Reminders Change My Life

It is a shame, but I have to constantly be reminded of things that are pretty basic. Here is a short list:

  • Back up data (see a few posts ago)
  • I am a Christian first
  • War is bad

I am sure my wife has a much longer list.

I Am A Christian First

My Pastor Donnie recently reminded me of this and Monte’s blog reminded me again and re-enforced this idea. I have a tendency to be a Republican first. So instead of seeking a proper biblical or Christ-like response I look to Rush Limbaugh, the news and NPR BEFORE I look to the Bible, the church or to my brothers and sisters in Christ. And that is simply wrong. I am a follower of Christ FIRST and foremost. I just happen to be born in the US, so I am an American next and finally I align myself politically with many of the ideas of the Republican party-and that should be last on the list, or near last. That means I have to ask myself what would Jesus do? Or what is the right thing to do biblically? Or what is just? Or what is the least harmful response. Who is going to get hurt the most and why? And then ask questions regarding freedom, the US’s view of liberty and lastly, personal responsibility, private ownership and free trade and open commerce. I have failed to do this in the past. And for that I am sorry and I want to do better.  I want to change.

War is Bad, but Sometimes Justified

Although it is not always avoidable, war is bad. Killing people is bad. Stopping bad people from continuing to hurt and kill people is almost always the more right thing to do. It is just. it is right. And many times that looks like war. And sometimes it does not, sometimes there is diplomacy and embargoes and such. But war should be entered into cautiously, be very calculated and be decisive and short. So I have to ask those questions I was just telling myself to ask when talking about war. WWII was a war that, I believe, was justified entering into. Hitler=BAD, killing Jews=bad, attacking the US=bad, world domination=bad, stopping the Axis=good. Ending tyranny=good. Lives were sacrificed, but for a much greater good.

But what about the Iraq war? Well, I don’t have all the answers. I think many of the things that Saddam Hussein did to the people of Iraq were wrong. And so did a court from his country. He was tried and put to death. Saddam will not be hurting anyone else ever again. That is a good thing, it is a greater good. But invading Iraq? This war could have been avoided and should have been handled differently. Intelligence was bad, caution was thrown to the wind, calculations were inaccurate, planning was incomplete, and the war goes on and on with no decisive end in sight. I’d like to think that Bush’s intentions were good and that things have progressed badly. I am also not talking about “war on terror.” A declaration of war on atrocity and murder and oppression and evil is noble, justified and should be the goal of every country and every people-it is the greater good. All people of the world should be able to live in freedom and peace no matter their skin color, where they were born or what they believe.

But back to Iraq, OK, we did it, we are there, so now what? I don’t know. I think we should either gain control and establish peace and restoration or get the heck out. The first will take a whole lot more effort, people, and military might. I think dragging it out forever is NOT the answer and some of the rules of engagement are getting people on both sides killed. The latter will leave a country to fend for itself. And I believe that that will leave Iraq to be a breeding ground for hate groups like the Taliban and al Qeada to do what they have don in the past, initially come in, establish peace and appear to save the day and then make life miserable for the Muslim people, especially women and children.

This is change for me. Change is difficult, but it is good.



8 responses to “Reminders Change My Life

  1. you’re second and 3rd sentences are the most beautiful I’ve read in a while.

    Derin says: Thanks Joe! Miss you man!

  2. For me what is perhaps more disturbing than the fact that we invaded Iraq with no solid evidence that there were WMD’s, and the fact that part of the reason for invading Iraq was that Iraq was supposed to be connected to 9-11, which there is little evidence for-what is perhaps more disturbing than this is the way Bush has reacted to the mistakes that he’s made, and the way he reacted to having no evidence for either of these things. Instead of apologizing for making mistakes, he instead defends himself.

    On top of this, he consistently speaks of himself as being above the law. There was no basis for invading Iraq, so why should we believe that there is any basis for invading Iran. Was Saddam Husein a bad guy, yes, but why didn’t we work on that before, we didn’t we even consider his offer to step down.

    Frankly, I don’t trust this administration, they need to tell us the truth about why we went to war, and they need to tell us the truth about what really happened on 9-11, I don’t buy their story.

    Derin says: I am not quire as…pessimistic…negative…conspiratory…? I am not quite sure of the right word. I would like to think that Bush’s intentions were good, that his intel was bad (and that it was the same bad info that Clinton had) and that he had no vengeful plan to invade Iraq before 9/11. HOWEVER, I agree that Bush’s responses have been pretty terrible. He has mismanaged the war and his administration. And this build-up campaign to invade Iran? Well, it is VERY hard to continue to be supportive. I am disappointed to say the least.


  3. Turn off the Alex Jones Ben 🙂

    There are always going to be bad things that happen to our country, and that will only be heightened because we are the king of the hill so to speak.

    That being said, I am going to go all liberal, wussy-boy on you and say that I think we could end the war on terrorism with loaves of bread, and bricks for houses far faster than bullets and bombs.

    Are there religiously-fundamentalist terrorists that kill indiscriminately in the name of their God? Yes.

    Do we have a duty to protect the innocent?! Yes.

    Do we have a right to provoke conflict, and stir the pot!!! Ye… I mean No!

    Derin Says: VERY well-said! Meet the people’s basic needs and they just might like us! Blow them up and they just might not like us.


