innocent Iraqis’ and Allied Military Personnel and we are not attacking them in Iran.
I believe that the would has shown great restraint in the past with their thwarting International Law. What do you expect of us in the future?
Blessings ‘P’
.



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Moderatelad

posted September 19, 2007 at 3:28 pm


Posted by: Payshun | September 19, 2007 2:26 PM
This makes that better how. Like how does us using the nuke to try and end war make what we did ok?
We ended a war and most likely saves hundereds of thousands of military personnel on both sides, and by the estimate of some, millions of civilian lives in the process.
Does this make it OK – not sure that is the correct term. But we ended the war with the best of the worst options we had and saved a lot of lives in the process.
Blessings -
.



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babble on

posted September 19, 2007 at 3:37 pm


my hysterical Leftist earth dwellers
Get over your gay marriage anger
Wallis and his zombie-hordes
Do the math bobbleheads
Get a clue lemmings
- Donny
Insulting me shows your lack of understanding what is going on in the world.
- Donny
“And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely my brothers and sisters, this is not right!”
- James 3:10
-of course, James may not have been one of the original, divinely appointed, genuine, Christ-o-centric, legitimate defenders of the apostolic faith once for all delivered to Donny



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canucklehead

posted September 19, 2007 at 3:59 pm


“I think they teach in Psych 000 that the silent treatment is an attempt at control. If the shoe fits, wore it.” – canucklehead
“I am hardly making any attempt to control anyone.”
Posted by: Moderatelad | September 18, 2007 10:54 PM
I think we’re all big enough here to make that judgement for ourselves.



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Payshun

posted September 19, 2007 at 4:06 pm


“Little hard to end it if you have been removed from the face of the earth. If Israel has the bomb – they have shown great restraint.”
Israel is the only nation in the region w/ the bomb.
Here is a quote from wiki :
According to The Nuclear Threat Initiative, based on Vanunu’s information, Israel has approximately 100–200 nuclear explosive devices by 1980′ and the Jericho missile delivery system.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction
What the heck is wrong w/ you? They have shown great restraint? What are you talking about? Do you realize the number of people that would die if they bombed everyone of their neighbors? It is not restraint, it’s wisdom.
You are paranoid and not trusting Jesus if you believe they are going to be wiped off the face of the map. What is it w/ you and all the fear mongering?
No Iran does not have and will not procure the amount of nukes to wipe out Israel. it’s not going to happen. Stop being delusional. At most they can currently create none.
“So – do we have to die first before we remove the nuclear war option from Iran? Or – how many of us have to die before we are justified in responding to their aggression?”
Still delusional. That’s a lame question because it’s based on irrational fear. We should never be the first to launch a nuke. End it if we have to, but don’t kid yourself in thinking it saves lives. Nukes kill that’s their job. What is wrong w/ you? That’s not a good thing. Still Iran doesn’t have the capability of getting a nuke into the United States because they can’t create one now.
you said:
But they do have the technology to launch off a merchant ship with a short range missle. They also could deliver a divice by others means to anywhere in the world.
Me:
No they don’t. If you are right prove it.
You:
Does this make it OK – not sure that is the correct term. But we ended the war with the best of the worst options we had and saved a lot of lives in the process.
Me:
And killed thousands upon thousands, polluted the earth and broke a nation’s spirit. not saying it did not need to be broken but damn the way we did it was wrong. we were looking for an easier way to save American lives not the Japaneese and that cost us our soul.
p



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kevin s.

posted September 19, 2007 at 4:14 pm


“That’s beside the point.”
I disagree.
“Do you think for a second that they will stop”
No. That’s why I don’t want them have a nuclear bomb.
“they consider us a bully”
So? We aren’t one.
“and want our influence out of that region BAMN”
Unacceptable.
“And you can’t kill them all because they have allies too.”
France, for example, but a lot of good that would do them. The goal isn’t to kill them all, but rather to relieve them of their nuclear technology. I don’t think the average Iranian is all hopped up to wipe Israel off the map.
Let me ask you this, if they do nuke Israel by proxy, what is the appropriate response?



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Payshun

posted September 19, 2007 at 4:15 pm


Kevin said:
I do not see Iran in a similar position here. To the extent that they would use nuclear technology as leverage, there has to be some threat of them using or selling the technology. In this light, I am uneasy (to say the least) at your implied suggestion that we should simply allow them to produce nuclear weapons.
Me:
Let’s examine some of the possible leverage they would get. Well number one their stature would go up in the world. They would be considered the only Muslim nation that can stand up to the west and resist our invasion attempts. What could they do to Israel? They don’t really trade much w/ them and Israel has 400 times the nukes Iran will have on their best day.
1997- More than 400 deliverable thermonuclear and nuclear weapons
check out this link
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction
Let’s say they are dumb enough to attack Israel w/ the 1-3 nukes they have. Israel would destroy the entire country w/ a minimum of 20 bombs. It would not recover from the attack Israel would unleash so again we are not dealing w/ Little Kim. (Kim Jung Il)
p



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 19, 2007 at 4:22 pm


“they consider us a bully”
So? We aren’t one.
By their standards, yes, we are.
“and want our influence out of that region BAMN”
Unacceptable.
Irrelevant.
Let me ask you this, if they do nuke Israel by proxy, what is the appropriate response?
You assume they will. But remember that Israel has the bomb and Iran doesn’t. Let’s deal with realities rather than hypotheticals.



