November 12, 2004

Commentary

What Moral Values Make ‘Just War’ Right?

By Joe Ortiz

We are being flooded with data from a myriad of polls that claims the main reason George W. Bush was reelected to a second term was primarily due to greater moral values supposedly existing among those living within Red Zone America, as opposed to those who reside in the Eastern and Western coast states. The data include mostly exit poll information that moral values were deemed more important than healthcare, education and employment.

Conservative pundits are heaping much praise on Karl Rove, the President’s assistant in charge of the designing a campaign strategy that would appeal to Red Zone America, one based on which side had greater moral values. Bush’s campaign did this primarily by focusing on two major concerns. One was how does America respond to the 911 attacks, and the other was by taking what they believe was a higher moral ground than the Liberal ideologues position, which supposedly support a “do your own thing” mentality. The strategy was successful by taking advantage of a stunned America after the horror committed on 911. Bush campaign strategists also hammered away at gay marriages, realizing it would resonate one of the core values inherent in family oriented America.

Bush kept the issue of 911 on the front burner in such a way that most of the electorate gave him a free pass to launch a “Just War” against terrorism any way he chose. Yes, Bush created the Office of Homeland Security and now has everyone looking under their beds and in their own back yard for terrorists. Bush also increased security to the Mexican border, looking for any dark skinned, mustachioed people who may well sneak in WMD’s and attack America. This effort pleased much of the anti-immigrant crowd.

Bush kept hammering away at the security issue, claiming that by invading Iraq the country was now safer from terrorists. Imbedded subtly within Bush’s rhetoric was an appeal to a wounded America that it needed to avenge its injured pride. Just like a football coach firing up a team that was beaten badly by a former opponent. Bush was intent to keep America riled up for some payback! Not criminal justice, but payback! This tactic resonated, big time! His jingoistic tone clearly was designed to question the patriotism of anyone who challenged how he responded to the 911 attacks. Whoever questioned this mindset was also portrayed as being weak and wishy washy. When a time for applying logic and reason to our foreign policy was needed the most, Bush instead took advantage of a pride-injured America by saying that any approach other than bombing the hell out of Iraq demonstrated weakness. There’s the rub! This is Bush’s morality. If you weren’t for the bombing of any country that does not see things as he did, you were not considered as having moral values, and maybe even unpatriotic!

At the heart of Rove’s most clever strategy was an appeal to (by galvanizing and motivating) evangelical Christians who believe they have been authorized by God to impose moral values through government control rather than by example. Bush’s people jump-started this constituency by surrounding itself with the Christian Right Wing leadership who has pretty much accepted the erroneous doctrines being perpetrated by the dispensational, Left Behind-minded evangelicals, such as Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, Jerry Falwell, Mike Evans, Jack Van Impe, et al. These “modern day prophets” believe attacks against Iraq and other Islamic nations are in concert with Bible prophecy. They convinced Bush and most Christians that to believe otherwise was to deny God!

The electorate was duped to believe that true moral values meant we had to accept George W. Bush’s “Just War.” This country gave him a pass and stood by and watched him implement his own form of moral values. We watched the invasion of Iraq and often cringed with mixed emotions. One prideful, the other with a certain degree of shame as we bombed innocent woman and children (100,000 Iraqis citizens have been killed in this war, so far). But we were made to feel justified, regardless, every time we heard Bush’s “Don’t mess with Texas” style slogans, which soon became the prevailing mantra of Red Zone America. We redeemed our injured pride after 911 by flexing our political and military muscles in Iraq. The underlying message was that whole world would soon be Christianized, and the catalyst for this task is American democracy. This “Just War” approach is deemed of greater value than caring and feeding the homeless and hungry, the orphans and widows, providing healthcare, education and employment opportunities for all the tax payers, illegal or not.

I choose to question “Just War” because my true Commander in Chief, Jesus Christ, has always been against it. He teaches that we should place our trust neither on any one man nor man-conceived system, but rather on the Father. We are told by God’s word that there is no righteousness or true moral values being implemented today by anyone; that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. This is why Christ came and reconciled us to God and His values, those that require us to love our enemies, turn the other cheek, forgive others for their sins (this includes homosexuals and government tax collectors, alike), restore the sinners (even terrorists) to paths of (true) righteousness, to feed the poor and care for our neighbors, worldwide! This is not done through bombs, but through God’s moral values!

Therefore the question begs to be asked: What moral values make “Just War” right? Is it the moral values being carried out by Bush’s Red Zone America? If so, explain the message the Apostle Paul was extolling to Christians about the standards we are to live by in this present world, which are eloquently stated in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5: “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Joe Ortiz lives in Palm Desert. He is the author of The End Times Passover, a book that refutes the dispensational, premillennial, Left Behind mindset of radical evangelicals. Web site: http://groups.msn.com/TheEndTimesPassover

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