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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Nuts are With Us

The last few weeks have brought the nuts out of the woodwork. Nuts of every race, color, creed, and ideology. And, I’m horrified to admit that more than a few of them were on my side. 

After Seal Team 6, in a covert operation, infiltrated a compound in Pakistan, we received the news that Osama Bin Laden had been found and killed. In an address that offered little more than passing thanks to the U.S. Military, President Obama stood up before the world and accepted both the responsibility and the credit for this mission and its success.

The uproar began almost immediately. There were those who were outraged when it came to light that Bin Laden was given a respectful burial at sea including passages from the Koran being read over his body. On one Facebook page I saw comments that ranged from people wishing he had been doused with lighter fluid and burned to those who wanted to see his head mounted on a pike. Some suggested that he should have been wrapped in pig skin, or that he should have been dismembered and tossed overboard to the sharks. One even went so far as to announce that all mini marts would be closed the next day due to a death in the family.

The reason for this sentiment is obvious - Bin Laden was the driving force behind the most heinous terrorist attacks on American soil. He was responsible for September 11, 2001. And if it were him dealing with American prisoners, we know that fairness and mercy would not play any part. Americans want him to pay for that. 

The fact of the matter is, he is paying for that. Justice belongs to the Lord. (In this case it may have been expedited by the American military.) 

But beyond that, Americans get upset when the bodies of soldiers are desecrated because it is treatment they do not deserve. If we were to act our vengeance out on his body, the next time someone defiled the body of an American soldier we would no longer be able to claim that the action was undeserved. As Americans we do not treat others the way that we do because it is what they deserve. We do it because we hold ourselves to a higher standard even when we’ve been struck down, hurt or crippled. After all, if we sink to their level and treat their bodies the way they would treat ours - or even the way we would like to sometimes - then we are no better than those we guard ourselves against. If we stoop to racist statements and actions (such as the comment about the mini marts), then how can we stand outraged when those who oppose us politically call us racists?

There were others who, as I did, took issue with the way that President Obama handled the situation. He gave a short statement concerning the event, and though he offered a brief thanks to the military, he basically took sole credit for the outcome. He did not, as some thought he should, offer thanks to George W. Bush or his administration for their tireless efforts in this particular task prior to his taking office.

Why should he have thanked George W. Bush? The information that ultimately led to American forces pinpointing Osama Bin Laden’s location, according to Obama’s own Leon Panetta, was procured using enhanced interrogation techniques. In short, it came from one of the three men who were water boarded at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Interestingly enough, during the Obama administration, no one was water boarded. In fact, by Presidential mandate, all enhanced interrogation was stopped. Which means that the information that led to Seal Team 6’s successful mission came from… the George W. Bush Administration. When Obama took office in 2009, all he did was allow the mission that had already begun (to search for Osama Bin Laden) to continue.

What concerned me further is the fact that many of the people who were upset with the way Obama handled things were making that information known in tones that were less than civil. A new rash of people referred to Obama as a Muslim himself, and suggested that he had only allowed Bin Laden to be killed to further the Muslim agenda. Some claimed that he had known where Bin Laden was for months but was waiting to make the kill when it could help him most in the favorability polls. Still others simply hurled profanities and epithets in the President’s direction, calling him things like “Obummer.” 

What they don’t realize is that the cameras are always on. Every time a conservative makes a comment that is racist, we are all painted with that brush, and rightfully so. Every time a Christian speaks out in anger and pain, we are all blanketed in the hatred they release. Every time they open their mouths and allow words of that caliber to slip free, they chip away at the credibility of those who choose to educate themselves rather than retaliate in anger. 

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