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kevin s.

posted September 19, 2007 at 4:29 pm


I am aware that Israel has nuclear weapons.
“Let’s examine some of the possible leverage they would get. Well number one their stature would go up in the world.”
In the world? Not if there is no threat that they will use the weapons. Among Arab nations, living in a fantasy world as they are? Absolutely. Ahmadinejad is strutting his stuff in an attempt to be the power player in the Middle East. So, yes, a nuclear bomb would do quite a bit to raise their stature, and compel other nations to do the same.
“What could they do to Israel? They don’t really trade much w/ them and Israel has 400 times the nukes Iran will have on their best day.”
This used to be the argument as to why we wouldn’t have terrorist attacks on our soil. The war on terrorism recognizes a fundamental change, which is that terrorist networks make it possible for nations to fight wars by proxy.
If Iran sends a nuclear bomb by way of a terrorist cell, how can Israel respond? Will they be justified in responding with a nuclear weapon of their own? Who will be the recipient of such an explosion? Will Jim Wallis and other robust conversationalists approve? Why or why not?
Our nuclear policy is founded on the idea that mutually assured destruction preserves the status quo. You seem to embrace this idea when you suggest that Iran will be blown off the map if they launch a nuclear strike. A nuclear Iran muddles this concept, in my view.



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Moderatelad

posted September 19, 2007 at 4:34 pm


Posted by: Payshun | September 19, 2007 4:06 PM
Whoa P – back off the caffine.
Not fear-mongering, just thinking of the ‘what ifs’ of the situation. Totally trusting in the Power of the Almighty, just thinking out of the box.
Iran could develope a nuclear devise in time, how much time is the question. But once they have it – it will be theirs – period. (you can’t unscramble eggs)
Yes – it is wisdom and restraint.
WWII Japan -
From what I read and my teachers in HS and College. The best plan was the use of the nuclear. The War Lords were willing to fight to ‘the last man’. It was the Emperor that stepped in and made the difference. Several military experts on both sides have said that the bomb saved many, many more lives than the bomb killed. It was the best of the worst options at the time.
Still delusional.
Not – just looking at the situation from another angle. No fear. But are you saying that the Allied Forces have the right to remove Irans nuclear program as long as we do not use nukes to achieve that goal? I would never allow Nukes to be an option of ‘first strike’. It is always the last and final option to be taken when all else has failed. Diplomacy is the first option.
Blessings -
.



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Payshun

posted September 19, 2007 at 5:23 pm


K:
This used to be the argument as to why we wouldn’t have terrorist attacks on our soil. The war on terrorism recognizes a fundamental change, which is that terrorist networks make it possible for nations to fight wars by proxy.
Me:
I am glad that you recognized that the war on terror (such a silly name) changed things. But it also creates another change which is something you don’t seem to recognize. There are are other groups that are not really affiliated w/ a nation state and they want to attack us. That means they are mobile and don’t just hide in nations that are hostile to us. Would you recommend dropping a nuke on our own soil if they managed to remote detonate one? You are still trying to fight this new kind of war using the same methods as the old. That doesn’t work.
If you are really against nuculear proliferation maybe we should restart our efforts at curtailing Russia’s nuclear arsenal. Ever since USSR disbanded we have lost much of our ability to monitor what happened to their very substantial arsenal. We need to get back to that instead of worrying about a poorer country getting their first nuke.
Mod said:
Not fear-mongering, just thinking of the ‘what ifs’ of the situation. Totally trusting in the Power of the Almighty, just thinking out of the box.
Me:
Well from your post it sure did not sound like that. It sounded like nukes and other options should be a first strike and your thinking outside of the box reveals a very real lack of faith in God to protect Israel. why do you feel so comfortable using the nuke as an option?
You:
But are you saying that the Allied Forces have the right to remove Irans nuclear program as long as we do not use nukes to achieve that goal?
Me:
No, and no. We don’t have the right to invade a country but then since when have we needed it? We always did it anyway.
p



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kevin s.

posted September 19, 2007 at 5:46 pm


“But it also creates another change which is something you don’t seem to recognize. There are are other groups that are not really affiliated w/ a nation state and they want to attack us. That means they are mobile and don’t just hide in nations that are hostile to us.”
That was entirely my point (though this is not the result of the war on terrorism). If Iran uses one of these groups to perpetuate a nuclear attack, what do we do? What can we do? In this new kind of war, it is unacceptable for a nation like Iran to have nuclear weapons.



