I am writing in response to an opinion letter written by Allen Wold regarding the Obama's administration's debate about prosecuting CIA agents for prisoner abuse ("Don't prosecute our protectors," Oct. 31 Sun Tribune).
Mr. Wold contends that the CIA agents should not be held accountable because they were acting in the best interest of the country.
He quotes a Bible passage, making it look as if the Bible supports his viewpoint. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The ethic Mr. Wold is using is not a Biblical one, but a humanistic one called outcome ethics. In outcome ethics, all morals are relative. One can do as they see fit to produce a "good outcome", which usually involves avoiding personal suffering at all costs. This is exactly the case Mr. Wold is making.
Since we haven't suffered another terrorist attack, so the reasoning goes, whatever the CIA agents did must be OK because it had a good outcome.
Christian ethics are completely different. Two important aspects of Christian ethics are that all people are created in the image of God, and therefore possess intrinsic value. Second, even though in God's image, people are also tragically fallen and have a sin nature. Without constraints, the sin nature will dominate, and people will commit all kinds of evil. So, we follow laws which serve to uphold the sanctity of life for all people, and to restrain evil.
Using this Biblical framework, our country has laws that govern the ethical treatment of prisoners, and these laws have served us well over many years. In WWII, for example, we did not have to resort to torturing POW's to win the war. But after 9/11, a wave of moral relativism swept through the Bush administration. "Security at any price" became the norm. The old Christian morals which safeguarded prisoners were replaced with torture techniques for extracting information. Many other abuses soon followed, such as the sordid Abu Ghraib prison scandal.
While we Christians believe the country has a right to protect itself, we reject the humanistic notion that our highest goal should be to avoid personal suffering at any cost. Once this becomes the highest goal, then any form of atrocity becomes possible. Instead, our highest goal should be to uphold the sanctity of life for all people, even when this involves personal sacrifice. This is the difference between Christian ethics and the Bush era outcome ethics that has so polluted the minds of conservatives today.
Submitted Veteran's Day poem:
On Veteran's Day we honor Soldiers who protect our nation.
For their service as our warriors,
They deserve our admiration.
Some of them were drafted;
Some were volunteers;
For some it was just yesterday;
For some it's been many years;
In the jungle or the desert,
On land or on the sea,
They did whatever was assigned
To produce a victory.
Some came back; some didn't.
They defended us everywhere.
No matter what the duty,
For low pay and little glory,
These soldiers gave up normal lives,
For duties mundane and gory.
Let every veteran be honored;
Don't let politics get in the way.
Without them, freedom would have died;
What they did, we can't repay.
We owe so much to them,
Who kept us safe from terror,
So when we see a uniform
Let's say "thank you" to every wearer.
Myrna Tomalla, Americanism Chairman, AMVETS Auxiliary
Joyce Pieske, Americanism Chairman, American Legion Auxiliary
Janet Malo, Americanism Chairman, VFW Auxiliary
Obama's false claims?
In the Oct. 31 issue of the Morris Sun Tribune, Byron Holman basically begs the question,"Does Obama Lie?" He says that, according to tax advisors, the tax rate has not changed for the middle class as Obama had promised. There are many more actions by Obama which begs that same question. Just with the issue of taxes, we need only look at several other bills which Obama supports and is waiting to sign which also offer huge tax increases for the middle class. The cap and trade bill promises to increase everyone's energy bills by huge percentages, and the proposed health care reform bill also promises to increase everyone's taxes, including the middle class, by large percentages.
Obama also falsely claimed that tax-funded abortions were not a part of health care reform, yet according to the National Right to Life, in Pelosi's recently proposed bill, tax funded abortions are spelled out as a definite mandated proposal in that bill. Nineteen pro-life organizations would verify that to be the case, as well as the Washington Post, Time magazine, the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press.
Obama also said that he would not support a health care reform bill which would add to the deficit. According to figures given by the Congressional Budget Office and many other sources, we again see that Obama is supporting the opposite of what he said he would support.
When we look at all of these contradictions and others on the part of Obama, how can we believe him when he posts a birth certificate on his Web site which indicates that it can't be his real birth certificate, which would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he is even eligible to be our president?
Evelyn A. Guggisberg