Are The Presidential Candidates Good, Respectable Men? A Response to Eugene Cho’s Article

Photo credit: 2012 Don Relyea/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

Eugene Cho published a worthwhile article this week titled ‘Thou Shalt Follow These 10 Commandments of the Presidential Election.’ In this piece, Cho raises several issues which are vital for Christians to consider during this and every election cycle. There was however one point Cho made in the post that ground me to a halt, which is the belief that our two most recent Presidential candidates are good men and worthy of respect. I want to examine his idea here.

In full disclosure, I know Cho personally and think very highly of him, his family and his ministry, in fact it is a little awkward referring to him as Cho in this post because I know him as Eugene and have shared laughs, good conversation, and tea with him a few different times, and was blessed to be a part of his church for a couple of years. So think point/counterpoint as you read this rather than a flame war, and know that Cho is a humble guy with a thick skin. I don’t think this will hurt or offend him if I can manage my points in a kind way.

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Losing Moral Proportion As We Watch the Arab World

Photo credit: 2006 Nassar Nouri/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

Thomas Friedman, the well-regarded Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times, wants the Arab world to do some soul searching. His recent article ‘Look in Your Mirror‘ argues that American-grown hate speech like the recent anti-Islam video on Youtube does not justify violence in the Arab world, and that those in the Middle East must examine their own religious hate speech aimed at Christians, Jews, Sufis, and Shiites before they demand an apology from us. I want to examine Friedman’s writings here, because he’s got a point, but it’s a common, disproportionate view which ignores our contribution to the present unrest, and exposes prevalent confusion and numbness about that part of the world.

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Limbaugh, Letterman, Maher, and the Cruelty of Selective Outrage

Limbaugh speaks to CPAC. Photo credit: 2010 Gage Skidmore/flickr. Usage does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

By now we all know the two words Rush Limbaugh used to describe Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke (although the tirade was actually three days in length). Rachel Held Evans penned a terrific post about the alarming support that Limbaugh receives from some evangelicals, writing: “it’s hard to believe that any Christian would support a man who leveled such a crass and hateful rant against someone created in the image of God.” Bingo. But that’s easy for me to say, because I already think Limbaugh’s contribution to the national discourse is particularly vile. So why am I indifferent when David Letterman and Bill Maher make comments of a similar nature?

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The U.S. Assassination of a U.S. Citizen and the Nobility of Asking Tough Questions

A U.S. predator drone. Photo Credit: flickr/CliffStreetPhotography. Usage does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper is a hero as far as I’m concerned. Tapper bothered to ask White House Press Secretary Jay Carney a few critically important questions about the U.S. government’s assassination of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, after Awlaki was decimated in Yemen late last week by a missile fired from a U.S. predator drone. When given the political run around, Tapper didn’t shrink into his chair. Thankfully, he persisted.

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Osama Bin Laden is Dead, But This is No Time to Celebrate

Celebration at ground zero. Photo Credit: flickr/David Miller. Usage does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

For some, the news brought an understandable sense of relief, or a bit of overdue closure. Others are viewing the event through a purely strategic lens, believing the kill shot to be an accomplishment only because it will likely avert greater violence in the future. The merits of such reactions are debatable. But those who boldly celebrate the death of Osama Bin Laden have fallen for a devilish trick. In an effort to assert moral superiority and to separate from the legacy of the infamous terrorist, they have unwittingly participated in the same hatred that gave birth to his kind of extremism.

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Interview with a Special Forces Captain: Was War Worth It, and Can We Leave Now?

070312-F-2828D-112photo © 2007 Expert Infantry | more info (via: Wylio)
Tyler is currently a Captain studying for a Master’s Degree in Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School. He served a year in Iraq as an Infantry platoon leader in the 101st Airborne Division, and three tours in southern Afghanistan as a Special Forces Detachment Commander and Operations Officer.

We discussed the cost of war in Afghanistan, and differing exit strategies.

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The Horrific Abuses of the War on Terror, and Why The American Christian Church Doesn’t Care

Stress positions and humiliation at Abu Ghraib. This is just the PG-rated stuff.

 “Let’s talk about waterboarding” former President George W. Bush said with an almost defiant shrug. There was Bush, sitting across from Matt Lauer in a recent interview, now bragging about his role in personally authorizing the waterboarding of key terrorist suspects- which we know occurred up to 183 times per person. “Because the lawyers said it was legal” and ‘keeping the nation safe’ were his favorite justifications, and what thuggish justifications they were to any person with even the most miniscule understanding of justice. And when the glib mockery of the rule of law was finished, and Bush had used every canard he could think of, Matt Lauer still had the look of surrender plastered all over his face, as if to say “I hope my questions didn’t offend you, sir.” Not that it matters all that much; the church, much like the rest of the nation, wasn’t really paying attention.

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Interview with a Special Forces Captain: On the American Reaction to War

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates & Soldiersphoto © 2009 The U.S. Army | more info (via: Wylio)
Tyler is currently a Captain studying for a Master’s Degree in Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School. He served a year in Iraq as an Infantry platoon leader in the 101st Airborne Division, and three tours in southern Afghanistan as a Special Forces Detachment Commander and Operations Officer. In the first of this multi-part interview series, Tyler and I discuss the American reaction to war. His last name has been intentionally omitted from this interview. 

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The Insanity of the Ground Zero Mosque Debate

The proposed location of the “ground zero” mosque in lower Manhattan.

I saw a Facebook group today that took irony to a whole new level. It read “I’m flying this [American] flag to oppose the Muslim worship center at Ground Zero.” There were then options to deny or to support their position by adding an American flag icon to your profile. Unfortunately there was no “I can’t believe you’re serious” button because I would have clicked that. The great irony is that the American flag represents the very thing this Facebook group is against.

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Stripping Citizenship in the Fight Against Terrorism?

101027-N-7364R-051photo © 2010 felicito rustique | more info (via: Wylio)
by Guest Contributor Brian Robinson

For those of you Americans reading this blog, this was the week that it was openly suggested, nay proposed, that your citizenship of the United States of America should be up for debate by politicians seeking reelection (politicians who serve at the pleasure of the citizens of The United States of America). If this doesn’t stir the hornet’s nest in your brain, I don’t know what will. The mere discussion of removing Constitutional protections now centuries old, based on one circumstance, should really strike all of us as an affront to our country and our sensibilities. What is the one circumstance being proposed? Read on.

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