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Wolverine

posted September 19, 2007 at 7:24 pm


I’ve been away for a few days (I know you all missed me!) so I hope you’ll forgive me for chiming in late.
The thing that strikes me the most about this, and it’s a positive on net, is that Jim appears to have abandoned his argument that American Christians who support the war have put nationalism ahead of Christ. This is a positive because in the end this thesis always involved a lot of speculation about the motives of people he has never met. Even if he’s right, Jim Wallis himself is not in a position to know either way. It’s hard to imagine a less fruitful line of argument.
Jesus said render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s. This indicates to me that Caesar really does retain at least some prerogatives, and that it was not Jesus’ intent to suggest that national interests (or even imperial interests) were rendered a nullity.
Which leads us back to the real question: what exactly is Caesar’s and what exactly is God’s?
Wolverine



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Payshun

posted September 19, 2007 at 7:28 pm


But that same thing could be true of Russia or some rogue agency that comes from the dissolved Soviet Union. It is a lot easier to get nuclear material from there than anywhere else especially since Bush decided to gut our watchdog agencies that payed attention to nukes that were coming from there.
If Iran wants to start a war than they are going to have to have allies and using a rogue organization like Al Qaida or something won’t work. Look at how Israel and Hezzbolah handled their war and how Lebanon is still paying for it. If you think that won’t happen for us then you would be wrong. This war has to be fought cell to cell and in a totally different way than you or your side are calling for.
p



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Trent

posted September 19, 2007 at 7:49 pm


Nuclear weapons are a deterrent to invasion. Developing them basically assures that another country will not risk invading you. But simultaneously you are prevented from using them to attack another.
In that light it is better that both india and pakistan have nukes than it would be that just one country had them, it creates stability and balance.
It is entirely sensible that any country that feels itself threatened by external powers, especially when those powers have access to WMD, would want to develop some of their own as a means of ensuring they are not assaulted.
Using the bullied child analogy, assume the bullies all have guns at school and the little kid takes one to keep in his bag because it ensures the bullies will no longer pick on him.
If Taiwan were trying to develop nuclear weapon capacity would we oppose or assist them? Would we allow China to intervene pre-emptively?
I’d suggest that the Iranian president is as much a politician as any in the US (or here in Australia). He says what his people want to hear, it doesn’t mean that he means it (or as the Australian prime minister remarked, “there are core and non-core promises.”) His comments about Israel will serve a political purpose for him at home, and probably shouldn’t be interpreted outside that context.
Israel’s nuclear capacity is their big stick that prevents any attempt to invade them (but is too big a stick to stop small scale incursions).
I suspect that generally speaking we have much less to fear from large established muslim nations (Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan) than we do from those with newer, more radical governments (such as the Taliban).
I wonder also if Al Quaeda are in Iran. I suspect that Iran, like Iraq under Saddam, managed to keep them out, but would be interested to hear any evidence to the contrary.
Be Blessed,



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Kevin Wayne

posted September 19, 2007 at 8:00 pm


Kevin s. wrote:
Because the expressed aim of their leader is worldwide domination for Islam. You could ask the came question, and substitute any United States military effort for this one.
This actually doesn’t hold up as a reason why Iran should be denied the right to a preemptive strike in and of itself. Romans 13 was written about a Pagan Empire bent on domination of everything it could get its grubby hands on. Yahweh has even made use of expendable Pagan Kings (Cyrus) for the purpose of liberating his people. So it would appear the Government of Iran -evil though it “may” be- would have the same rights as Rome and Persia.
The real question is, to whom do Christians owe political allegiance and support? Answer: none but Yahweh, and his last “marching orders” were in the Sermon on the Mount.



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 19, 2007 at 8:35 pm


I wonder also if Al Quaeda are in Iran. I suspect that Iran, like Iraq under Saddam, managed to keep them out, but would be interested to hear any evidence to the contrary.
I seriously doubt that. The contempt that Sunni Islam (bin Laden and al-Qaeda) and Shi’a Islam (which dominates Iran) have for each other exceeds any Protestant/Catholic animus, even in the 17th Century.
Yahweh has even made use of expendable Pagan Kings (Cyrus) for the purpose of liberating his people. So it would appear the Government of Iran -evil though it “may be- would have the same rights as Rome and Persia.
Good point — and it gets to the real issue that, no matter what, God is in total control.



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kevin s.

posted September 19, 2007 at 9:55 pm


” So it would appear the Government of Iran -evil though it “may” be- would have the same rights as Rome and Persia”
Does Romans 13 give Rome the right to threaten other nations? That is a strange interpretation. But yes, the presumption is that autonomous nations should remain as such, which is why the United States is not at war with 56 nations right now.
“Nuclear weapons are a deterrent to invasion. Developing them basically assures that another country will not risk invading you. But simultaneously you are prevented from using them to attack another.”
This is the essence of the policy of mutually assured destruction (hereinafter MAD). Will Iran play by these rules? Will they transfer their arms to an entity that has no concern for whether or not they are martyred in whatever holy war they might be waging?
“He says what his people want to hear”
Is this what his people want to hear? If so, that is most distressing.
“His comments about Israel will serve a political purpose for him at home, and probably shouldn’t be interpreted outside that context.”
Why not? If he is willing to tell the people what they want to hear, why wouldn’t he do what they want him to do? Do you have any particular information that I do not have that tells you he doesn’t mean what he says?
“If Taiwan were trying to develop nuclear weapon capacity would we oppose or assist them? Would we allow China to intervene pre-emptively?”
We would likely oppose them. We have always held Taiwan’s right to exist in tension with the fact that we cannot permit them to draw us into war with China, and they have thus far been understanding of that delicate balance, untenable as it may be.



