Ethics: June 2004 Archives

Righteous Anger

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Jollyblogger has started a new series on relationships based on a a sermon series he's doing. The inaugural post is on conflict and has some good stuff.

His comments on the use of "righteous anger" as a fake justification are spot on. Almost no one ever has righteous anger, at least not unless mixed with selfish or prideful motivations. Usually people's claims to righteous anger aren't even close. As most people use the term, it describes anger that they feel justified in having, but it almost never involves concern for justice for others instead of concern for one's own wounded pride or feelings of being wronged (even if in some cases it's a feeling of being wronged because a loved one has been wronged).

I haven't seen as many all-out defense of the military operation in Iraq in a while, but here's one at the Fourth Rail that I think is very good, though incomplete, and I really would want to qualify it in a few places, but alas I don't have the time to do so carefully and thoughtfully. Thanks to the Blogging Caesar for linking to it.

World Magazine also has some links to those resisting the conclusion of the 9-11 Commission about connections between Saddam and al Qaeda. I haven't checked this out yet, but it's probably worth looking at. I've heard about much resistance to this conclusion, but I haven't had a chance to look at anything on this all day, so I have no thoughts to offer. From what I'd read so far, I thought it had already become crystal clear that some people high up in Saddam's government were close with people high up in bin Laden's organization but that the two head guys were officially opposed to each other. I'm not sure if even that connection is now being questioned or if the issue is just about bin Laden and Saddam themselves. If it's the latter, then it doesn't amount to much more than a bunch of misleading headlines. If it's the former, then I think they have their work cut out for them in terms of convincing people, because it's against what a lot of people have been saying.

Update: Josh Claybourn compares what the 9-11 Commission actually said with what the headlines have been reporting. Guess what? They don't disagree at all with what Vice President Cheney has been saying. Now it all makes a lot more sense. So why do the headlines misstate the Commission's conclusions so badly that it makes it sound as if there was no connection whatsoever? Probably for the same reason they've been doing that sort of thing all along.

Update 2: See Broken Masterpieces, Real Clear Politics, Andrew Sullivan for more. Such bad reporting should be seen as a scandal, but I don't expect any apologies. They probably won't even stop misreporting it. They didn't when it was pointed out that there were WMD found, just not any large stockpiles, and there were WMD programs in progress that would have been able to create enough WMD in a very short time serious enough damage that the premise of the Bush argument is true. The issue isn't whether there was a threat. It was whether that justifies an invasion. It's not Bush who's lying here.

Christians and politics

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Jollyblogger has an excellent post on being Christian and being politically involved. It's an excellent trip through the various things the Bible says relevant to why it's good to be political involved and bad to identify some political party or nation with Christianity. This is about as balanced as you can get on this topic. I agree with all his main points. Unfortunately, I find myself disagreeing with him on quite a few of his minor and tangential points, and I can't resist picking nits by mentioning those (since I can't wholeheartedly recommend a post this glowingly if it has so many things I disagree with without also registering that disagreement).

Ochuk has a very interesting post about Planned Parenthood. After acknowledging that yelling at people who have already made up their minds what they're going to do when standing outside Planned Parenthood isn't going to accomplish much, he raises the question (or rather brings it up after someone else raised it) whether Christians would be better working inside the organization and helping reform it. Then he extends the question more generally to whether a Christian should work for a company that exploits people or serves to promote social injustice in some other way.



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