Thursday, June 30, 2011

"We Never Felt We Were Among Strangers"

Second interfaith post for today. I actually noticed this Canadian Press piece in the local paper a few weeks back and meant to post it. The story reconfirms my gratitude for the many gifts that our Mennonite brothers and sisters bring to the church. MP+

By Brenda Suderman (Canadian Press)
Fri Jun 17 2011

Mennonite theologians, Iranian Muslim clerics discuss views of human nature

WINNIPEG — They visited Winnipeg to talk about their theological understanding of human nature, but seven Iranian Muslim clerics also came away with some practical examples of how Christians live and express their faith.

“People were very friendly and it was a warm environment,” Mohammed Fanaei Eshkevari said after attending a Sunday morning worship service at Bethel Mennonite Church.

“We never felt we were among strangers.”

Fanaei Eshkevari and six of his colleagues from the Imam Khomeini Education & Research Institute in Qom, Iran, met at Canadian Mennonite University earlier this month for three days of closed-door discussions with seven Mennonite theologians from Canada and the United States.

It marked the fifth formal meeting between Shia Muslim scholars from Iran and Mennonite scholars, and the first time the dialogue met in Winnipeg. The previous Canadian meetings took place in Toronto and Waterloo.

The Winnipeg event also marked the first time Iranian Muslim women were involved, with nine female graduate students attending as observers and staying an extra week to study peacemaking from a Christian perspective.

Read the whole piece here.

In Afghanistan, Different Faith Leaders Talk Together

An encouraging story from the UK MOD about how Christian military chaplains can help engage with locals in religious dialoge. MP+

Religious leaders meet and forge relationships in Helmand
A People In Defence news article
30 Jun 11

A shura was recently held in central Helmand between local elders and religious representatives of the Afghan forces, Royal Marines and Gurkhas all currently working together in the area.

Members of the Afghan Army and Police, 45 Commando Royal Marines and 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles (2 RGR) are all operating in the Nad 'Ali (South) area of Helmand province.

The shura between their religious representatives came about when the local elders heard that the Gurkhas' religious advisers were planning a visit to the Nepalese soldiers operating in Nad 'Ali (South). They then organised the shura for the representatives of the different religions to come together and discuss the similarities shared by their faiths and forge a better understanding of each other.

Religious leaders representing the Muslim, Christian, Hindu and Buddhist faiths attend a religious engagement shura at Chah-e Mirza in Nad 'Ali (South), Afghanistan
[Picture: LA(Phot) Andy Laidlaw, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]

Read the whole article here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Withholding Our Children: A Sermon on the Sactifice of Isaac

A Sermon for the Second Sunday after Pentecost, 26 June 2011
Preached at Christ the King Chapel, CFB Suffield, Ralston, AB

Genesis 22:1-14, Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18, Romans 6:12-23, Matthew 10:40-42

"Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." (Gen 22:12)

In Michael Crumney's literally fabulous novel about Newfoundland, the inhabitants of a remote outport have only one Bible, a copy that was found in the gullet of a cod fish "as large as a goat". Only one man, a lay preacher with the wonderful nkae of Jabez Trim, is able to read it. Unfortunately the bible is worse the wear for its time in the fish, and so sections of it are blotted and illegible. The story of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac is readable until the point where Abraham raises the knife over his son, but the ending of the story is too blurred to read. One fishermen, James Woundy, likes to regale his fellow fishermen with the story and supplies his own endings, each with its "inevitably gruesome conclusion". When Jabez Trim protests that the angel intervenes to save Isaac, Woundy is unconvinced, claiming that it doesn't sound like the God they know.

I think Crumney's humour is quite astute, because even for those of us who know this story well, how we react to it depends to it depends on the God we think we know. As the tension builds line by line in this challenging story, we (meaning I and I suspect many of you) flinch at what God is asking Abraham to do, then cringe as Abraham appears willing to do it. The tension ratchet's further as Isaac pathetically asks where the sacrifice is and in Abraham's answer, "God will provide" leads us to wonder, does Abraham really believe what he is saying, does he really have that much faith, or is he allaying the child's fears. Even after the angel stays Abraham's hand, its tempting to supply our own ending and our own conclusion, focusing not on what God has provided, but rather focusing on what God has asked.