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 19, 2007 at 10:13 pm


Why not? If he is willing to tell the people what they want to hear, why wouldn’t he do what they want him to do? Do you have any particular information that I do not have that tells you he doesn’t mean what he says?
The fact that you live in a country where politicians do the very same thing should give you pause to think — it’s called “playing to the base.” Hugo Chavez stays popular by playing the “hate Bush” card regardless of the unethical means he uses to retain power, and American conservatives use the terms “liberal” and “socialist” to mute opposition. That’s what this so-called war on terror is about, really — keeping fears stoked so that certain people can stay in office. (In this case, it’s no longer working.)



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kevin s.

posted September 19, 2007 at 10:52 pm


“The fact that you live in a country where politicians do the very same thing should give you pause to think”
Politicians doing what the people want? What a travesty!
“it’s called “playing to the base.””
It’s also called representing your consituency. Playing to the base is a political strategy that is something different.
“and American conservatives use the terms “liberal” and “socialist” to mute opposition”
And liberals use terms like Christofascist and “advocates of American hegemony”. Welcome to politics.
“That’s what this so-called war on terror is about, really — keeping fears stoked so that certain people can stay in office”(In this case, it’s no longer working.)
Who predicted that it would? The Iraq war was never going to be a popular decision in the long term. In your mythology, conservatives play politics, while liberals do not. No reasonable, fair-minded person thinks this is the case.
At any rate, it has little to do with Ahmadinejad.



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Moderatelad

posted September 19, 2007 at 11:23 pm


Posted by: Payshun | September 19, 2007 5:23 PM
why do you feel so comfortable using the nuke as an option?
Not comfortable but I am not going to take it off the table as an option. When dealing with an irrational entity, if there is no fear of what might happen if they do not bargain in good faith, it is an empty exersize.
No, and no.
So – correct me if I am wrong. If we follow you paradyme. Iran will be allowed to develope the nuclear devise of its choice and the world will have to live with the consequences.
Blessings -
.



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 19, 2007 at 11:52 pm


“it’s called “playing to the base.””
It’s also called representing your consituency. Playing to the base is a political strategy that is something different.
Not in this case, because there’s little difference in practice between the parties in Iran vis-a-vis here.
And liberals use terms like Christofascist and “advocates of American hegemony”. Welcome to politics.
Most “liberals” don’t use those terms. You know that.
Who predicted that it would? The Iraq war was never going to be a popular decision in the long term.
Aw, c’mon! A lot of leaders relish war because it means that people are distracted from real issues. It was no accident, for example, that Ron Brown said — at the height of Gulf War I — that the Democrats had a good chance of winning the White House the next year. And if that really were the case, then why is the pro-war conservative group FreedomWatch spending so much on those ads? To save their right-wing butts!



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Trent

posted September 20, 2007 at 12:38 am


I’m curious what reason there is to believe that Ahmadinejad is irrational or that he is suicidal.
And being suicidal is a necessary requirement of any state that launches a nuclear strike.
I occasionally have to complete risk assessments with suicidal kids. There are three basic questions to ask: have you tried before; do you have a plan; will you try again.
If we ask those questions of Iran with regard to nuclear weapons the answers are no, no and no. If we ask them of the US the answers are yes, yes and ‘we refuse to rule it out.’ One of these kids would be presenting as a high risk to themselves and others and they’d get a same day pych assessment.
(or alternatively the US answers are bluff and bravado for US status and for US voters – politics in other words – reminds me of something I said earlier about Ahmadinejad)
Be Blessed,



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kevin s.

posted September 20, 2007 at 1:12 am


“I’m curious what reason there is to believe that Ahmadinejad is irrational or that he is suicidal.”
You really wonder what reason there is to believe Ahmadinejad is irrational? His irrationality is a big piece of why I worry about him. Suicide bombers are not, typically, suicidal. Rather, they have an irrational belief about their eternity.
“Not in this case, because there’s little difference in practice between the parties in Iran vis-a-vis here.”
Between which parties?
“Most “liberals” don’t use those terms. You know that.”
Most Democrats don’t, but the American hegemony line came from Wallis, and you can check for yourself at the top left-wing blog sites for the rest.
“Aw, c’mon! A lot of leaders relish war because it means that people are distracted from real issues.”
That is an odd dichotomy. “War” and “Real Issues”. I certainly didn’t think this war was going to be popular four years from its inception. I’m not sure Americans have the stomach for wars of this length in general. That genuinely worries me. Time will tell.
At any rate, if Bush were entirely interested in his approval ratings, he could have pulled out years ago and left Iraq to the humanitarian organizations.



