News and Information about the War on Terror and in Iraq
Praying for Terrorist Attacks?
What are the moral implications of hoping for something to awful to happen to America in the expectation that bad news will help your preferred political party/candidates? That sounds awfully immoral to me, but it appears to be exactly the perspective adopted by some conservatives and Republicans. If national security issues help the Republicans, then what's needed is a national security crisis.
Donald Rumsfeld is Inspired, Led by God
Apparently, President George W. Bush isn't the only one in the White House who receives personal communications from God about what to do and whom to attack. According to General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is also receiving messages from God about what to do.
Conservative Evangelical Christians & Torture
An important story recently was Sen. John McCain's efforts to block legislation that would allow President Bush to torture terrorism suspects, and perhaps retroactively legalize torture performed in the past.
War in Lebanon, Israel Caused by Gays & God's Hatred of Gays
If you think the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon is due to all the usual problems with politics, nationalism, imperialism, religion, etc., you'd be wrong. The current conflict is apparently the result of increasing Israeli tolerance of dirty, nasty homosexuals. God is causing this conflict in order to prevent those silly gay people from holding a Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem.
Western Christians Support Christians' Rights Only
There was a lot of publicity about Abdul Rahman, the Afghan who converted from Islam to Christianity and was put on trial for this. He faced the death penalty, but the trial was ended after much international outrage and Rahman left the country. Christians in the West, especially conservative Christians in America, complained loudly - but why don't they complain about other things?
Aggressive Christianity: Combining the Bible and the Gun
Iraq isn't the first place where America's Christian Right has sought out a war in order to spread American values. One other time this occurred was when President William Mckinley invaded the Philippines. Christians supported this war because they thought it was the Will of God that the Philippines be made safe for Protestant Christianity and democracy.
Whom Would Jesus Waterboard?
The American Senate has voted to ban torturing and abusing detainees, but not unanimously: nine Senators voted against the bill, thus essentially authorizing the American government to torture prisoners. Does this sound like the 'Christian' thing to do? They might think so: they all received high marks from the Christian Coalition in recent years.
America as a Community of the Righteous
Many citizens see America as a quasi-religious project - they have been ordained by God to bring the Truth and the Light to all the people's of the Earth. One consequence of Americans having the Light and all others lacking it is that Americans are regarded as uniquely and automatically righteous.
Iraq: Promoting Christianity with a Tank
One of America's concerns in Iraq and Afghanistan is that the American presence not be perceived as part of a Christian crusade against Islam. Sometimes, mistakes have given that impression. Sometimes, deliberate actions give that impression - and why don't those in charge do anything about it?
Christian Right: Pro-War, but not Pro-Enlistment?
Most Christian groups in other nations have spoken against America's invasion of Iraq. Many liberal or moderate Christians groups in America did so as well. Conservative evangelicals, however, have supported the war. For some reason, though, they haven't been promoting enlistment so that the war can be fought.
Terrorism Fueled by Culture and Religion, not Poverty
Some have thought that terrorism is in part the result of the extreme poverty in the Arab world. This theory has a certain amount of plausibility, but there is a lot of poverty in the world without there being terrorism. There are stronger correlations with culture and religion than with poverty.
Army Chaplain Ashamed of Conscientious Objector
Sgt. Kevin Benderman wants to be declared a conscientious objector, despite already having served 10 years in the Army. The sights of the war in Iraq have made him realize just what war does to innocent civilians and he doesn't want to be a part of that anymore. His unit's chaplain is ashamed of him for this.
There are complaints about how some Muslims proclaim Islam as a "religion of peace" even as so many other Muslims advocate war and violence. But what about Christianity? Jesus was supposed to be the "Prince of Peace," but there are many Christians openly and unashamedly advocating war and violence.
This is the Situation in Iraq
How are things going in Iraq? Probably worse than you think. Public opinion turned in Vietnam most decisively when people realized that the Viet Cong could attack anywhere and that even the American embassy wasn't safe despite the numbers of troops and years of fighting. Things aren't any better right now in Iraq.
Satan vs. God in Falluja
For many of the participants, the battle for Falluja is shaping up to be a battle between Satan and God - the description of this fight in such apocalyptic terms is disturbing to say the least. What's interesting, though, is the fact that both sides see themselves as fighting for God and their opponents as fighting for Satan.
Christian Torturers in the American Inquisition
One of the tactics used by the Christian Right in recent years has been to set up parallel institutions which, over time, can attack and supplant more liberal or secular institutions they wish to take over. They achieved success with the Southern Baptist Convention and are actively working on this in education, science, and other fields. Could they be doing the same with the military?
Christian Warrior Boykin Reprimanded?
Lt. Gen. William Boykin, the officer who played an important role in managing the interrogation techniques in Iraq and who described the war in Iraq as a religious crusade, has finally been disciplined. How? The military won't say - they will only comment that the action taken is "significant."
Justice Department Censors Supreme Court Quote
It's not uncommon for government documents to have areas covered over with black bars - the reason cited for this is that information too sensitive for the public had to be redacted. Sometimes that is very understandable - it would be wrong to reveal the names of undercover police agents, for example. Not all cases, however, are reasonable.
Chistians in Iraq
The situation for Christians in Iraq is becoming more and more difficult by the day, it seems. The Jews have all but abandoned the country and now Christians are feeling the pressure to leave as well. Iraq, it seems, is experiencing "religious cleansing" at the hands of Islamic extremists.
Christian Terrorist Let Off Lightly
Stephen John Jordi has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for plotting to fire bomb abortion clinics, churches he disagree with and gay bars. The government recommended more time, but the judge decided that Jordi didn't qualify as a terrorist. Had he been a Muslim plotting to blow up synagogues and other buildings, you know the decision would have been different.
Religion in the New Iraq
The new government in Iraq has quickly learned how to use religion to political advantage. Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has been invoking the name of God in his speeches, even to the point of declaring that the terrorists aren't "real"? Muslims, a rhetorical tactic much used by the terrorists themselves.
Iraqi Prisoner Told to Thank Jesus for his Life
In addition to the various forms of physical and sexual abuse that American soldiers committed against Iraqi prisoners, it now looks like they engaged in religious abuse as well, forcing Iraqis to proclaim religious beliefs contrary to Islam.
Anti-Muslim General Involved in Iraqi Abuse?
Remember Lt. Gen. William Boykin? He was the army general, former commander of the special forces and evangelical Christian, who made a speech claiming that the war on terrorism was a religious war and that his god was bigger than the Muslims' god. Well, it turns out that he might be connected to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib by American soldiers.
Excusing Evil also Dishonors the Good
So many people have done so much to excuse and minimize the atrocious actions of American soldiers in Iraq that it's really been sickening. It is questionable whether these people have any functioning moral compass anymore, what with their lame arguments and pathetic rationalizations.
Christian Ethics and the Treatment of Prisoners
The conservative voice in America is typically a voice that resonates with Christian beliefs, Christian doctrines, and Christian values. In the controversy over the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, however, conservatives have conveniently ignored basic Christians principles when voicing their reactions.