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I, Virginia Bergman, pledge not to vote for a male presidential candidate in 2016 just because he's male.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Syria: a moral crisis requires a moral response


Courtesy of http://omar660.tripod.com/id34.html.
We're talking here about Obama's mistake in issuing a red line dare to the Assad regime in Syria. According to U.S. intelligence reports, Assad took the dare and used chemical weapons against his own people. In response to this tragedy, President Obama and many of his Left Wing followers have suddenly morphed from doves into hawks.

When madness seems to be enveloping the minds of previously sensible people, including the mind of our Nobel peace prize-winning president, it's always a relief to take a time out, breathe deeply, and read what Jim Wallis, the editor of Sojourners Magazine, has to say about the matter at hand:
 
When a head of state is responsible for the deaths of 100,000 of his people and has used chemical weapons against innocent civilians -- the world needs to respond. In one massive attack, the evidence appears to show that 1,429 people, including 400 children, suffered horrible deaths from chemical weapons banned by the international community. That is a profound moral crisis that requires an equivalent moral response. Doing nothing is not an option. But how should we respond, and what are moral principles for that response?

For Christians, I would suggest there are two principles that should guide our thinking. Other people of faith and moral sensibility might agree with this two-fold moral compass.

  1. Our first commitment must be to the most vulnerable and those in most jeopardy. Two million Syrian refugees have now had to leave their country and fully a third of the Syrian people are now homeless in their own country. Lebanon, a country of 4 million people, now has nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. Humanitarian organizations are calling this the worst crisis in two decades. Our Scriptures tell us that our first and deepest response should always be to the most vulnerable who are so often forgotten by the world. The world must respond to those millions of vulnerable and jeopardized people. Faith communities all over the world must respond and call upon our governments to do so as well. The U.S., U.K., and other concerned nations must do that -- immediately. And the international faith community should lead the way for a global response to millions of people in deep distress and danger.
  2. The other task for people of faith and moral conscience is to work to reduce the conflict. Conflict resolution is always the first goal of peacemakers, whom Jesus calls us, as Christians, to always be. How do we act in ways that could lessen violence rather than escalate it? How do we unite the world community against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, put him on trial in absentia to prove that he used chemical weapons against innocent civilians, bring his criminality to the United Nations and other international bodies, and then surround him with global rejection, isolation, and punishment? How do we use this opportunity of his criminal behavior to pressure and even embarrass those nations who have supported him to support him no more?
These two principles make many of us in the faith community wary of the proposed military strikes that are now being considered by the White House, Congress, and others. Why?

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