News this week revealed that the Federal Labour Leader, Mr Kevin Rudd, visited a New York strip club back in 2003, where he also drank too much.

What do you think? How do you feel about this incident?

I have three responses:

  1. Disappointment. I have met Kevin personally, he has visited our church, and I have heard him speak publicly about his faith and Christian values. In light of this, it is disappointing to hear of this incident. It contradicts the persona Kevin has portrayed and attracts criticism of hypocrisy. People, especially leaders who are Christians, are expected to ‘practice what they preach’. When they don’t there is a credibility crisis that occurs. It’s disappointing.
  2. Compassion. If each of us had everything we’ve ever said or done displayed for public perusal, how would we feel? Humiliated, most likely. The truth is that each one of us, including me, have done things that we regret doing. All of us are made of the same stuff. We all, including Christians, have the same sinful tendencies. We make mistakes. None of us can point the finger at others. Rebels, respectable or religious – none of us are totally innocent. I feel compassion for Kevin.
  3. A healthy fear of God. We reap what we sow – not immediately but eventually. What is done in private will be made known in public. Fear of God is a healthy awareness that he is watching and evaluating everything that we say and do. When you realise this, you get smart (Proverbs tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom)! May each of us live each day with greater integrity. Let there be an integration of what we portray externally to people and who we really are internally when no one is looking. I’m challenged to fear God more.

Will this incident affect Mr Rudd’s chances in the upcoming federal election? Only time will tell. 

29 thoughts on “Kevin Rudd – When Our Past Comes Back to Haunt Us

  1. I like your blog Mark, well done. It’s interesting to see what you think about these kind of issues. You keep yourself relevant to today with technology (eg blogs), and I love how you apply these kinds of communicative devices in church too. Keep up the great work, you rock.
    Christian Ayling
    ps. Also love the props you use in church -LOL

  2. Thanks for helping me change my mind. My response was stronger than disappointment, I was angry. I get annoyed that again and a again Christianity, and therefore, Jesus, get a bad rap. However after reading on where you talk about compassion and our status…I realized that I needed to change my attitude. Thanks for helping me pull my head in and remember that I am called to pray for our political leaders not to condemn them.

  3. Hi Pastor Mark! Thanks heaps for this blog – I’ll definitely be checking in to read it again!
    Interesting issue about Mr Rudd. Thank Heavens we serve a God of grace and mercy. It’ll be interesting to see where this issue leads!

  4. Hi Mark, great idea with the blog! (We have a family blog ourselves).
    Similarly, I was disappointed for him but I guess his openness to admit his error and his not keeping it from his wife, were positives.

  5. Just from listening to the radio about this, it does not seem that this has affected Mr Rudd’s image in a negative way. In fact, a lot of people reckon this makes him more “down-to-earth”. It also has given a lot of businesses have jumped on the bandwagon of this media frenzy and use it as a form of advertising.
    But as Mark has said, only time will tell how it truly affects his chances for the election.

  6. I’ve been quite interested in this issue as well when it first surfaced and in the beginning, I was rather disappointed because another “high profile” christian’s name has been dragged through the mud. I’ve been keeping an eye out on further news on this issue and this might make for an interesting read:
    Now, whether the club owner actually remembers the incident (seeing as its 4 years ago) or not, or whether his story is credible or just the Labor party going into damage control, I think that the benefit of the doubt should be given to Kevin Rudd. Let me first say that I am a Liberal supporter through and through, so I’m not trying to support the Party he represents, rather, the fact that he’s a christian, and one willing to come out as one in public office.
    As previously mentioned, another positive is that he does not attempt to justify or explain his actions, but admitted that he was “a bit of a goose”.
    I suppose this is similar to an incident that has just happened in my Life Group. A life group intern of mine happened to walk into a Club X store thinking it was an internet cafe. He walked as soon as he realised that it was not exactly what he was after. Now, if someone had seen him coming out of that place, what would be their first conclusion? I would like to think that he (and Kevin Rudd) would be given the benefit of the doubt here.

  7. A pretty fair comment, Mark. One may perhaps understand a young person doing this but a mature man aspiring to political office doing so and according to his account being too under the influence to remember what he did or didn’t do is worrying. It suggest we need to see him testewd more before he becomes PM.

