March 23, 2006

To Freed Hostages - You're Welcome. So, be Christian about it.

How typical of the left. The organization and families of American activists, operating under a Christian banner and who were kidnapped and held hostage in Iraq, have not acted very Christian after they were freed by our armed forces. A simple "thank you" would have sufficed, but none came. Not only that, they blamed OUR government for the kidnapping and referred to our soldiers who freed them simply as occupiers. Still, our military does the right thing and risks the lives of soldiers to save even Americans who don't like them or appreciate them.

Here is coverage on the rescue of and responses about the three remaining workers of Christian Peacemaker Teams--freed in Baghdad and saved from the fate of another member who was murdered by terrorists in the region: The New York Times, Associated Press, and Canada's Pulse 24. What you don't see is any appreciation to our forces--but, only disdain for them. Am I missing something?

Maybe members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams should actually take a moment to learn lessons about an ungrateful heart or spirit of ingratitude by going here, here, or here--just in case they don't remember where they misplaced their Bibles.

via Drudge Report

Posted by Woody at March 23, 2006 09:40 AM | TrackBack

If I understand correctly, this group is at least loosely affiliated with the Quakers and although I have the utmost respect for Quakers you really can't call them a Christian organization anymore. There are still a few 'evangelical' Quakers left, but not many. Still, there really is an abundance of scripture that supports pacifism.

As to them being ungrateful for being rescued, as pacifists what else could you expect them to do other than denounce the war? It's not so much that they are ungrateful as they have an underlying philosophy that prevents them from approving of any act of violence, even one undertaken on their behalf.

Posted by E. Nonee Moose at March 23, 2006 12:35 PM

Hey, Moose. Pacifism doesn't mean that you should not take a stand for what is right or not take a stand to defend yourself. Also, pacifism doesn't mean that you can't thank someone who saved your life. Pacifism also doesn't require that you put yourself in harm's way and expand the fighting by others trying to save you. Christianity recognizes that there are forces of evil that a Christian should reject and oppose. I don't think that the Quakers have gotten too far off base. I think what's gone wrong is that some people present themselves as Christian when they are not or that they are Christian but have "modified" the tenants of the religion to fit their politics. It would be better, to me, if the organization were more up front about whose side they are on and changed their name.

Posted by Woody at March 23, 2006 01:21 PM

Pacifism doesn't mean that you should not take a stand for what is right or not take a stand to defend yourself.

Well, they are taking a stand for what THEY think is right. And, yes, pacifism does require you to literally turn the other cheek. In all circumstances. A very difficult philosophy to live by... I honestly can't say I can do it myself. I have too much of a temper.

Christianity recognizes that there are forces of evil that a Christian should reject and oppose.

Opposition can take many forms, including non-violent forms. Non-violent opposition has proven very successful in many circumstances.

I don't think that the Quakers have gotten too far off base.

I doubt you know much about modern Quakers then. Not that I, personally, think they are too far off base but rather that the vast majority of mainstream denominations do.

they are Christian but have "modified" the tenants of the religion to fit their politics

If they've modified their beliefs then they did it a long time ago. At least a 150 years or so.

if the organization were more up front about whose side they are on and changed their name

It's not about picking sides, not to them. They are very true to themselves and that's one of the reasons why I can respect them.

Posted by E. Nonee Moose at March 23, 2006 01:40 PM

Maybe they didnt say THANK YOU because they were busy eating ice cream and exercising while they were held captive.

It sucks that only the American seems to have gotten tortured and murdered. And rather than extend a THANK YOU to the US and UK men and women who saved them they talk about occupiers.

TWO WRONGS do not make A RIGHT yet somehow these people seem to be operating under the assumption that their kidnappers commit their sins as some sort of retribution for their percieved mistreatment from the US. It looks like the WRONG of kidnapping, torture and murder is being ignored for the percieved WRONG of occupation, as if that makes it RIGHT.

Phwew, that was wordy.

Somebody over at CPT is confused. And they're confusing me.

To top it all off the remaining 3 (evidently they were slightly less infidel-ish) were found...get this...

UNGUARDED with no kidnapper "in the area", with their hands tied. Not their legs.

Last time I checked most doors could be unlocked from the inside and legs could move even if hands were tied...

Posted by QuickRob at March 23, 2006 02:17 PM

Look, I'll admit they're a naive bunch. It's a bit foolish to go running around in Iraq preaching pacifism thinking anybody is going to listen. The irony of this is that they were kidnapped because they were suspected of being spies, not for being peacemakers.

And as to their hands being tied, most likely the kidnappers knew Coalition forces were coming and bugged out just moments before they arrived.