I have to admit that as a preacher, the sacrifice of Isaac is not a reading that I prefer to dwell on. T he story of God who can ask the unthinkable of a father, and the father's almost robotic willingness to obey, well that all requires an effort to think about, and more to preach on. It would be easier to talk about our gospel reading with its call to reap rewards from a seemingly easier action. I suspect there are preachers this morning who will avoid this reading and even cut it from the service because they've heard enough about people are repulsed by the hateful and capricious God of the Old Testament. I can't say I blame them, because I was tempted to do the same thing. However our prayer of St. Jerome reminds us, each Sunday, that God has "given us [his] word for a light to shine upon our path", and so I think we need to ask how this old and difficult story offers any light to guide us?

In my preparation for today I was reading that all three of the religions which counted Abraham as an an ancestor drew different lessons from this story. For the early Christians, the story was anticipated God's sacrificing his own son Jesus. In Isaac, who was old enough to carry the wood of his own destruction up the mountain, we see a foreshadowing of Jesus carrying the wood of the cross to the hill of Calvary. The parallel of obedient self giving is even closer if we assume that Isaac was a strapping young man who could have escaped his unnaturally old father but chose not to. For Muslims, who also claim Abraham as an ancestor, the point of the story was Abraham's obedience to the will of God. For Jews, the point of the story was that God provides, a point made in the renaming of the mountain at the end of the story.

Are any of these lessons helpful to us later Christians who hear the story in a much more civilized time that celebrates the family, and which condemns child abuse and psychological cruelty? As we live in a military culture we can understand the idea of sacrifice, though we think in terms of self-sacrifice rather than that of others. We think in terms of obedience, though as soldiers we limit that concept to lawful orders from legitimate authorities. As I've said already, the idea of God testing Abraham this way challenges our ideas of God's legitimacy and makes us draw back from this story. So even though we understand sacrifice and obedience, those values seem insufficient in their application to this particular story. So what about the idea that God will provide for us? I think that idea is helpful if we take a moment to sketch out a little background for this story.

Not all cultures were as enlightened as we are. In bible times, Israel was surrounded by other nations that did practice ritual child sacrifice. Biblical scholars have suggested that the ultimate point of the story of Abraham and Isaac is that God does not require child sacrifice. The point of the story of Abraham thus far is that God would give this aged, childless man and his equally aged wife a miraculous son whose descendents would fulfil God's promise that Abraham would be the father of many nations. That long list of nations that we heard in Acts Two, two weeks back on Pentecost, was a sign of the fulfilment of that promise. The story thus becomes a narrative reinforcing Israel's identity as a nation which believed, quite literally, that its children were the future fulfilment of God's promise to Abraham, that Israel and the Christian church which arose from Israel would be God's family and presence in the world. So, rather than worshipping a cruel god who demanded that children be provided to it, Israel worshipped the true creator God who provided children and thus a future.

Of course, not all cultures are as enlightened as we are. We don't need this story, do we? We are willing to let whole cultures and generations be trashed as armies conscript child soldiers and destroy their futures, but we don't practice child sacrifice. We are willing to let billions of children grow up undernourished and underfed, including millions in this rich country that go to school hungry, but we don't practice child sacrifice. We are willing to let our own children consume a diet of increasingly violent video games and other culturalother products. We encourage them to embrace sexual practices and identities that destroy self esteem and respect for others. We pursue material goals, wealth and careers at the expense of the family, and we refuse to force morality, religion and discipline on our children, hoping instead that they find their own way. Increasingly, through practices and debate around reproductive and end of life choice, we devalue the sanctity of life. We as a society do all these things, but we do not practice child sacrifice. Not in name.

The story of Abraham and Isaac is our story in at least one respect, that just as Isaac was a precious and unspoken gift to his parents, so are the children given to us. The sacrament of infant baptism is our recognition and response to that gift, both a recognition that life comes from God, and it is the character and nature of God to create life and not destroy it. For those Christians who are parents, the responsibility entailed in the gift of children is significant. That responsibility can seem like a burden when we realize that raising our children in the faith can be so counter-cultural that it can seem like a burden and a sacrifice. However, the task of raising children in the faith allows us to reinterpret and reapply Gen 22:12, so that we truly do give our children back to God and not withhold them from him.