  8. A pretty fair comment, Mark. One may perhaps understand a young person doing this but a mature man aspiring to political office doing so and according to his account being too under the influence to remember what he did or didn’t do is worrying. It suggest we need to see him testewd more before he becomes PM.

  9. Well you said the right thing.
    My biggest grievance from this is the way Rudd deliberately rode this one into pushing for higher votes.
    Everyone on both sides of the fence knew that this was just going to help Rudd – I’ve chatted to some Liberal candidates for the upcoming election about it and they knew the only thing they could do to avoid this becoming a slaughter for the Liberals was to just shut up. And that’s just what happened.
    Having spoken to a journo from The Age (a Rudd supporter) about this, he was in agreeance as well. He was gleeful about the prospects of what this might do to Rudd’s ratings.
    The prolonged media tour was a bit excessive and while I’m sure he is sorry, using it as a vehicle to push for more votes is far too cynical for my liking.

  10. Thanks for the honest comments Mark. I was very disappointed in the tragic media circus that surrounded the incident. After all, on one side of the Parliament we have a Christian leader who went to a strip club drunk 4 years ago. On the other side we have a Christian leader (Costello) ridiculing him for it, and playing it up in the hope of gaining some political points from it. I was raised on the sermon on the mount: judge not that you be not judged, for with the judgement you give, that will be the judgement you get. I am sad that the Liberal future PM (Costello)- a sincere Christian supposedly – thinks it is appropriate to ridicule and mock a brother in the faith. I thought we were meant to NOT rejoice in the failings of your brother. hmmm.. Christians and politics. So much compromise.
    One last thought. I liked what one of our senators said: Rudd 4 years ago, drunk, went into a strip club. But Howard, 4 years ago, sober, took Australia into Iraq. Who committed the greater moral failure? The sin with the greatest consequences? Nearly 1 million civilians are now dead in Iraq since the invasion….. [And Rudd did confess the next day, and admit he was an idiot and did the wrong thing. Howard still justifies the war….]
    It might be good advice to keep this in perspective and not let it blur us from the real issues of the day.

  11. Yet Jim, you were a candidate for a party that spends nearly its whole time mocking people you just called brothers in the faith – Howard and Costello. Planks, specks and eyes, brother.
    I don’t want to get in a flame war with you but don’t you see this position as contradictory.
    Also the Iraq death count is at 76,000 max I think you got the American dead count confused with Saddam’s there mate.
    Sorry for getting sidetracked on your blog Mark but the Greens candidate didn’t leave a website for me to go comment him at.
    (PS. If you want to reply maybe come to my site so we don’t hog Marks’ comment space! If you’re wondering about that name, yes I am Jon Newton’s son. Cheers.)

  12. Being a former Greens candidate doesn’t make Jim a sinner. Mat, I am not saying that you said that Jim was a sinner. I just want the readers of this blog to be clear about it, just in case.
    In fact, I know quite a few Greens supporters who are great Christians. On the other hand, I know supporters of Christian parties who do not demonstrate the kind of love and grace that God wants us to follow (although most of them are great and loving Christians too). (But it doesn’t mean that you, Mat, are not gracious either.)
    Getting back to Mark’s comments. Once again Mark has made good points. I am disappointed by Kevin Rudd’s behaviour, but at the same time I am aware of my own shortcomings in many other ways. I am not here to judge him because of one thing he did. Let’s look at each party’s policies and vote with sound judgement.
    But I have to say that I am disappointed by the Howard government too. For instance, it was determined not to say sorry to the indigenous people regarding the stolen generation. It was argued by some that this generation is not accountable for the sin of the previous generations. But isn’t it biblical for people to confess and repent on behalf of the sins of their nation? Didn’t Daniel confess the sins of his own nation (and his ancestors’ sins), although he was a righteous man? Don’t we find similar prayers in the Psalms? If Rudd’s visit to a strip club is such a major concern for us, I think we should be much more concerned when our government fails to say sorry to the indigenous people who have lived in the land for such a long time. Why? Because reconciliation is right at the heart of the gospel. Confession of sin is important to a people who claim to be “people of God”.
    Here is another thing for us to note. When the Howard government came to office, our Overseas Aid level was around 0.32% of national income. It was dropped to 0.25% during the years 2000-2003. The projected level in 2010/11 now stands at around 0.34%. This is much lower than the 0.7% target promised by the nations of the world in 2000, including Australia – that is, the well-known Millennium Development Goals.
    Five countries have already reached the 0.7% target. About 11 developed countries have set definite goals to reach the target by 2015 or earlier. They include the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Greece. (Labor has committed to 0.5%, which is still not sufficient.)
    In light of the fact that 30,000 children die each day because of poverty-related causes, there is a moral imperative for our government to act. I am disappointed that the Howard government is doing so little (and the Labor commitment is still not good enough).
    This is not to say that the 0.7% aid level will automatically reduce global poverty. Aid has to be well-targeted in order to be effective.
    My point is that there are a lot of moral issues to be considered in politics. The church needs to be informed and dig deeper in order to truly embody the values of the kingdom.

