Friday, September 29, 2006

Balmer Takes an Easy Shot

The article here is an example of what I think of as an easy shot. Noted Christian progressive Randall Balmer tells of his attempt to get a clarification from certain religious right groups on our current policies regarding torture, rendition, etc.. The two answers he receives are wholly supportive of Pres. Bush.
It's an easy shot because, rather than discuss issues, Balmer shows these groups up for hypocrites. Hey, Randall, I got news for you - WE'RE ALL HYPOCRITES, even you! You mock these groups for claiming to be arbiters of social morality, whn you are setting yourself up as the same thing, only from a different social and political perspective. My counter to your article is - what is your position on abortion? Have one and a half milliion abortions in this country every year for thirty-three years made us a better people? Has creating a right out of thin air, not to mention insisting that this one medical procedure be outside all the other medicall ethics guidelines (minors should have access without parental consent or previous consultation with physicians, without notification of various possible complications, to name two) made us a freer, more humane people?
I won't pretend to have answers to these question I have posed. Yet, neither will I pretend that I have a superior moral or ethical or political position because I am against torture and these benighted Christian conservatives who claim to speak for social morality support our current policies. I oppose torture for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are my commitments as a Christian.
THIS DOESN'T MAKE ME A BETTER CHRISTIAN OR HUMAN BEING, AND BY IMPLICATION IT DOESN'T MAKE THESE PEOPLE OR THE GROUPS THEY REPRESENT EVIL OR BAD CHRISTIANS. Torture is an evil act. There is no moral syllogism, however, that draws the conclusion that those who support terror, even Christians who do so, are therefore evil. They may be scared, or angry, or any of a variety of other adjectives. But human beings do evil things, and sometimes great numbers of ordinary human beings support the doing of evil. I refuse to sit in God's chair and judge these people, as, apparently, Randall Balmer has done.
Let us have good political discussions. Let us leave our penchant for judging others to one side.

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