God provides, and while demands are intrinsic in that provision, as it is with any covenant, God still provides. At a very profound level, the story of Abraham and Isaac celebrates the character and nature of God. We risk forgoing that lesson and its application to our lives and times if we find the narrative shell of that story to be distasteful. We are Christians individually, but in lives as the church we are collective and intergenerational. We are wonderfully created and loved beings, and the journey of Abraham and Isaac, together descending the mountain renamed "God will Provide", is a further step towards the family that God wants us to be.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Place for Sharia Law?

Aziz Huq, in an op-ed piece in today's New York Times, argues that bans on sharia law such as the one enacted by the state of Oklahoma not only make for bad democracy, it makes for bad security:

"In this context, bans like the one in Oklahoma will serve to chill cooperation by the Muslim-American community with counterterrorism efforts. This makes sense: in such an environment, it would be fair for Muslims to pause before, say, passing on a lead to the police, worrying about whether the police would then look at them with suspicion as well."

Protestants Drink More Beer: And Other Beer Facts You May Not Have Known

Actually this article by Charles Kenny (Chug for Growth Drink and be merry -- it's all for the common good) in Foreign Policy is more about beer consumption as an indicator of social and economic progress, but the point in this last paragraph is interesting:

"Indeed, beer may have been a force for growth for a long time. Colen and Swinnen note that beer consumption is higher in Protestant countries. What if the early success of Protestant-dominated economies wasn't about Weber's famed work ethic at all, but about the impact of breweries? Of course, it may be just as outlandish to argue that progress is driven by hops and barley as by the fear of eternal damnation -- but at least it's more fun to discuss over a pint."

Interesting to be sure, and as Kenny notes, that statistic does challenge the old steretoype of the abstemious protestant. However, to be fair to my Roman Catholic friends, they have long considered beer a heavenly drink, as Mad Padre noted back in 2008.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Talking Trinity: A Sermon for Trinity Sunday

Icon of the Trinity by Rublev

A Sermon for Trinity Sunday
Preached at Christ the King Chapel, Ralston, AB, CFB Suffield 19 June 2011
Genesis 1:1 – 2:4a, Psalm 8; 2 Corinthians 13:11-13; Matthew 28:16-20

13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.” 2 Corinthians 13:13

Those words, my text for today, are from our second lesson, the last words of Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth. These words end the letter, they are Paul’s farewell as the Apostle wraps up his instruction to this fledging church and commends it to God’s care. Even if this is the first time you’ve heard of Second Corinthians, you’ve heard those words twice today. Remember the first time you heard them today? Right. You heard them at the start of our communion service this morning. In fact, these words are used to open the communion service in many Christian denominations. In liturgical terms, these words are often called “The Apostolic Greeting”. Some Christians, as they do in the Anglican tradition, echo Paul’s parting blessing by saying these words together at end of a meeting, bible study, etc. Beginnings and ends, farewells and greetings, these words have a way of looping together and uniting us across the centuries with those first Christians long ago and far away, uniting us in the names of the three-person God who calls us, loves us, and sends us forth into the world he created and gave to us. So they are ancient words, powerful words, and they are worth the effort to unpack and think about what it means to be a people who gather in the strange name of this threefold God.

Today is called Trinity Sunday by many denominations. Traditionally the preacher’s task on this day is to try and say something about the mysterious Christian doctrine of the Trinity, and while I have used some Trinitarian language already (“the three person God”), I’m not going to try to explain it to you. For one thing, it’s, well, it’s a mystery that has taxed the best theologians for centuries. For another thing, I can’t do better than Paul does in our text today. He names the three persons of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and he says something important about each of them, and he ends by saying something about us that’s just as important.

Grace, love, communion. Paul uses three words to say something about the three persons of the Trinity. He says “the grace” of Jesus Christ. “Grace” means something profound that is freely given when it is underserved, and the best example of it is Jesus’ self-giving on the cross. Another grace moment is seen in today’s gospel, when Jesus gathers all the disciples, including the ones who doubted, and promises to be with them. I like the fact that I don’t have to be perfectly good, or perfectly faithful, to be a follower of Jesus.

