Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The discussion of Syria

On the day that we remember such a life changing and heart breaking day in history, I find it interesting that the US is once again in a debate over whether to involve itself in Middle Eastern affairs; namely, the case of Syria. Of course, the circumstances are completely different. No one attacked us. No Americans died. But many people did die. An act of terrorism occurred somewhere else, to others.

Did you watch President Obama’s speech last night? I didn’t watch it – it aired at 4 A.M. over here – but I did read the transcript. If you didn’t watch, you can read the transcript HERE. I think it is a very impressive speech. He seemed to fully address the public’s concerns and pulled in strongly persuasive historical context for the path he is proposing.  If I didn’t have my own inner turmoil about the situation, this speech might have convinced me to support his stance.

But as a Christian, what do you do in a case like this? How do you decide what the right decision is?

I completely believe that the use of chemical weapons is atrocious and an act like what was seen in Syria should not receive a blind eye. But does that justify deadly, retaliatory action?

President Obama’s speech had some good lines in it.

“…it’s also a danger to our security. Let me explain why. If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons. As the ban against these weapons erodes, other tyrants will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gas and using them. Over time, our troops would again face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield, and it could be easier for terrorist organizations to obtain these weapons and to use them to attack civilians.”

Do you believe this? Do you feel unsafe as an American in the US, or are you fearful? I personally have never feared for my safety while living in the US.

“America is not the world’s policeman. Terrible things happen across the globe, and it is beyond our means to right every wrong, but when the  modest effort and risk we can stop children from being gassed to death and thereby make our own children safer over the long run, I believe we should act. That’s what makes America different. That’s what makes us exceptional. With humility, but with resolve, let us never lose sight of that essential truth.”

This sounds really great. Very patriotic. Do you believe America isn’t “the world’s policeman”? Because I have a feeling more Americans than not probably think we are the world’s policeman. Do you think much about America’s role in the rest of the world (whether you’re American or another nationality)?

And lastly…

“The burdens of leadership are often heavy, but the world’s a better place because we have borne them.”

This statement, I believe, is true of life in general. I am challenged to be a better leader in my own life, in small ways and big ways. And on a day we remember the deaths and sacrifice of so many, how to you make a decision based on others deaths, and a decision that will almost certainly result in further loss of life?

What are your thoughts? On the situation or on President Obama’s speech. Please keep the comments calm, respectful, and tame. :)


  1. Elizabeth, I thought you might post your position on the matter.

    For me, this situation, and any others that involve violence or war, seem to have no Christian resolution. It seems hypocritical for anyone to say "Now that you're killing people with chemical weapons, it's not ok", as if it were ok to kill people with other weapons- which is exactly what we'd be doing to stop this. Killing is killing (sin is sin). I'm not someone who is for the death penalty- no matter the circumstances. God allows EVERYONE the opportunity to repent and it is God's judgement that will stand in the end. We have ways of protecting people without killing others.

    This is a terrible thing and a terrible situation and I hope that it does get resolved and the weapons are turned over, as President Obama said they are waiting to verify. That said, I have no probable resolution to suggest otherwise. Would anyone be willing to sacrifice their OWN lives to go in and try to remove the weapons, without violence? Doubtful.

    Leaving this anonymous.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Anonymous! That's a good point: we don't promote a fit of rage in response to hurt feelings (for example), so why should we allow sin as a response to sin here? Always thought I'd enjoy being president, but perhaps not...such a tough job.


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