Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

-C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Wrong Fight

In a display of ignorance, poor taste, and outright blasphemy, apparently someone in the military thought it was funny to put the words "New Testament" on the barrel of a tank's main cannon. Andrew Sullivan is right that the officer in charge of this tank should be dismissed. This is exactly the wrong message to send to those who would destroy us. I did not support the invasion of Iraq, but I realize if we're fighting this war against anyone, it is the anti-modern, anti-equality, anti-democracy fundamentalists who would not hesistate to kill us if given the chance. What some stupid morons in my great country do not realize is that none of those things so worthy of opposing have anything to do with Islam. Fundamentalists use religion as their excuse to stop thinking, and start hating. But that does not mean that the particular religion is to blame. This is not a fight against Islam, but a fight against those who would twist Islam to rationalize a campaign of hatred and violence. In much the same way, there are those who twist Christianity into a rationalization for abject hatred of gays. Since this is not a fight against Islam, it isn't a fight for Christianity either. We are not right because we are Christian, we are right because we believe in equality, due process, and the rule of law. It is just as easy for someone who claims to be Christian as it is for a Muslim to espouse values contrary to these ideals. Terrorism is hateful because it sees no other truth; it is anti-merciful, for opponents of the truth deserve no mercy. We should indeed be equally as unyielding as the terrorists, but it is equality, comity, law, and justice that we should not compromise. To believe that self-professed Christians are, by their very nature, somehow on the "good" side of this fight is to completely misunderstand the fight. For one man (the man in the tank) to slip and lose sight of the larger reality is understandable, if not forgivable. But for his C.O. and other DoD officials, who supposedly think about this "hearts and minds" stuff, to let this continue is unconscionable.

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