Paul says “the love of God”. Love, like grace, is unearned, a profound gift. The creation story from Genesis is a good example of God’s love. The world that God loved enough to send his son to (John 3:16) is the same world that God created, and filled with light and life and good things. Into this world God places humans, so that we might now God and have the gift of life and the vocation of caring for the world God made. Much theological ink has been spilled over the phrase “God created humankind in his image Gen 1:26) but if the nature of God is the relationship of God’s three persons, then we are made to be in relationship with God and with one another, and that’s a great gift.

Paul says “the communion” of the Holy Spirit. Communion, from which we derive our words “community” and “union”, speak to the idea of relationship. We see this in practice from the other things Paul says in his farewell to the Christians in Corinth: lead an ordered life, live in peace with one another, and to the basics of the faith. We follow these instructions in such things as saying the creed together (“agree with one another”) and share the peace together (“greet one another with a holy kiss”). The communion of the Spirit makes the church possible, because we know from our Christian lives that we can’t believe and live on our own. We need the teaching, the example, the encouragement and the help of our fellow Christians.
Finally Paul says something about us. He ends his farewell with the prayer that God and these qualities of God “be with you all”. Those words apply to all of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus, whatever denomination or flavour we may be. They remind us that God’s love and God’s gifts are freely given to all who want them, and it’s only when we fall into disunity and prejudice that we go astray. To underscore this point, we remind ourselves of this fact in the greeting that begins our worship, when the leader says these words and the congregation answers “and also with you”. That may seem strange when you think about it, since one would think that the worship leader already has some privileged relationship with God, but in fact the congregation’s response is necessary, a concrete and verbal reminder that all are included within the community of God. A community that is trained to say “(may God be) also with you” is a community that is open to sharing the faith with anyone who wants to join.

Grace, love, communion. It’s worth that communion is a syntactical relative of another word, communication. The words of St. Paul have their context in communication, as a farewell in a letter to people he obviously cares deeply about. In our worship today we’ve used them as a greeting, priest and people, one with another as the people of God. There’s a graciousness about these words and about the intentions behind them that transcend mere politeness, which is itself a rarer and rarer thing these days. The next time you go to a Tim Hortons, listen to how the people in line place their orders – “Gimme a ….” rather than “May I please have …”. Christians are often perceived by the world as scolding, moralistic and hypocritical, but we’re not, or at least we shouldn’t be. Our words and our actions should be something more than polite. In our relationships with one another, God has designed us to model the relationships within the persons of God – grace, love, and communion. So the words and greetings we exchange in our worship are training for the words and greetings we use in life. May we be people of the Trinity, filled with grace, love and communion in all we say and do.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The US MIlitary - A Bastion of Socialism?

"An astonishingly liberal ethos". That's how Nicholas Kristoff, writing in the New York Times, desribes the US military.

Our Lefty Military
Published: June 15, 2011
As we search for paths out of America’s economic crisis, many suggest business as a paradigm for cutting costs. According to my back-of-the-envelope math, top C.E.O.’s earn as much as $1 a second around the clock, partly by cutting medical benefits for employees. So they must be paragons of efficiency, right?

Actually, I’m not so sure. The business sector is dazzlingly productive, but it also periodically blows up our financial system. Yet if we seek another model, one that emphasizes universal health care and educational opportunity, one that seeks to curb income inequality, we don’t have to turn to Sweden. Rather, look to the United States military.

Read the whole piece here.

Canadian Anglican Bishops Say No Open Table for Now

Some background first. "Open table" is a term within the Anglican Church these days which means waiving the requirement that a person must be baptized before receiving the Eucharist. Also known as "radical hospitality", the practice has been gaining traction of late on the strength of the argument that seeker friendly churches welcome all to worship, including the eucharist, without restriction in the hope that the Spirit will lead seekers to want to be baptized. The idea of "open table" overturns the ancient Christian practice that communicants first be instructed in the faith and in the meaning of the sacraments before receiving Communion.

The letter below came to me from the Diocese of Huron in SW Ontario, where I served before beginning full time ministry in the Canadian Forces. In this letter, Huron reaffirms the position of the Anglican Church of Canada's House of Bishops. MP+

June 2011

Dear colleagues in ministry,

On April 13, 2011, the House of Bishops issued the following statement,

“We had been made aware through media articles and pastoral visits by bishops that in some parts of Canada a practice of "open table" has begun. This involves admitting people to Holy Communion before baptism. We recognize that this practice arises out of the deep concern to express Christian hospitality. However, we unanimously reaffirm our understanding that the Eucharist is the sacrament for the baptized. We do not see this as changing in the foreseeable future. At our next meeting, the bishops will discuss and offer guidance the church on Christian hospitality and mission and how these relate to the table of Christ.”

