28 May 2011

The morality of the assassination of Osama bin Laden

An Anglican bishop's thoughts on the assassination of Osama bin Laden.

Bishop Alan’s Blog: Moral relativism is not enough...:
It follows from this basic theology from page 1 of the Bible, that if I commit an act, like a lynching, that denies the image of God in another human being I not only act out my own fallen nature (thus losing the moral high ground), but I also behave in a way that compromises my own humanity — thank God he gave it as an absolute that no human being can take away, not even me.

The moral relativism of some journalists about this (“Normally, of course, we should respect life, but he didn't so we don't have to”) is a real slippery slope, morally. It betokens not Conservatism, but Pelagianism — one of the oldest heresies in the book. They must not be surprised if bishops, including the Archbishop, do not collude with their Pelagian views.

I'm not sure how Bishop Alan concludes that it is Pelagian, and I find it difficult to connect the dots. But the moral relativism he ascribes to the jounalists (“Normally, of course, we should respect life, but he didn't so we don't have to”) is the same slippery slope on which Western theologians who argue for a "just war" are to be found. Western legalism subscribes to the notion of "justifiable homicide". There is almost an obsession with justification. Whether we kill people by war, assassination, or abortion, there is the need to justify it.

The main consequence of this is that we can kill people and feel righteous about it, and see no need to repent, because our act was "justified".

But there can be no peace without repentance, as Doestoevsky showed in his novel Crime and punishment.


Anonymous said...

Genesis 9:6 "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man."

According to the Tanach, God destroyed the world with a flood because everyone was violent. Then after the flood, God gave this instruction to Noah as part of his covenant with all Noah's descendants (everyone). It basically is God's version of the oft used phrase "police your own ranks" which is directed by Christians to Muslims and by Atheists to Christians (e.g. concerning Camping and his crazy end of world prophecies). Basically God is saying to humanity "Police your own ranks. Don't let violence get out of control to the point where I have to step in. Create a governmental structure that meets out death to murderers. Otherwise, I might just have to destroy the world with a flood again."

Steve Hayes said...


God gave Noah the rainbow sign
No more water, but the fire next time.


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