Many politicians and military leaders consider themselves to be Christians fighting the ‘axis of evil’ and are waiting in earnest for Saddam to receive the death penalty. There are members of the media who support the pre-emptive war policy and have nothing but praise for Mel Gibson’s portrayal of definitive nonviolent resistance. I have taken Biblical literature courses from religious and secular institutions, and can easily recognize that Jesus wasn’t an advocate for violence under any circumstances. I don’t consider myself to be a religious zealot but the hypocrisy is too obvious to ignore.
George W. Bush admitted he doesn’t read the newspaper but he claims to read the Bible regularly and even said that Christ was his favorite ‘philosopher’ during a presidential debate. Sept. 11 must not have inspired him to reflect upon Matthew 5:39: ‘Offer no resistance to injury. When a person strikes you on the right cheek, turn and offer him the other.’ His passage was instead ‘eye for an eye,’ a famous Old Testament idea. A surprising number of religious leaders supported this administration during the retaliation effort and war in Iraq. ‘Some people want to raise the bar so high that it’s impossible to act. And that’s de facto pacifism. And I think pacifism in the face of the terrorist threat is wrong,’ said Diane L. Knippers of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, whose ecumenical Christian advocacy group is based in Washington D.C.
‘Only when an attack is grave and imminent can you engage in a preemptive strike. Even then, you have to move cautiously,’ said Father Christiansen, acting director of the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University (didn’t Tenet go there?) and counselor on international affairs to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. A total of 152 executions took place in Texas while Bush was governor. He probably forgot Luke 23, in which Jesus forgives the criminal being crucified next to him. Interestingly enough, the death penalty is a popular form of punishment in the Old Testament that was used for homosexuals who engaged in premarital sex. (Wow, $117 million for abstinence education and an amendment banning gay marriage!)
Hmm, America sure gives a lot of aid to Israel, and Bush lets them keep their nukes. What do you think?
Kevin Collins is a fifth-year English major.