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Payshun

posted September 20, 2007 at 1:35 am


“Not comfortable but I am not going to take it off the table as an option. When dealing with an irrational entity, if there is no fear of what might happen if they do not bargain in good faith, it is an empty exersize.”
Just so we are clear what will it take in your view to use the nuke. Color me curious.
“So – correct me if I am wrong. If we follow you paradyme. Iran will be allowed to develope the nuclear devise of its choice and the world will have to live with the consequences.”
Umm yah. Because if Iran uses a proxy to wage war against Israel (and it might) what do you think Israel will do? Think about that for a minute. Now remember Israel is a fully functional atomic state. For lack of a better description it’s a big boy it doesn’t need our help to defend itself. They do quite well on their own.
p



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Robert Alu

posted September 20, 2007 at 3:51 am


Hi all,
“God belongs on the side of the big battalions.” Right?
Somebody please help confused me.
Are those Americans here who write that it is okay for America to attack Iran doing so based on:
a) The Holy Bible? (Some scriptures, please?)
or
b) Your political worldview? Would it be different if you were not an American? Sure?
or
c) Both (a) and (b)?
or
d) Other?
It would be good to hear some answers.
Another question,
How many countries has America, a predominantly Christian nation, attacked in the past, say, 30 years?
Were these invasions supported by the same people who want Iran attacked?
What did they achieve?
Is the world a better place for them?
Or
Is it just about America?
Some more questions,
Can someone offer a synopsis of Iran/US relations over the past 50 years or so?
Lastly,
Ahmedinejad does not have absolute power in Iran, a fairly democratic country.
But, anyway, if it is true, as I read here, that he is so irrational, how come he has been asking for negotiations with the USA? Secondly, if he hates Jews so much, as we read and hear, how come he has not harmed the 25,000 or so Jews that still live in Iran (he is irrational, remember)?
What do we mean by ‘irrational? Might there be something more to the man than we read or hear? Might we need to do a little digging; to have a better understanding?
Okay,
So, maybe America will soon have another war in the Gulf – halfway across the world from its shores. A few American soldiers will die and their families will grieve , but the American way of life will continue … The rich will keep getting richer, etc …
Likely another target will be isolated and the cycle will be repeated … Christians, in America and elsewhere, will provide good arguments for the militarism and thus contribute to the postponing of prospects for peace, well, wherever …
May I challenge hawkish Americans to think of the ordinary Iraqi, Afghanistan and Palestinian people. People such as yourself. They have hopes and aspirations, fears and anxieties, family and friends. Just like you. They have feelings. Their constitutions may not state so but they too deserve a “right to the pursuit of hapiness.”
They are/were as responsible for the actions of their governments as you are. Oh, you may argue that they elect ‘bad leaders’, or allow dictators to take charge of their destiny. Well, I would say … perhaps. But so what?
Is that an excuse to subject innocent people to even more suffering? In your own legal system you strive to uphold that “all are innocent until proven guilty” and have this ‘credo’ that “it is better for a guilty person to go scot free than for an innocent one to suffer for a crime he did not commit.”
You claim this great ideal but you do not seem to want it upheld outside the US? What is happening?
The people of Iran did not choose where they would be born. Neither did you. Chances are they would like to be American, but it’s not a choice for them. How would you feel living in the fear that the most powerful country in the world can attack your little country at any time it chooses, indeed that there is a precedence for it and the motive and desire is out in the open?
Blame Iran all you wish, but their leaders’ paranoia is understandable. Right now they are taking in people fleeing from the troubles in Iraq, caused by a war that America started. Saddam was bad, it is true, but the US backed him in a war against Iran. It was a long war, happened not too long ago. Remember?
War is not the game that so many good, sincere Christians here seem to imagine it is. Yet, horrible as it is, there are people who benefit from it. It is ironic to point this out, but Saddam, a very good excuse for war, for anyone, so we are told, died a few months ago; was executed. That should have solved the Iraqi problem. Right? Well, it didn’t.
Reliance on war to provide solutions to social and political problems is difficult for followers of Jesus Christ to justify, I think. It seems that a sort of Napoleon-like hubris is required. He is quoted as saying, “God belongs on the side of the big battalions.” Napoleon was wrong, or was he?
‘”Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said. “For all who draw the sword will die by the sword’” (Matt. 26:52).’
The eagerness of some American Christians to go to war – again – disturbs me. Is there racial, or religious prejudice involved here? Oh, before you TOO QUICKLY click on reply please tell me:
There are an estimated 2 to 2 and a half million (UN estimates) Iraqi war refugees. (The number increases daily). 50,000 are in Iran. How many have found their way to America? 700? 1,000? How many out of the 2 million would you like to see offered asylum in the USA?
How many Iranians do you wish to see leave their homes? Will you have them?
These are practical questions. It would be good to hear your thoughts.
Focussing on the gospel, rather than on whether Jesus was a liberal or a conservative (though interesting) is the way to a solution for so many of the problems that war has never ever solved, indeed only makes worse.
May the peace of God be with you!
- Alu
Dar es Salaam



