Slinging a smooth stone

Are we, or aren't we? That is the question.

There have been recent photos of members of the administration in prayer; Secretary of State Condalezza Rice prayed with the Southern Baptists for one comes to mind.

We make the claim ours was a nation founded on Christian ethics....that we are a Christian nation. Are we, or aren't we?

As Christians should we hold our administration, (which all but proclaimed a mandate from God for war), to a higher standard...that of the teachings of Christ?

Matthew 5:44 reads “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

Now we can't kid ourselves, we are far beyond “Turn the other cheek.” We were at that point in 1993, with the first bombing of the World Trade Center . We licked our wounds and sat idle.

No, we are at war; and war by its very nature, is an assault on dignity.

However, our treatment of prisoners it seems has been less than...well, Christ-like.

With final and total victory as the carrot, the administration has been accused of using Eastern European prisons and personnel to “question” military prisoners. These prisons are in many of the same nations we as a “civilized society” accused 30 or more years ago of human rights violations. We sent prisoners there for questioning in an effort to keep our “hands clean”.

When plans were made to invade Iraq , one of the many claims were that Saddam ran cruel prisons. How can we, with that as the reasoning behind the war; export human beings for torture?

Romans 12:20-21reads, ‘Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him: if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Ridicule, and cruelty, may bring useful information; but how does it jibe with prayerful photo-ops? How does it “Build a democracy” and win the hearts and minds of common Iraqis and Afghans?

The ridicule doesn't stop with the armed forces, each side, (pro and anti-war), have “attack dogs” in the media. Their behavior and words are deplorable and despicable. They make spiteful statements and hide behind their claims of being pious...and Christian.

True, if we extend any olive branch of tolerance, we run the risk of being met with murder. It's hard to use Christ-like behavior with an enemy that seems to teach deceit and death. But again, if claims of faith are made, and exhibited, then one must live with the consequences.

War is, as Sherman said, “Hell.” But we, as Christians, (including our administration) don't have to intentionally contribute.

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