  13. I agree with your assessment of the situation Mark. Rudd has obviously made a mistake and who are we to judge, as we all have made mistakes. Saying this I can’t see how Rudd can call himself a Christian yet do something like this. Like in the Bible it says you will know someone by the fruit they produce and the fruit he produced in New York doesn’t seem to line up with what he should be producing as he is a Christian. I know that John Howard also calls himself a Christian and I just couldn’t see him getting drunk and attending a strip club whilst on a taxpayer funded trip.
    Also re:”Jim’s” comments I agree with Mat’s assessment of this situation both here and even more so on his blog. I don’t understand how you can justify using this blog to almost blatantly advertise for Rudd (and the Greens) and belittle and accuse someone who God has placed as a leader in this country of sinning, whether you agree with him and his policies or not…

  14. (Thank you for your response, Mat.)
    Let’s turn to the Scriptures. Since in Mark’s blog there have been several comments about Pharisees and hypocrites, let’s turn to Matthew 23:23, which says, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”
    This is the fourth of the seven woes against the Pharisees. Carson highlights that the “chiastic structure” in the passage points to the importance of the 4th woe in verse 23. He also says that the “weightier matters” (ie. “more important matters” in the NIV) here probably refers to the “more central” or “most decisive” matters of the Law. Here “the basic failure the Pharisaic teachers is laid bare”.
    The weightier matters of the Law are justice, mercy and faithfulness – a clear echo to passages such as Micah 6:8. As Christians we should urge our politicians to do justice, show mercy and walk humbly before God.
    Let us not be sidetracked by Rudd’s personal moral deficiencies. (And who of us is without sin?) Let us focus on the justice issues.
    In my last comments I commented on two justice issues – issues that I believe are very much in God’s heart. Any one wants to comment? What do you think, Mark?

  15. Siu, great comment again. Have enjoyed your comments and Mark’s blogs. The great thing about blogs isn’t just what’s written on them, it’s the new community that it generates. It allows users to participate in the discussion! As my Dad ALWAYS says : “oh, so postmodern!”
    Ok talking about your points:
    1. Reconciliation: sure, it’s a Biblical viewpoint but we’re in a secular world. I believe Sorry should be said for that reason but also just to show how little it means. Too many people hang their hats on it as if it’s a key issue. I have strong feelings about our position as a nation and the way the Aboriginal population has been allowed to have such a low life expectancy (among other things.) However, every second on this topic, every dollar spent talking about ‘sorry’ diverts away from the areas that truly need it.
    2. Justice and the Law. From what I understand of the time, in simple terms the Pharisees were the religious rulers but the Romans were political rulers. So what Jesus was asking of the Pharisees, he asks of us, the church, not elected government. Once again I believe arbitrary figures such as the 0.7% is the distraction here – although it’s disappointing that we’re slipping away from it, if that commitment was never made, and responsibility never shouldered, we’d probably have seen far more action in the business arena. We can’t sit back and make demands of our government when we eat Cadbury and Nestle chocolate, which is produced off the back of slave labor in Cote D’Ivoire. (sp?) (Instead we target Nike, who are actually very respected employers in many of the countries they work within. Diversions again!)
    I would say the biggest moral changes in society in the past two centuries have been delivered through three mechanisms – the legislature (eg. Abolition), the marketplace (eg. Industrial revolution, green recyclable bags, sexual revolution) and the media (eg Luther King).
    You can’t legislate against poverty so it’s really down to the marketplace. For example, imagine if there was a certain logo (such as Heart Foundation logo) and every time you purchased a product or service tagged with it, 1% would be given to charity. If as consumers we responded to that and rewarded businesses who participated, the upheaval would be gigantic! For example, if just Woolworths LTD gave 1% of its income to charity, based on old figures that would be $290m. They would get $87mil of that back on tax so in reality they’d be donating – and this brings a smile – .7% Contrast this with World Vision Australia’s income in… 2005 I think.. of $160m.
    Would Woollies donate that much to charity? I don’t know, but they were willing to invest $520m in Big W two years ago to drop prices and bring more customers through the door.
    We as consumers must actually shoulder responsibility, write letters, start schemes. I never thought those green bags in supermarkets would take off like they did. It shows that the Australian people are capable of good, even if only when if it’s laid out for them on a platter. Who needs the government to do this when WE can!

