Monday, July 04, 2005

Let's Pray for Bush

As a Christian, I always have hope that everyone will sense the Spirit and act in accordance with it - and "everyone" includes those of every religion and both "friends" and "enemies". Well, now is the time for George W. Bush to sense that Spirit and nominate another Sandra O'Connor to the Supreme Court. It's a time to work for unity in the country and cooperation in the Congress, not a time to start another salvo of broadsides between fanatics on both sides. We need a pragmatic, non-ideologue jurist who can interpret a 200+ year old constitution in light of realities in 2005, and who understands freedom and responsibility. So, GWB, may God be with you as you decide on dear Sandra's successor.

Also, as a Christian I applaud Spain's vote to legalize gay marriage. There is a hierarchy of sins, I suppose, and a hierarchy of virtues. Jesus always seemed to come out on the side of love and caring, and I have a lot of personal experience that tells me gays have just that! A memorable paraphrase from Thomas Cahill's " wonderful "Desire of the Everlasting Hills" is that "no one ever went to hell simply because he woke up in the wrong bed". Maybe homosexuality isn't the most appropriate lifestyle, but it's the only thing that works for some people. So God will mark them down, perhaps, as God marks down all of us, but God will see into their hearts as God sees into ours, and a lot of us sinners of all stripes will meet God some day. That's how I read the Word, anyway, and I read it a lot. (If you want to agonize about the quandaries regarding religion, try E.L. Doctorow's "City of God". It will make you think, and maybe cry,as it did to me on a recent trip when I listened to the audio book.)

As an afterthought, CNN today reported that a number of civilians perished in Afganistan when a bomber hit their village with precision munitions. Sorry about the civilians - yes! But as an ex-military officer I understand that when civilians voluntarily mix with combatants they assume the risk of attack. In war there is no sanctuary anymore, since the rules have changed. Once upon a time combatants made a real effort to isolate themselves from civilians, but in an era of irregular warfare the irregulars mix with sympathetic civilians in order to avoid attack and to generate headlines if civilians are killed. Sorry, but those civilians will have to pay the price for their loyalty if they happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. War is not Christian, and it is sad, but it's also avoidable by those who attack in the first place... no sympathy for the Afgan and Iraqi insurgents here! Go talk to people and cast your vote, mister Islamic radical! Then those ugly Americans will come home where they belong, and you will have had your chance to influence the locals in a peaceful way.

It's the fourth of July, the glorious day of Independence! Remembering the struggle for cultural, economic, and religious freedom... a struggle that needs to go on for America to remain great! Let the fireworks burst out with wild booming and let the celebrations commence!

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