Posted by E. Nonee Moose at March 23, 2006 02:37 PM

I don't get it either Woody. As disgusting as I find some leftists to be, I would cheerfully throw my arms around one and express profound gratitude to them and others for risking their own life to save me.

Moose should stop the apologetics. These people are frightfully ungrateful and un-christian like with this statement they've put out.

So they think the Americans and the coalition are ultimately responsible for the state of affairs in Iraq, eh? You can't just interject yourself into the middle of history and call that the starting point for your argument. If one wants to say the coalition is responsible, then we must recognize their responsibility didn't spring from a vacuum. The coalition was there AFTER Saddam and his baathists had ruled the country with tyranny and mass murder for decades and threatened the stability and well being of nations around them and those abroad. Let's back it up a few more years and blame Saddam then. Or let's go back even further and blame who ruled before Saddam, and who ruled before them.

Yet, I will withhold my scorn for the three whom were freed this morning. They've been through a lot and have not yet spoken themselves. Perhaps they will express gratitude personally.

Posted by Oyster at March 23, 2006 02:51 PM

Moose, you made logical points regarding pacifism and Christianity, and I thought, "Well, that was a good response." After reflection, it may be that the points are academic rather than realistic. It's hard to accept that the people in that organization have thought through their reasons and purpose to the extent that you provide them.

Posted by Woody at March 23, 2006 03:23 PM

Moose should stop the apologetics.

Sorry, but I think you are misjudging these people.

Posted by E. Nonee Moose at March 23, 2006 03:23 PM

Maybe we are misjudging them because we don't know a lot about them. (I don't.) However, not understanding someone doesn't mean that they get a free pass from common courtesy.

Posted by Woody at March 23, 2006 03:27 PM

Moose, I am quite familiar with Quaker history and pacifism, and how the current versions differ from the earlier. What you say is at least partly accurate, though not entirely so.

There are Quakers who would evenhandedly reject violence done either for them or against, and would oppose evil from any court. These "peacemaking" teams don't fall into that category. If you follow back who they demonstrate in favor of and who they speak well of, it is not evenhanded.

Neo-neocon did a long and well researched series on the varieties of pacifism late last year, which I think you would find rewarding. My own contribution to the debate would be that starting in the 1930's, Christian pacifism underwent a change. Historical pacifism in the church has emphasized "my kingdom is not of this world," and stayed out of war because it is a lesser cause than the gospel.

Beginning in the 1930's, and accelerating in the 1960's, pacifism became allied with the social justice movements, and became a political technique to effect change. Not coincidentally, pacifism became fashionable in the church once we started fighting socialists of vaious description.

I found the works of Niebuhr and Bonhoeffer challenging and enlightening on this subject, and pass on my recommendation.

Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at March 23, 2006 03:37 PM

Beginning in the 1930's, and accelerating in the 1960's, pacifism became allied with the social justice movements

Quakers played a big role in the pre-Civil War 'Underground Railroad', which was a social justice movement if there ever was one. So the claim that Quakers (or Quaker off-shoots) have only recently become involved in politics is a little weak.

Posted by E. Nonee Moose at March 24, 2006 10:37 AM

Moose, "a little weak" is not the same as not factual. The Quakers involvement in the underground railroad was in fact a "social justice movement" and the Quakers have long been pacifists. However, the meaning of AVI's comment stands. The "modern social justice movement" is a relatively new political phenomina dating only back to the early stages of the war in Vietnam when Kennedy sent "advisors" to Vietnam (my father being one of the first in August '61).

Since that time, the "SJM" to shorten the amt of typing I have to do has evolved into a frequently "wacko" bill of goods that the left promulgates, not by dint of the appropriateness of the cause, but by saying that too often those that disagree are some how evil. Disagree and you are obviously a "racist" or perhaps a "capitalist running dog" or perhaps, well, you get the idea.

Is this a universal? Of course not, but I think that the criticism is valid much of the time.

And, if I need to say it, thanks for keeping the quality of the discourse high. You have my gratitude.

Posted by GM Roper at March 24, 2006 11:05 AM

GMRoper -- correct. The Quakers were indeed involved politically in the Underground Railroad, but many Quakers were involved in the actual fighting as well. There have been four incarnations of Quaker political involvement, but only the first and third tended strongly to non-involvement, and only the first and fourth have been essentially pacifist. From that list, you can tell that only the fourth has been characterised by involvement/pacifist. Current Quaker practice includes most previous strains, but primarily the last. The idea of "no earthly kingdom is worthy of Christ" has morphed in practice into "we need to stomp down any suggestion that America exemplifies any Christian principle." Sad. In a legitimate attempt to keep American Christians from falling out one side of the boat, the Quakers leap out the other.

The "peace churches," such as Brethren and Mennonite, have been much more consistently apolitical.

Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at March 24, 2006 04:37 PM

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