  16. WOW!!! Your blog sure gives voice to the people Mark! 🙂 Good work my dear brother!
    I agree with your assessment of Kevin’s situation. Well said! People can’t change the mistakes they’ve made in the past, but hopefully they can learn from them… and NOT to do them again! As Jesus said, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone…” We need to pray for our politicians and leaders, so that God’s will be done.
    God bless you abundantly.
    Love in Christ, Marija

  17. Thank you, Mat. You have raised some very important points. It seems to me that you (Mat) and I are not disagreeing with each other. Here I simply want to clarify some of my points.
    I would think that we need a “both-and” (not an “either-or”) answer. (And probably that’s what you are saying to some degree – am I right?)
    In other words, we as consumers need to take responsibility, and so do businesses (that’s why Corporate Social Responsibility is an important thing and is already taken on board by some corporations). But at the same time urging the government to reach the 0.7% target is absolutely important. Wilberforce is a good example of that impact.
    Similarly, reconciliation is important, but we also need to make sure that we spend money effectively. Of course this is an incredibly complex issue, but as Christians we need to face it boldly, for I think it is at the heart of the very gospel that we passionately believe in. Yes, we live in a secular society, but that doesn’t mean that we should not exercise our democratic rights. The Old Testament prophets were at the forefront of confronting the religious and political leaders of their days regarding injustice and lack of mercy. And Jesus did the same thing – e.g. see end of Luke 20; and of course in Matthew 23, the passage I used previously.
    When we read the Bible I think it is absolutely important to understand the social and cultural contexts. In the ancient world there was effectively no separation between religion and politics. Thus in Jesus’ days the Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law were not simply “religious leaders”. They exerted (at least some) influence on the politics of their days. In fact, we can think of them (at least some of them) as a religious movement with a political agenda (ie. to overthrow the Romans and/or keep their socio-religious identity as a people living in a Gentile world). This is especially so in the case of the Scribes in Jerusalem. The Temple system was indeed a religious-political system.
    Similarly, the Roman emperor was hailed as the “son of god”. And there was a Roman goddess of justice, for the Romans prided themselves as an empire of justice.
    I think Jesus – through his words and actions – challenged both the first-century Jewish and the Roman religious-political systems.
    Anyway, as I said, it seems to me that you (Mat) and I are not disagreeing with each other. Here I am simply clarifying some of my points.
    Going back the Rudd’s embarrassing visit to a strip club, my point is that both major parties have moral issues to answer, especially in terms of the “weightier matters of the Law” according to Jesus’ own words. And the warning in Matthew 23:23 cannot be more severe.

  18. Siu Fung;
    Yes I think we agree with each other on the basic principles but ascribe differing levels of important to this one.
    May Mark’s blog continue as a cool forum. Thank God he’s dropped his posting levels back, it was getting too much! He could have timestamped for 2 weeks ahead and just left it for a while as well! 🙂

  19. Good on ya Mark. You truly are a ‘Man of God. I appreciate your comments on most of these issues, as it’a a balanced view. I guess that’s why God’s chosen you to lead the largest church in Victoria. It’s been very interesting reading the above comments.
    Jim Reither, I’m so disappointed in you and the Greens. I was a student of yours at Harvest Bible College many years ago.
    I truly do not understand how you can be a part of the Greens.
    Anyway, God Bless you all.
    Sashi R.

