Judging Evil

Many Americans will applaud Jim Wallis' rejection of President Bush's use of religion to support his foreign policy in the war against terrorism ("Dangerous Religion"). They will not reject totally, as I believe Wallis does, the general policy itself. Most Americans accept the fundamental proposition that terrorists are at war with the United States. They believe that 9-11 was an act of war that produced some 3,000 casualties. The bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad and the continued operations of the suicide bombers in Israel make another point we cannot overlook: The terrorist war is not directed against the United States alone. It is a war against the secular societies of the West and all freedom-loving peoples everywhere. Nowhere in Wallis' piece can I find an acknowledgement of the hard fact that we are at war. He does concede that terrorism is evil, but he argues that—according to his brand of Christian theology—"confrontation with evil is a role reserved for God, and for the people of God when they faithfully exercise moral conscience. But God has not given the responsibility for overcoming evil to a nation-state, much less to a superpower with economic wealth and particular national interests." Here Wallis seems as certain in regard to what God wants of men and nations as he says George Bush is. The irony here, no doubt, slipped past Wallis.

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Sojourners Magazine November-December 2003
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