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Anonymous

posted September 20, 2007 at 9:00 am


Most Democrats don’t, but the American hegemony line came from Wallis, and you can check for yourself at the top left-wing blog sites for the rest.
That was my point. Most folks on the left don’t use those terms; however, most people on the right do or did use the ones I mentioned.
At any rate, if Bush were entirely interested in his approval ratings, he could have pulled out years ago and left Iraq to the humanitarian organizations.
That’s not how neo-cons think — they intended to rule the world and didn’t care how they obtained that power. They assumed that people would follow them because of who they were and still don’t get that, maybe, they were wrong about a lot of things. And also, they deluded themselves into believing that “only a few” don’t agree with them and tried to take out their leaders. That’s why they hate, say, Jim Wallis and tried to destroy Bill Clinton — they were in the way of their (dare I say it?) “hegemony.”



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Moderatelad

posted September 20, 2007 at 10:21 am


Posted by: Payshun | September 20, 2007 1:35 AM
Color me curious.
Only if and when all is lost and the whole situation has fallen apart and there is no one in charge that you could talk with to try to bring it under control before they go balistic. Chances of using the Nuke are slim to none – but still an option.
Umm yah.
So if the roles were reversed and Iran had the Nuke and Israel didn’t. Do you believe that with all the retoric that has come out of the leadership of Iran they would not have used it on Israel be now? (I personally do not think so)
The Mideast with be more unsafe if Iran is allowed to develope the Nuke. (and not just Israel)
Blessings -
‘P’ – when you read what I wrote – think of a big Teddy Bear sitting accross the table from you with a cup of coffee just having a polite conversation.
.



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endofunitedstates

posted September 20, 2007 at 10:56 am


Let’s disarm the United States and return the land to the several hundred tribal governments of the United States. Close Microsoft, Exxon, and Wal-mart. Let Germany, Japan split up the proceeds of WWII. Grant the Soviet Empire global domination. Allow the Jews to be exterminated and Palestinians to live at peace without the Israel problem. Wow, I’m sure the world could then work out and peaceful, just, and life-giving way for the land of Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar. Those selfish, arrogant Americans thing everything is about them.



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Moderatelad

posted September 20, 2007 at 11:35 am


Posted by: endofunitedstates | September 20, 2007 10:56 AM
You forgot the caning and imprisonment of conservative evangelicals into forced labor camps. (LOL)
Have a great day -
.



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Payshun

posted September 20, 2007 at 1:02 pm


“but still an option.”
This freaks me out. I am not going to lie. Having it as an option means that we could possibly destroy the world a few hundred times over. That means we leave on the cockroaches and the inhabitants of the earth. I don’t understand this mindset. It was there during the coldwar and it nearly got us killed and wasted a ton of money.
Recently I was blessed to view a great deal of footage concerning our bombing of Hiroshima. In just Hiroshima alone our government killed 187,000 people. So much damage so much harm came from that and the fact that you can keep it as a very serious option frightens me.
Mod said:
The Mideast with be more unsafe if Iran is allowed to develope the Nuke. (and not just Israel)
Me:
Are Pakistan and India more unsafe?
you also said:
when you read what I wrote – think of a big Teddy Bear sitting accross the table from you with a cup of coffee just having a polite conversation.
Me:
From my perspective that teddy bear looks a little gothic w/ gerbil skull necklace. Sorry dude I love ya but right now this conversation is one of the most demented conversations I have had in the last 3 weeks. That includes comparing this too a conversation about rock star groupies that dress as cats.
p



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Payshun

posted September 20, 2007 at 1:15 pm


Correction:
That means we leave the cockroaches as the only inhabitants of the earth.
Also Iran won’t sacrifice their nuke to start a preemptive war w/ Israel. Do you know what nukes represent? They represent leverage and inclusion into another club. It demands respect. I think that’s dumb but this world worships power. Using that power to keep one safe is what Iran wants. They want to know that a more powerful nation (ie Israel or US) can’t invade them. Right now to the Muslim world Iran still is in a position of weakness which is why what we are doing only helps them.
p



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 20, 2007 at 1:29 pm


I just saw this fragment of a piece by Philip Yancey. From Christianity Today:
Christian experiments with church-state blending, whether in Geneva under Calvin, Britain under Cromwell, or Spain and Latin America under the Inquisition, may have worked for a time but inevitably provoked a backlash. In fundamentalist Iran, a similar backlash is already in motion. As one concerned Iranian intellectual told a visiting Harvard professor, “These young people may be lost to Islam forever. … They follow the conventions of Islamic dress and custom, because they are required to do so by law, but inside their hearts are hollow and cynical. We are losing an entire generation of unbelievers in our zeal to force conformity.”



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N.M. Rod

posted September 20, 2007 at 3:09 pm


When one of the world’s Caesars orders his Christians to render unto him the lives of a competing Caesar’s Christians to him, are Christians obligated to render unto these Caesars each other’s Christian lives?