  20. Wow… some interesting discussion. Jim Reiher seems to be loved or hated by Christians hey!
    Matt: the non-Christians in the Greens (and all parties) dont live by Christian teaching like “love your enemies” “dont judge” etc. But implying that Jim is a hypocrite for the actions of his non-Christian colleagues is just wrong. If Jim does mud slinging at other Christians of other parties, then you have a point. But I have never seen him do that. (Maybe I have missed something you have witnessed?)
    Re the number of civilian deaths in Iraq – by quoting the absolute lowest end quote out there, are you really saying that 76,000 civilian deaths is acceptable in our fight against terror? When less than 200 Aussies were killed in Bali our nation felt such pain. Imagine 200 deaths every 4th day for 4 years…. Just to get to a “mere” 76,000 or so….
    The higher end estimate is about 1 million. The lower end is your figure. It is probably more likely somewhere in the middle. But either way, even “just” 76000 is way way distressing and evil, we are a part of it.
    Neil: Jim never mentioned the Greens, let alone promoted them on Mark’s bolg. What are you getting at? I happen to know that the source of the Senator quote is a Greens senator, but he never said that. You are the one who has introduced the Greens into the discussion. I thought Jim was being cautious and non-confrontational by NOT mentioning them.
    And Sashi: you have just told the world (well, those of us who love Mark’s blog site) that you think Jim is a disappointment. Have you tried to talk to him? Have you tried to understand his heart? Maybe he is in the Greens to be salt and light in a difficult arena. Maybe we should pray for him (or at least talk to him). Not judge him. But hey: if you talk to him and then conclude he is a hypocitical judgmental jerk, then its cool to be disappointed. (Somehow I dont think you would reach that conclusion if you take the time to find out).
    Go Mark! Thanks for the blog site. Most thought provoking.

  21. Sashi, I also have had the privilege of sitting under Jim’s brilliant teaching at Tabor. I agree with Ken…talk to him and hear his heart. I don’t necessarily agree with his political stance but I know he has ‘a heart toward God’ and thinks through issues very deeply before reaching conclusions.
    How funny that Mark’s blog has become a forum for people to chat about Jim!!!

  22. Good comments, Ken and Sally. We need to ask the right questions and use some common sense in these matters.
    Let’s turn to the Bible once again – ie. Matthew 23:23. The “more important matters of the law” are justice, mercy and faithfulness. As I mentioned above, the Howard government reduced Overseas Aid significantly (and is now increasing it gradually – though well below the 0.7% internationally-agreed level).
    That is a big justice-mercy issue. Interestingly the Australian Greens Party policy says that they want to achieve the 0.7% level by 2010. (I just checked their website this morning. And please don’t say unkind words to me because I mention the Greens. I am not promoting the Greens here, but am simply stating the facts. I mention the Greens because it has been mentioned in this blog before. Feel free to check the other parties’ policies.)
    So, as it seems, the two major parties have to work harder on the “more important matters of the law”.
    By the way, has anyone watched the movie Amazing Grace? It’s really worth watching, especially in light of Christian political engagement! Christians talk about the amazing grace of God a lot, but we don’t really know God’s grace unless we understand God’s mercy and justice for every imager-bearer of God.

  23. Great comments Siu Fung. Your challanges about global poverty and our level of giving are very compelling.
    Apparantly to raise our current level of 0.3% up to 0.7%, in dollar terms, that would mean about 4 billion more a year than we currently give (on 2006 figures – I am working with approximations).
    About an extra $4 billion.
    You know, we get budget surpluses every year, of about 12-14 billion.
    How easy would it be to use $4 billion of that and immediately lift our giving to the recommended level for a county of our affluence!
    In fact, why not give it even if we dont get big budget surpluses?
    Jesus saw a rich man giving a generously large gift into the temple coffers, and a poor widow give a very small gift. He commended the woman for giving out of her need. He said the rich man gave out of his excess, and it was not as meaningful a gift in the sight of God.
    So …. from a Christian point of view … to give out of our excess is not really very commendable. (Of course, it is still better than not giving: even if our motives are thin, at least it does get used for good!). But if we really want to live like Christ calls us to, then we should support giving out of the main income of the nation, and not just give “only if we have lots left over”.
    In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man let Lazarus eat the crumbs that fell from his table. The rich man did not hurt him, or kick him, or throw him outside. He actually let him have the crumbs. I wonder if we are a bit like that. We spend so much on ourselves, and then we give the crumbs to the poor. …. Not a nice comparison, but maybe one we should think about more.
    At the end of the day, we could give another 4 billion a year to the poor without much effort. It might not be the most spiritual way to give, (out of our abundance) but at least it would do good in the world.