It continues to be the practice in the Diocese of Huron to follow this received pattern: that only those who were baptized with water in the name of the Holy Trinity are ‘invited’ to receive the bread and wine at communion. All others are invited to take part in the moment by receiving a blessing.

We are certainly aware that from time to time (indeed often) communion is administered to those who are not baptized but whose conscience and spiritual desire brings them to the altar to receive the sacrament. Clearly this is not the time to check baptismal credentials. There is no photo ID required at the altar rail.

It is not the intention of the House of Bishops, nor is it our intention, to hinder anyone from turning to faith in Christ. Neither do we want to discourage anyone from feeling welcome in a faith community. It is our hope to maintain the well-established tradition, which sees participation and nurture in a Christian community leading to baptism and then to the Eucharistic mystery. To depart unilaterally from this established order would have profound consequences on our ecumenical relationships and indeed on the already strained relationships within our Anglican Communion. The very nature of the sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist is so central to the faith and order of the church, that radical change cannot be made by individual parishes, dioceses or provinces within our Communion.

It is acknowledged that, as the Christendom model of infant baptism fades, more and more newcomers to worship will be un-baptized. In attempts to be hospitable and to extend the goodness of God through evangelization, many will be tempted to reduce or remove the perceived restriction of baptism before Eucharist. Further, we have been persuaded by the Liturgical movement that ‘participation’ in the Eucharist is to be valued highly. It is clear that more dialogue and theological debate is needed as we continue to reflect on the very nature of who we are as the people of God. While the house of bishops sees the need for future conversation, they cannot endorse unilateral or precipitous change to the doctrine and discipline of the church with respect to the two dominical sacraments.

May we rededicate ourselves to the ways of the catechumenate, the ancient and still powerful way that leads to the promises and benefits of baptism. It is the celebration of our salvation in Christ. It is through his death and resurrection that we become sacramental people. +Bob +Terry

Ethical Question of the Day: Are Piercings for Pets OK?

Short answer as given to a Pennsylvania woman who thought it would be cute to sell pierced "Goth" kittens online: No.

Longer answer: "One of the judges wrote in the 19-page opinion: “Appellant’s claims center on her premise that a person of normal intelligence would not know whether piercing a kitten’s ears or banding its tail is maiming, mutilating, torturing or disfiguring an animal. We disagree.”

Complete story from today's Globe and Mail here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Notable Quotable: David Brooks on the Virtuous Politican

Apropos of my last post here on the ethics of sexting, David Brooks has been thinking about models and exemplars of the virtuous politician and has turned to the characters of Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope. "

Trollope’s readers would have come away from his books with a certain model for how practical people should behave, which they could either copy or argue with. I’m not sure his exemplars could thrive amid the TV politics of today, which calls for grand promises and bold colors. But there are prudent, reserved people in government even now. And if more people spent their evenings at least thinking about what exemplary behavior means, they might be less likely to find themselves sending out emotionally stunted tweets late at night."

Making a note to add some Trollope to my summer reading.

The ethics of sexting

I confess I didn't really know much about sexting until the news of US Congressman Anthony Weiner's textploits made him a national scandal and drove him, at least temporarily, from office. The married, 46 year old, unfortunately named politician is now seeking psychological counseling for his online behaviour with other women and it looks as if his party is ready to cut him adrift. If you are curious to know more about Weiner, there's a whole whack of stories collated on the NYT website here.

The important ethical question to ask, I think, is what exactly is wrong here? What is the ethical issue at the crux of this latest affair of a public figure falling to earth? Perhaps the issue is sexual relations with a minor, since one of the women Weiner was sexting was seventeen, easily young enough to be his daughter. Creepy to be sure, but if there was no intent to go beyond sexual expression by exchange of text messages and digital photos, then I'm not sure it's a crime unless he received images from minors, in which case it may fall within a broad definition of child pornography.

