August 10, 2004

Shame on Evangelicals

We Evangelical Christians ought to be ashamed of ourselves. Our “Christian president”—who many of us voted for and many of us continue to support—waged a war based on lies. There was never any connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, and Saddam was never a threat to the United States. All this is clear. What is also clear is that the Iraq War has killed well over 10,000 Iraqi civilians and several tens of thousands of Iraqi militiamen.

Let me repeat myself. The United States military has killed tens of thousands of people. And for what? Why are we fighting? Nobody knows the real reasons, because all of the administration’s rhetoric has proven to be fallacious.

Yet what do we Christians do? We wrap ourselves up in the flag, reaffirm our support for our troops, and applaud the earnestness and sincerity of our “born again” president, a man who’s not afraid to speak up about his faith.

I believe that it is possible for a war to be justified, but this war is not one of them. Let me repeat the facts. No al-Qaeda connection. No threat to America. Some have justified the war by claiming that we removed an evil man from power. And, although it’s true that Saddam was a cruel leader, war supporters have greatly exaggerated his human rights record. Truth be told, he wasn’t half as bad as many current world leaders. In fact, Saddam did a number of good things for Iraq—for example, he gave liberties and protection to many groups (e.g., Christians and Sunnis) that are greatly persecuted in Islamic fundamentalist countries.

We haven’t liberated the Iraqi people. Rather, we’ve left thousands of Iraqi parents without sons and thousands of children without fathers. We’ve dropped bombs on women and children and left countless young men forever maimed. In fact, the United States has killed far more Iraqis than Saddam’s government ever did. And far from making the world a safer place, we’ve given Muslim fundamentalists another rallying call to fight against “the Great Satan.”

Yet Evangelicals couldn’t care less. No, while their tax dollars are funding the production of guns and bombs, they head off to their Bible studies and sing along to their Third Day CDs. And, of course, they make a point of telling their friends that they’re going to vote for Bush this November. After all, he, too, believes in Jesus. Rarely do Evangelicals strive to open their minds and seek the truth. No, they don’t want their minds “polluted” by the liberal media or secular academia. So, instead, they strive to keep their thoughts on otherworldly things and, when forced to think about public policy, make sure they only get their information from such “unbiased” sources as Jerry Falwell and Rush Limbaugh.

Christians today look back at the Crusades and wonder, “How could we have done that?” Christians in the not so distant future, I believe, will look back on the American Evangelical church in the early 21st century and ask the very same question.

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