23 March 2011

The Good Samaritan Killed To Save the Injured Man…The Constantinian Gospel of Just War

I would imagine some have grown weary of my critiques of Colson. I can’t help it. He amazes me. I’m not going to spend a great deal of time on this. Just a few interspersed comments.

Shamed Into Action

America and Libya

By: Chuck Colson
Published: March 21, 2011 12:00 AM

“Who is my neighbor?” That’s what an expert in the Law asked Jesus after the Lord affirmed the two great commandments: Love God with all your heart, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus answered with the parable of the Good Samaritan. You know the story and the punch line. The Samaritan saw his neighbor in the man beaten and left for dead along the road to Jericho, and the Samaritan loved his neighbor by tending to his wounds.

In a world awash in crises, no nation on earth has the power or resources to stop every injustice and tend to every wound. But there are times when a great nation can and must do something. And for the past several weeks, forces loyal to the brutal dictator Muammar Qaddafi bombed and strafed innocent civilians along with the rebel forces they had targeted. And the U.S. did nothing.


To compare attacking and bombing a country with The Good Samaritan is just a perfect picture of Sacralist thought working itself out. I can scarce come up with a better example.

Of course we’re also going to ignore all the deceptions and complexities of the regional and global geo-politics related to this issue. We’re going to ignore the multi-generational legacy of American installation of, backing of, and supporting of…dictators and military regimes…INCLUDING some of the regimes being protested against right now.

Could this possibly just be a completely disingenuous cheap shot at Obama? Is Colson a Spiritual Teacher and leader of Evangelicalism or is he still after all these years nothing more than a ‘born again’ political activist, lobbyist, and thug? That’s what he was when he was in office. Nothing has changed with this man. If you think ‘thug’ is too strong a word, then I urge you to read of the career he seems so proud of.


The magnitude of our inaction hit home to me late last week. I bumped into the great Catholic theologian Michael Novak. He reminded me that once Michelle Obama had said that when her husband won the nomination for President, it was the first time in her life she’d been proud of her country. Then Novak told me that he had never been so ashamed of his country as when our leaders failed to lift a finger to stop the massacre in Libya. Strong, sobering words.


Astonishing words coming from a leader in an organization full of sodomites and paedophiles with a legacy of bloodshed and unrepented of murder.

The Libyan situation is a mess. There aren’t any easy solutions, but this tone of moral superiority coming from Roman Catholics and Right-wing militants would be laughable if their policies had not resulted in the deaths and sufferings of so many.

Somehow the answer to everything…is to drop bombs?

Lost people playing the great geo-political chess game…yeah, they might come up with something like that. They might market their wars with such deceptions. But so-called Christians?


And now the U.S. has been shamed into action by, of all things, the United Nations, which declared a no-fly zone over Libya, and the government of Libya then announcing a cease-fire. But for American honor and credibility among the oppressed people of the world the damage has been done. We dawdled too long -- just has we did with the genocide in Rwanda.


Colson shows himself once again to be nothing more than a liar. If he was just some Evangelical bumbler that would be one thing but I know he knows better than this.

The UN did not ‘shame’ the United States into action. That’s not how the UN works and he knows it. The UN has never shamed the United States or any of the powers in any way. The UN is giving a cloak of legitimacy to the actions of the United States. This way it can pretend that it’s not acting unilaterally. This has nothing to do with shame and everything do with perception, and the language of diplomacy. Colson knows this, doesn’t care and is banking on the fact that his audience is ignorant of these matters.

Obama can’t win. I am not a fan of Mr. Obama, but I feel like going to bat for him to counter the wickedness (and that’s what it is) of Colson and his ilk.

If Obama says left, they’ll say right. If he says up, they’ll say down. It doesn’t matter what he does, it’s wrong.

Zero interest in truth, facts, any of it. It’s pure power politics and it is absolutely disgusting and morally repugnant coming from those who purport to represent Christ.