  4. Right now my view of Bush’s intentions is that either he is a Christian as far as he understands what a Christian is, and that his theology is wacked (or at least wacked up to me), or that he is not a Christain and he is using it as a political lever. Many conservatives that I know do not question Bush and do not feel entitled to because of his profession of faith. But I think it is our right and responsibility as citizens to question the president on his actions.

    It’d be cool to talk about 9-11 sometime. I have a lot of thoughts about it and would like to bounce ideas off of you. Maybe I’ll start a blog too sometime, it’s pretty cool.

    Derin says: And let’s be honest, there are many sincere and committed Christians with wacky theology. I think it is WAAY past time to question Bush on everything-as an American AND as a Christian. Not challenge, but hold him accountable. There has been too many mishandled things in the past. I think as Christians we have a duty to hold another Christian accountable as well-to hold them to a higher standard!

    LET’S TALK 9/11!! Go, right now, and create a free blog at! DO IT, NOW, GO! IT is easy and FREE!! And fun and therapeutic and well, you get the idea.


  5. I agree with David’s sentiments. If someone is angry at America, angry enough to do us harm, then we need to be honest both about how wrong that is, and about how much legitimacy there is to their anger. Our conquest in Iraq and our “collateral damage” in Iraq and Afghanistan are only going to make people more angry with us.

    Derin says: But weren’t they angry with us to begin with? Hence 9/11? I mean did we REALLY provoke 9/11? I just don’t see it! I can see anger NOW that we are “occupying” Iraq and now that we are there. But what did America do to the Muslim world (Because we all know that it is not one country) BEFORE 9/11? Other than merely not being Muslim (and supportive of Israel and acknowledging the Holocaust)? Is their anger justified? If so then why? Because the goal of al Qeada seems to have little to do with legitimate humanitarian issues or occupation and everything to do with Western, infidel influence, and not being predominately Muslim. If I am off-base I really want to know! I want to know if I have been brainwashed or am just misinformed. I am seeking truth on this issue.


  6. I cannot remember the details of certain events that the US (and Britain in certain instances) have done that harm other peoples, not just Muslims, but people all over the world.

    The just of it is that as the “top dog” we have used our power to push other people and countries around to get our way, even when this meant harming other people. There have been times where we have overthrown governments because that particular government did not benefit us. Two examples I can think of off the top of my head are operation Ajax where we worked to overthrow an Iranian democratically elected president because he wanted Iran to profit from their own oil reserves. Also, I don’t remember which county exactly, but there was a Latin American country where the president of the country was basically going to make it so that not as much of their own fruit would go to the US so that the people of that country could be fed more (because there were many hungry people in this country) The CIA spent millions to overthrow this president so that would not happen. And although I’m not against Israel per se, lets see how Americans would like it if their land was invaded so that a people group who used to live there could occupy it again, this is what the nation of Israel is. Does Israel have claim to this land because they used to live there, well if so then so does everyone else who has been displaced over the last 2000 years. It’s understandable to me why Palestinians are so upset about it.

    Americans also consume more than any other country, and one of the reasons we can do this is because we use our financial and political muscle to bring more food here, when the countries that we are importing from have starving people. Isn’t it weird that bananas are so much cheaper than apples, when we ship bananas from south America but we grow apples right here. (This is the reason for the free trade movement for products like bananas, coffee, and chocolate from other countries) It’s because we use our financial muscle to pay any price we want. We (we being not just the gov but also big American corporations) basically tell other countries that we will only pay a certain amount, and they have to accept because we have the most money. Yet the amount we pay for their products is not nearly enough for workers to make a living.

    America has done good in the world, there’s no denying that. But when these bad things get done and we push countries around, there’s no wonder why they’re angry with us. Does that justify violence on innocent people, no, but it does justify them being angry with us, and I feel like we need to address both issues.

    Derin says: I can admit when I have been brainwashed…Hopefully you can too. I simply don’t buy your (implied) argument that the Muslim extremist militants keep up with all of the strong-arming and questionable practices of the US in other countries outside of the Middle East and thought that that was so wrong that they decided to fly planes into the WTC to wake up America. That is just…well, more than absurd, it is totally false-and not at all what al Qeada claims. You are looking at all of the things that the US does wrong in other countries, getting angry and then channeling that anger through a militant Muslim. But let’s be honest about motivations. The question STILL stands: What, specifically are the reasons that al Qaeda attacked the US? They take responsibility and they site reasons. And let’s stay focused, I am not talking about all of the bad things that the US government or US corporations have done-because there are entire countries who’s economies are strong because they have found a product to sell to the US. I DO NOT THINK THAT THE US IS PERFECT. I think you have valid arguments and valid concerns-just not as it relates to the Middle East. But I also do not think that the tragedies of 9/11 are the fault of America and bad things that the US has done to the Middle East or the rest of the world.


  7. Fair enough. But before I discuss this topic futher, I think I’ll talk about 9-11 first. But I’ll post it on my blog page so I don’t take over yours with all these comments.

    Derin Says: I’ll be there!

  8. Also, I do think you’re correct in saying that their Islamic faith has something to do with it. I’m sure it would be different if we were Muslims too. However, I don’t think that’s the whole story.

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