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N.M. Rod

posted September 20, 2007 at 3:33 pm


Dear Alu,
As to whether any country is a Christian country or not is a kind of mistake of perception because relations with God aren’t done through intermediaries of Kings, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Parliaments, Congresses, dictators or even Supreme Courts. Each person is responsible before God for his own actions and relationship.
It is true that some of those same entities will cloak themselves in religion in order to grant justification for some very human desires, both corporate and individual. Under such a scenario, every single government in the world claims to be Godly when that simply isn’t possible and never has been.
As for whether having a majority of people of a certain religious persuasion in a country qualifies that nation to be considered a religious entity, let alone “Christian” would have to be judged by the unknowable – since people can self-identify as an adherent of any religion, it in no way guarantees that a relationship between God and individual exists.
Since Jesus said that “the way is narrow” and the path to destruction broad, and that destructive path is the way most people follow, I think He has the final word – in a world in which supposedly Christians are the majority religion, I think we can safely say that you are morally free to draw your own conclusions about any nation being a Christian nation, or even majority Christian, in the negative.
Let’s just pray and work towards making sure our own path and that of all we can convince doesn’t follow towards destruction.



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Kevin Wayne

posted September 20, 2007 at 4:50 pm


”Does Romans 13 give Rome the right to threaten other nations? That is a strange interpretation.”
Not really. The only thing that gives the US a right to go to war over hobgoblin WMD’s and not Iran to go to war against the US -when the threat is actually real- is good ‘ol American egocentric hubris.



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Trent

posted September 20, 2007 at 8:11 pm


I’m still unclear as to why Ahmadinejad is perceived as irrational. I’m not in the US so I don’t know what kind of press he gets there, but here in Australia (where we largely follow the US line) he’s come across as calm, polished and diplomatic (as a politician from an increasingly secular state – thanks for that Rick). In fact he appears at least as reasonable as GWB.
That’s not to say that all his opinions and ideas are palitable, but I suspect that his threats against Israel are serving a political purpose amongst his own constituency and amongst his arab neighbours (in the same way that threats against Iran or against the ‘axis of evil’ might serve a political purpose in another context).
Be Blessed,



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Moderatelad

posted September 20, 2007 at 8:23 pm


Posted by: Payshun | September 20, 2007 1:02 PM
‘…that teddy bear looks a little gothic w/ gerbil skull necklace.’
I like it. But it would take too many gerbils to make a necklace for me.
I have always been one that kept his options open – that is just the way I’m wired. (and that is without caffine – LOL) I have heard ‘Armadidajob’ say that he wanted to see Israel eliminated from the face of the earth. Many moched Hitler and claim that he could not do what he said he would do. Look what it cost the world because they did not take him seriously. I take the Leader of Iran at his word. I have never heard the PM of Israel say anything like that. They have said they would defend themselves – but that is about it.
Have a great day -
.



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Payshun

posted September 20, 2007 at 9:49 pm


Jerry,
I like white Christians just fine. I love my white brothers and sisters. You are just projecting as usual.
What did I write on this blog that is so arrogant? Please explain since you seem to be so good at it. Why is when people call you on your crap you resort to this? You are almost like Donny. That’s probably one of the worst insults I could level but I won’t. (Please notice I did not call you Donny, even though your behavior right now nearly mirrors him.)
p



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Payshun

posted September 20, 2007 at 9:54 pm


As for where you judged Jim how about here:
my definition of a christian is one who has personally accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. claiming to follow the teachings of Jesus does not cut it.
Your implication from that is that Jim is not a Christian because all he does is advocate for following Christ’s teachings. That’s simply not the case. From his earlier writings he has made it clear he believes Jesus to be Lord and Savior. I called you on it and showed that you were wrong and you called me arrogant. It’s sad that your reading comprehension is so low that you would think that I “hate” white people and white Christians in particular.
p



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Payshun

posted September 20, 2007 at 10:16 pm


Mod,
I can understand where you are coming from. Iran is not post WW 1 Germany. it’s just Iran w/ civil unrest and an aging cleric population. Internal pressure is building in Iran and if we have any hope of having that play out in our favor we need to leave it alone. Every time we have ever gotten involved w/ that country we have screwed up. Let’s break the cycle.
p



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Trent

posted September 20, 2007 at 11:39 pm


How’s this for a prediction. If left to its own devices Iran will develop and make a big deal out of having access to a nuclear bomb. Meanwhile the Iranian people, especially the youth will become increasingly disenchanted with Islam and the nation will become increasingly secular (a pattern all western societies have passed through). They will have their own ’60s’ if you will and it will be as tumultuous a transition as it was anywhere in the world as those in power seek to hold onto their power and to prevent societal change (a battle they’ll ultimately lose).
Or, there is an ongoing threatening or intervening external force. This serves to reinforce Islam, to reinforce those in power, to stifle voices for change and to prevent the gradual secularisation of Iran.
If we are to learn anything from history then we should know that a persistent external threat only serve to strengthen the power of the warmongers. Hitler’s rise to power was aided by the burdensome reparations of WW1, Japan’s war supporters were aided by US embargoes, Hamas are aided by Israel’s pressure on palestinians, Al Quaeda are aided by the US presence in the middle east.
The west, especially the US (you are a superpower on the world stage), could tip the Iranian future one way or the other. It may be counter intuitive, but the best option should be clear.
Be Blessed,



