Thursday, January 28, 2010

Evangelicals For War (Again)

In a recent Takimag essay, the estimable Paul Gottfried explained that the neoconservative movement consists of two factions he describes as “ill-mannered, touchy Jews” and their “groveling or adulatory Christian assistants." In the former category, Gottfried includes the Frum-Kagan-Podhoretz-Kristol axis of evil. Occupying the “servants’ quarters” are Bill Bennett, Michael Novak, Cal Thomas and other lesser lights of the “conservative movement.”

Among conservatives of the Religious Right variety, Israel and her neocon hirelings find unqualified support among Dispensational fundamentalists and Hagee-style Pentecostals. In my denomination, the SBC, Richard Land provides political cover for neocons and supporters of Israeli policy vis-a-vis Arab states and the Palestinians.

Land is one of America’s most influential evangelicals, trolling the corridors of power armed with a huge rolodex filled with the names of Washington insiders, not to mention an educational pedigree that includes stops at Princeton and Oxford.

Prior to the Iraq war, Land organized an open letter to President Bush from leading evangelicals blessing the coming storm with the imprimatur of Just War Theory. Now Land is at it again. In December and earlier this week Land teamed up with approximately 40 Christian and Jewish leaders, sending letters to Congress urging the imposition of new sanctions on Iran.

The “tough talk” from Christians is expected but disheartening nevertheless. Christians have lost their moral compass when they endorse unbiblical and wicked means as a mechanism to bring about a good end. The goal of sanctions is to harm civilians economically and commercially so that they will pressure their government into making policy changes. In this respect, they are merely a form of state-sponsored terrorism. Sanctions, and the blockades necessary to enforce them, are acts of war according to international law. Moreover, sanctions will not work. The Iranian regime is already teetering, having lost legitimacy in the eyes of many of its own citizens. Sanctions imposed by the U.S. could entirely backfire by driving Iranians back into the arms of the mullahs.

But strategic imperatives and moral considerations are out the window. The only question on the table is, “Does Israel want it?”

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lying Pro-Lifers

A gaggle of stunningly ill-informed malcontents and misfits called American Right To Life Action has published a slanderous “profile” of Congressman Ron Paul. According to ARTL, Paul is “is pro-choice state by state and therefore rejects the personhood of the unborn child.” If Paul runs for the presidency in 2012 ARTL intends to smear him as a solider for the forces of darkness and a merchant of death. "Pro-lifers will be alerted in advance to his pro-choice record," said Darrell Birkey, ARTL research director. "In the last election voters thought Ron Paul was pro-life. We want folks to know the truth."

“The truth”? Here ostensibly is a group of self-conscious Christians claiming to wage a culture war on behalf of the God of Truth (John 14:6), a God who cannot lie (Num. 25:6). Yet their language is full of falsehoods and distortions, and their tongues drip with slander and lies of the most outrageous sort.

Ron Paul has been a pro-life activist since he was in medical school, where he witnessed the horror of a late abortion. “It was pretty dramatic for me,” he says, “to see a two-and-a-half-pound baby taken out crying and breathing and put in a bucket.”

Over the ensuing years as an OBGYN, Dr. Paul delivered 4,000 babies, counseled many women out of murdering their children and often delivered their babies for free. He also has written two books about abortion.

Dr. Paul has said that granting rights to the unborn is the "greatest moral issue of our time." He wrote that the life of the fetus deserves legal protection and has repeatedly introduced legislation to define unborn children as persons under the law and to remove abortion from the appellate jurisdiction of the federal courts, per Article III of the Constitution, effectively overturning Roe v. Wade and returning the issue to the states where restrictions could be imposed without the oversight of black-robed tyrants. While Paul was attempting to put feet to his beliefs, professional pro-lifers were supporting the likes of Fred Thompson and pining for an implausible amendment to the Constitution.

None of this is good enough for the folks at ARTL who want nothing short of a federal imposition to "solve" the abortion tragedy. Let me see if I can say something reeeaaally slowly, just in case someone from ARTL happens to stumble by. Ron Paul believes that abortion is murder. Last time I checked, murder was not a federal crime but is punished by the states except in rare cases where there is legitimate federal jurisdiction. How hard is that to understand?

Yet ARTL cites Revelation 21:8 in calling Dr. Paul a "coward." If you are unfamiliar, here is the text: "But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death." Hmm, apparently Dr. Paul is on the highway to hell for not seeking the federalization of every crime under the sun.

The fool is one who does not fear God, His law and His judgment. The good people at ARTL, if their website is any indication, are staying quite busy violating the 9th commandment. We should pray for their repentance.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Why They Hate Us

Is it because they "hate freedom"? Pat Buchanan answers provocatively:

On Sept. 11, they were over here—because we are over there...Americans are being killed for the reasons Osama said we should be killed—not because of who we are, but because of where we are and what we do...The Muslims stayed out of our Thirty Years’ War. Perhaps we would do well to get out of theirs. But as long as we take sides in their wars, those we fight and kill over there will come to kill us over here.This is payback for our intervention. This is the price of empire. This is the cost of the long war.

Similarly, Glenn Greenwald points out that our policy might have something to do with it:
It's truly astounding to watch us -- for a full decade -- send fighter jets and drones and bombs and invading forces and teams of torturers and kidnappers to that part of the world, or, as we were doing long before 9/11, to overthrow their governments, prop up their dictators, occupy what they perceive as holy land with our foreign troops, and arm Israel to the teeth, and then act surprised and confused when some of them want to attack us. In general, the U.S. only attacks countries with no capabilities to attack us back in the "homeland" -- at least not with conventional forces. As a result, we have come to believe that any forms of violence we perpetrate on them over there is justifiable and natural, but the Laws of Humanity are instantly breached in the most egregious ways whenever they bring violence back to the U.S., aimed at Americans. It's just impossible to listen to discussions grounded in this warped mentality without being astounded at how irrational it is. What do Americans think is going to happen if we continue to engage in this conduct, in this always-widening "war"?
Stephen Walt thinks it might have something to do with the countless deaths inflicted upon Muslim peoples. Using relatively low estimates, Walt calculates that 288,000 Muslims have been killed by Americans since 1990.

Meanwhile, a man elected to end the warmongering of the previous administration has doubled the contingent in Afghanistan, and is asking for a $740 billion military budget. Ah, change you can believe in.