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"The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." - John Philpot Curran


Ignorant Evangelicals and Their Immoral War

I have often wondered why the Bush Doctrine--the maniacal policy of waging pre-emptive war--has been embraced so enthusiastically by evangelical Christians. What possible reason could believers have for ignoring virtually every biblical principle regarding the issue of war? LewRockwell.com columnist Stephen W. Carson sums it up quite nicely in his latest article, "The Christian Case for War": "There is a whole worldview here with intertwined beliefs about politics, U.S. history, military reality, the press, the presidency, the Middle East and religion. For many of the Christian supporters of this war a profound paradigm shift would be required if they were to see things differently."

Carson presents a dilemma for his brothers and sisters in Christ:
    Was the U.S. having a positive effect on the world when allied with Hussein prior to 1991? When it gave Hussein chemical weapons? I do not know why the dodgy alliances that the U.S. government has regularly made do not give Christians pause. I mean here is a political figure that American Christians seem to be unanimous in condemning as a brutal dictator: Saddam Hussein. Yet, the United States government supported Hussein, indeed was instrumental in putting him into power in the first place. The government provided Hussein with weapons, including chemical and biological weapons.

These are fair points. Saddam was a monster of our own creation. If we are justified in what we are doing currently in Iraq, what does that say about our past actions in that country? Were we just as right in supporting his autocratic aspirations in the '70s and '80s as we are now in punishing him for his abuse of power? Does the morality of U.S. foreign policy ebb and flow with the tide of international politics? What does that say about how mainstream evangelicals view the unchanging, infallible Word of God?

Much of their blindness to the injustice of this war can be attributed to the flawed theology of dispensational premillennialism. You know something is wrong when the books of doomsday demagogues like Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins are more popular among Christians than the Bible. Sure, I can see the appeal of wanting to have an active role in the fulfillment of "prophecy," but is it really worth it?

Carson believes that Christians are standing behind the president due to "a short memory (which afflicts Americans in general) and a veritable whirlwind of spin from the interventionist conservative press (National Review, Commentary, etc.)." Of course, ignorance is no excuse, so he adds a word of warning: "When American Christian leaders stand before the Lord on Judgment Day and He asks them why they gave their moral support to U.S. supported atrocities it isn't going to cut it to say, 'William Buckley told me we had to.'"

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