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Payshun

posted September 21, 2007 at 12:40 am


I agree w/ you Trent.
Oh and Jerry I do owe you an apology. If you were just responding to Justin’s post about what it takes to be a Christian then yah I apologize for saying what I said. But if you were conflating Justin’s defn w/ Wallace’s faith then I won’t be apologizing. I definitely do think you deserve more grace than I have shown you. Maybe I can do that but in the future please stop dumping your issues w/ the way I present onto how I feel about white people. It’s just lame.
p



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Robert Alu

posted September 21, 2007 at 1:23 am


Hi N M Rod,
I like your posts.
Now what I said is that America is a predominantly Christian nation – not that it is a “Christian country.”
I believe that is a common perception, like, Saudi Arabia is a predominantly Muslim nation. The majority of Americans would write down ‘Christian’ when filling out a form in the blank space for ‘RELIGION’.
It is the predominant American religious ‘identity’.
Definitions matter, of course, but, certainly ‘Christian’ does not necessarily mean a disciple of Jesus Christ. Not anymore. In some parts of Africa it simply denotes ‘one who is not a Muslim.’
Thus a ‘Christian’ may be a devoted follower of Jesus Christ’s teachings or he may live his life totally in contradiction of the gospel message.
To me the term ‘Christian’ has become almost useless for the purposes of determining attitudes, integrity and demeanour. Only God knows what a ‘Christian’ can do when in possesion of absolute political power, for instance! I can only guess …
Thanks for giving me an opportunity to explain that.
Now, N M Rod, how about a few answers to all the questions that I asked?
- Alu



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Anonymous

posted September 21, 2007 at 8:18 am


Posted by: Payshun | September 20, 2007 10:16 PM
Let’s break the cycle.
OK – so if we follow you idea – and it is a valid one. Doesn’t our ‘staying out’ allow other more radical Islamic groups to come in and set the stage for them to take control once the older group in ineffective? Since the over throw of the Shaw – all I have seen is an increase in their radicalism toward the west with each new person in leadership.
I believe that we could work with underground organizations that would like to establish a more pro-west gov’t – but that would mean covert operations by the Allied gov’ts and I have already been taken to the whipping post for my relatives in Sweden assisting many underground groups in our countries during WWII.
I am all for diplomacy and believe in it. But you have to be willing to follow though for what is good for all. Most of the Wallis and Co. group that I have read on this site talk all about diplomacy but when it does not achieve their goal. They are willing to meet at the local espresso bar and dring their lattes’ and lowfat mochas and move on to the next issue because the old one failed and it really does not effect them directly so – we might be able to do something later.
I pray that you are correct but if you are not – are you will to consider what I might suggest doing for the safety of the world. Either way you answer – your answer is valid to me.
Blessings on you my friend!
.



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Moderatelad

posted September 21, 2007 at 9:00 am


Posted by: | September 21, 2007 8:18 AM
This one is mine – Moderatelad
.



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Payshun

posted September 21, 2007 at 1:12 pm


Mod said:
OK – so if we follow you idea – and it is a valid one. Doesn’t our ‘staying out’ allow other more radical Islamic groups to come in and set the stage for them to take control once the older group in ineffective? Since the over throw of the Shaw – all I have seen is an increase in their radicalism toward the west with each new person in leadership.
Me:
Actually it won’t. Unlike us they will kill people that want to destabilize their government. they don’t put up w/ that in the middle east and won’t start now. The reason you have seen more “radicalism” is because we put in a pro western dictator that hurt his people. That’s a hard thing to get over and despite that all we have done is make things worse. You assume the worst will happen when that may not and probably is not the case. Before the Sha was placed in power there were some really powerful shifts and changes going on in the country. I think based off of that those changes will persist as long as we stay out of it.
p



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Moderatelad

posted September 21, 2007 at 1:49 pm


Posted by: Payshun | September 21, 2007 1:12 PM
I hope you are correct – because if you are not – I believe the west will reqret the day that they could have defused the situation and did not.
I still believe based on their past history. That if Iran had a Nuke – most of Israel would be a memory because they would have used it regardless of what the rest of the world said or sanctioned Iran with.
Blessings -
.



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Payshun

posted September 21, 2007 at 2:20 pm


But they did not so I still trying to understand what your point is. They did not have the nuke while Israel has a large enough nuclear defense to completely turn the region into a crater.
p



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Conrad Steinhoff

posted September 22, 2007 at 12:56 pm


This is about our citizenship. I am first a citizen of God’s Kingdom, second, a citizen of the world, and third a citizen of the United States of America. I pray that my attitudes and behaviors may be reflective of God’s priorities for the Kingdom and that my other citizenships be always shaped by my first loyalty. That leads me to solidarity with my Christian brothers and sisters everywhere in opposing the dishonesty, hyprocricy, and hubris of the present destructive course of U.S. policy in Iraq.
Conrad Steinhoff



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Jason Pierre-Paul Nike Jersey

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