Perhaps the issue is adultery? A religious studies professor quoted in a New York Times debate on the subject suggests that if all Weiner did was "internet posing" then his actions do not meet a definition of adultery and so urges "Mrs. Weiner to celebrate her husband’s fidelity. He apparently has a quite active libido, and that is wonderful, if somewhat tricky. He has chosen to work it off on the Internet, as opposed to cruising singles bars. That is cause for celebration. It seems to me that he really does honor his marriage vows; excess sexual desire drove him to do something perhaps less than the moral ideal, but something that speaks volumes to the seriousness with which he takes his old-fashioned vows." However, two other participants in this debate take a different view, rejecting any distinction between the internet and the real world: "The Congressman’s online indiscretions betrayed his real-life wife, causing real pain and hurt feelings in those he cares about most. This is evidence that what happens in the virtual world affects the real world." At the end of the day, I would suggest that only the Congressman's wife can decide if he committed adultery, but it looks like a breach of trust and betrayal of trust is what commonly ends marriages.

My own wife put it well the other day when she asked why we as a society continue to elevate our elected leaders to standards of sexual ethics that we as a whole are unwilling to follow. Adultery is widespread in society, and yet when it is exposed in our elected leaders they almost always have to go. However, "sexting" is hardly unheard of, even in the middle-aged demographic, as the NYT notes. "A Pew Research Center poll found that 6 percent of Americans over 18 reported having sent a nude or near-nude image of themselves to someone else and 15 percent said they had received one. In Mr. Weiner's 30- to 49-year-old demographic, 17 percent reported receiving such a message." Had he been honest, Weiner should have said "Yeah, I texted some women, so what? What's your problem?" That would have been more honest than Newt Gingrich having an affair while hounding President Clinton over the Lewinsky Affair, and it would spare countless political wives from the charade of having to stand loyally by their men at campaign events.

The ethicist and theologian Alasdair McIntyre writes that virtue can only be practised in a community where a set of values and ethics are commonly understood and practised. A monastery is McIntyre's classic example of such a community, but one can imagine other examples of communities where an ethic us intelligble, practised, and expected. The lesson of Weinergate is that we as a society are unwilling to be a community where sexual fidelity is a practised and accepted virture, and yet we expect our politicians to live by standards we as a whole have abandoned. Weinergate may finally teach us that the emperor has no clothes, and we know that because he sent us the pictures to prove it.

"Qaddafi probably shouldn't be counting on the law to protect him"

Is it lawful (and ethical) to kill the leader of a nation, specifically Col. Qaddafi? Joshua Keating, writing for Foreign Policy, notes that there is little in the international laws of armed conflict to specifically prohibit the targeting of leaders of nations. Indeed, the lanaguage of the UN resolution which permitted the intervention into the Libyan civil war can be read as endorsing the killing of Qaddaffi if necessary to protect others.

"Moreover, Security Council Resolution 1973 authorizing the Libya intervention allows U.N. member states to "take all necessary measures ... to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya." While coalition forces haven't yet declared Qaddafi an official target as part of these measures, they've also made it clear that his personal safety is not a consideration. As British Defense Minister Liam Fox put it, "There's a difference between someone being a legitimate target and whether you would go ahead with targeting." The official who spoke with CNN described Qaddafi as being part of the "command and control" structure of the Libyan military, meaning that taking him out would fall under the mandate of protecting civilians."

However, in a Globe and Mail profile of the Canadian general directing the air war on Libya, Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard puts distance between himself and the idea of deliberately targetting Qaddafi.

"Gen. Bouchard knows how it will end – with Col. Gadhafi dead or gone.

But he carefully sticks to the UN mandate that the conflict isn’t to achieve regime change, just to protect civilians.

The general is repulsed by Col. Gadhafi. He lists off all manner of vile attacks, shelling hospitals, scattering anti-personnel mines, indiscriminate rocket attacks on neighbourhoods. He’s evil, the general says.

“This is someone is giving orders to go and kill his own people. … He has lost his moral authority to lead his nation, … but my job is not regime change.”

As Keating notes, though, the US has not been shy to target leaders in past, whether heads of state like Saddam Hussein or terrorist kingpins such as Bin Laden and his lieutenants. Given what the G&M says about the quality of the targetting information available to NATO leaders such as Gen. Bouchard, my advice to Col. Qaddafi would be to look over his shoulder if he foolishly were to go outdoors.

Mad Padre

Mad Padre
Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's notional musings, attempted witticisms, and prayerful posturings.


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