Now don’t get me wrong. Putting troops in harm’s way is the most difficult decision a President can make, especially at a time when our military is stretched so thin. I know. I was there myself in the White House. It’s tough. But as I’ve said many times on BreakPoint, a President must first weigh whether military action is just. According to the Christian just war tradition, in order to be just, a military action must be for a just cause and done for the right reason; it must be waged by a legitimate authority as a last resort; the action must be proportional to the threat; and there has to be a probability of success.


Of course the doctrine of Just War is a completely Constantinian construct and absent from Scripture. Legitimate authority is on one level….whoever has been placed in power by Providence, on another level it’s whoever wields legitimate violence. That’s what the state is…the power to coerce. It’s necessary for This Age, but has no part in The Age to Come. It’s not a Redemptive institution and its doctrines and concepts though legitimate for this fallen world to work, are not Christian.

There is no Christian Just War Tradition.

There is a Constantinian-Sacralist Just War Tradition.

And in regard to his last point, assuming I did hold to some kind of Just War theory, if something is right and good then probability of success shouldn’t have anything to do with it.

Does Corrie Ten Boom protect the Jews ONLY IF she has a probability of success or does she risk all because it’s right?

Colson is morally bankrupt and an imposter. Even his own explanations demonstrate this.


I can’t imagine a more just and proportional response to the massacre of innocent people than to establish a no-fly zone. So I was mystified and chagrined by our nation’s inaction. And we have every right to wonder just what kind of pressure the Administration may or may not be putting on Saudi Arabia to cease its involvement in the savage suppression of revolts in Bahrain.


Now we’ll just kind of slip that in.

Was Colson concerned about the Saudi and Bahraini governments when the good Christian Bush was president?

Every right to wonder? Well, Mr. White House operative, you know full well why. The reasons are exactly the same as they were when you were in the White House and Nixon set aside morality and ethics to shake Mao’s hand. It’s called Realpolitik and Colson knows it well. To sit and pretend moral indignation at Obama’s failure to call Saudi to account is absurd coming from someone like Colson.

And from the perspective of a ‘great nation’…the leaders are hardly going to run around threatening all their friends and allies. They won’t be great for very long if they engage in that kind of behaviour.


Again, America can't run around the globe solving every conflict. But there are times when we have the ability and the moral obligation to stop a grave injustice … and to help innocent people who seek only freedom. This was one of those times.

America is great so long as it is a moral beacon. When we behave immorally, when we look the other way in the face of grave evil, we lose our greatness. And we Christians -- the moral conscience of society -- have to be the ones to say so.


This like many of Colson’s commentaries is a completely disingenuous politicized hack piece. To put simply, he’s a liar and cheat. I don’t think this is an ad hominem attack. I think time and time again it can be proved that this is what Colson is and does.

He’s already proved this theologically with Evangelicals and Catholics Together. We already know what he is and what he’s about. To add this dimension to his activities is no great leap.

This is about attacking Obama and the Democrats and nothing more.

2 Peter says:

And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

The tone of this brief post was pretty hostile. I don’t apologize. What Colson says and stands for, his methods and yes, even his worldview is completely antichristian. Why do I care? Why do I pick on him? Because he’s ubiquitous in Evangelical circles. Every day he’s on the radio pushing these ideas. His ghost-written books fly off the shelves and can be found with ease in our public libraries. His influence is huge and though critiqued by a few people, he’s largely respected.

2 Corinthians:

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Could those works be something like….the Christian position is we need to bomb and kill in order to do God’s work?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Astonishing words coming from a leader in an organization full of sodomites and paedophiles with a legacy of bloodshed and unrepented of murder."

" Every day he’s on the radio pushing these ideas. His ghost-written books fly off the shelves and can be found with ease in our public libraries. His influence is huge and though critiqued by a few people, he’s largely respected."

I had never heard anything negative about this guy until I read your blog. I guess since I would rather listen to nails across a chalkboard then turn on detroits christian radio station i am out of the loop. Thanks for the info.