Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How not to respond to a significant political event

Barely time for even a brief post today. So, unashamedly drawing on Cranmer, I point you to this article about the death of Osama bin Laden in Ekklesia (which styles itself Britain's premier religious think tank). A few days ago I pointed out the grizzling at Ekklesia over the royal wedding. Now we have grizzling over the death of Osama with loaded language ("murdered by the United States of America"). Some readers here will be unsurprised by such language if they start at the end of the article and see that the author is a specialist in 'post-colonial studies'.

Is Ekklesia becoming Britian's premier site in taking a contrary religious view on matters of the day?

More importantly here on this site, I raise the question whether the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is well served by this kind of response to a significant political event (for that is what Osama's death is). In the premier epistle on the gospel as the fulcrum on which the history of the world turns, Paul's Epistle to the Romans, we find that its 13th chapter - as pointed out by Bryden Black commenting below - includes affirmation of the role of the state in bearing the sword. Could Christians do better than cavil at the execution of an evil leader? I think we can. I think we could honour our good leaders by affirming that they have acted properly in these kinds of instances. Obama has done good. Let's have the grace to congratulate him. In the end the gospel is a message that evil shall not triumph in the long-haul of history. In specific instances where evil is vanquished these actions are flowing with the grain of salvation history.


Brother David said...

It should also be noted that the mission was to capture OBL if possible.

The U.S. Navy SEAL team that killed Osama bin Laden Sunday in Pakistan would have taken al Qaeda's leader in alive if it was possible, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said Monday.

"If we had the opportunity to take bin Laden alive, if he didn't present any threat, the individuals involved were able and prepared to do that," Brennan told reporters during a press conference."

Father Ron Smith said...

One has only to consider the death-dealing exploits of Adolf Hitler in order to determine whether God's justice is served by the death of a tyrant.

There is plenty of O.T. biblical evidence for 'righteous' killing - despite the warning of the Mosaic Commandment 'Thou shalt not kill'.

(Here is just one more incidence of ambiguity in the Holy Bible!)

Hogster said...

One person says murdered. another says taken out. Behing every word used is an adgenda.

Brother David said...

Yes, the word has now become officially released by the White House after debriefing the commandos involved in the mission. The commando who encountered bin Laden found him on the 3rd floor, his wife rushed the commando who shot her in the leg and then bin Laden in the head and chest. Bin Laden was reported to be unarmed.

So, the story has changed somewhat, attributed to the "fog of war."

Anonymous said...

"Could Christians do better than cavil at the execution of an evil leader?"

"Execution" is a legal term. Some countries (e.g. Britain under Labor) abolished the death penalty even for regicide. Bin Laden saw himself as being at war, and war entails killing or being killed. If he had surrendered, he should have been taken prisoner as Saddam was - and that would create endless problems. Where to keep him? Gitmo? Where to try him? Washington, NT, Pennsylvania etc etc ?
But unless one is in mortal combat with cold blooded killers, I don't think anyone is qualified to calibrate that risk, certainly not the website "Ekklesia", which is a joke and known by noone.

But note these ironies: Obama rode to power by coopting the left and denouncing all that Bush had done: 'Close Guantanamo! No assassinations! No waterboarding! Civilian trials in the US! etc' - and he has gone on to do EXACTLY the same, even more when you count all the Predator executions. And a further problem for moralists: it now appears that the info that led to the tracing of bin Laden was due to waterboarding of KSM - still in Gitmo.
What do we conclude from this?
That some things are wrong when done by the right, but OK when done by the left.
Peter "Palaiologos"

Pageantmaster said...

UK Ekklesia has been post-Deistic for some time.