  24. WOW – this post sure got some interesting discussion going!!! I’m glad we’re all taking the time to share what we feel on these issues AND the time to listen to how others feel. That can only benefit everyone. I believe that both moral, ethical and social issues are all important for us as Christians to be informed on and to speak out on appropriately. Let’s continue to be “salt and light” – but “wise as serpents and harmless as doves” in our approach. Mark

  25. Thank you, Mark, for your generous comment. I am really glad that we are all talking and listening.
    And, Ken, thank you so much for your comments. I am so glad that you referred to the Bible – and you did it well.
    My concern is that although we say that we believe in the Bible, we don’t really spend time to dig deeper and allow it to speak to us. This is a challenge for me personally.
    Your figures on overseas aid are about right (as far as I know). Indeed whether we have a budget surplus or not, we should still give more to those living in poverty and injustice, for we are among the richest people in the world! But of course it is not just about “more aid” money, but “better aid” – ie. well-targeted aid that puts the interests of the poor first.
    If we are disappointed by Rudd’s visit to a strip club, why don’t we get upset by our disappointing overseas aid level?
    Early last year I wrote an article entitled “Competing priorities? Evangelism, Holy Living and Serving the Poor”. Here is the link if anyone is interested.
    Siu Fung

  26. Ken – I never said he was advertising for the Greens. Although I do know him to be a Green’s man he was blatently disrespecting our leader (whom God tells us we should respect, regardless of the party they belong to) and basically advertising against John Howard or for Labor (with which Greens are obviously affiliated). Also, if you read Mat’s blog, most of those 76,000 people have probably been killed by insurgents – not Coalition troops. Even if it is 76,000 people killed by Coalition troops (which is a terrible loss regardless), thats one third of the amount of people Saddam killed if you average deaths/day. So 2/3 people Saddam would have killed are not being killed because the troops invaded Iraq… I personally think thats a good thing don’t you?

  27. Hi Neil
    Thanks for clarifying a bit more.
    If all leaders are put in place by God (as Romans 13 says) and if that was written during a time when there was an absolute dictator Emperor…. then does that mean ALL leaders are appointed by God, and we must be subject to them – even bad ones? It seems to say that doesn’t it? So, if Rudd wins the next election, will you say the same things about him as you are saying about Howard? Will you respect him as much as you do Howard? Will you gently rebuke people who suggest that the leader of the opposition might make a better PM?
    And what about Saddam? When he was in power? Wasn’t it going against Romans 13 to send in armies to overthrow and execute him? Even if he was an evil dictator? When do you decide that Romans 13 does not apply and we can ignore it? (Why dont we overthrow other evil rulers around the world?) I actually think we are meant to apply it all the time – don’t you? Even apply it to evil dictators, just as Paul had to in his day, and apply it to good leaders, and to everything in between.
    Regarding the statistics of the dead in Iraq. The 76,000 being used is the absolutely lowest estimate being made by the most pro-the-war people out there. Just as Jim’s 1 million is the most extreme number cited by anti-the-war people. The truth is probably more around the 1/2 million mark. And that is much worse that Saddam did in a 4 year period. But it trivilises the debate to say “Saddam killed more than the war has killed so the war is ok”. Or “Saddam killed less than the was has killed, so the war is bad”. In the end, war is bad. Jesus did not teach us the way of war for spreading the gospel. That was the philosophy of the Crusaders in the 1100’s and 1200’s. No. War is tragically evil and from a realistic point of view, it must be seen as a last resort when every other avenue has been exhausted. Even then it is a horrible tragedy still. And still an evil (even if the so called “lesser” evil sometimes).
    Does it really matter if anti-American forces have killed more or less of the total dead count? If we were not ther (our whole side, not just Aussies), – if we were not there, Iraq would not be the magnet for every anti-western fanatic to come to, and to blow up bombs and try to kill Americans. It would not be the disaster it is now.
    Some say that Russia was better off under Communist dictators, because since “freedom from communism” the place has deteriorated into a mafia-like run mess. In a different way, some are saying the Iraq was better off under Saddam – since “liberation” tens of thousands (probably hundreds of thousands) of civilians have died, and life is completely unpredictable. Nothing is stable. People live in fear. Under Saddam you could survive if you stayed “non-political”. Under the occupation, no one knows if they will be killed by a bomb any day.
    It breaks my heart to think that those of us who say we follow Jesus, are so quick to justify war and the deaths of so many civilians – as if it is for “the greater good” (whatever that is). The call of Christ is to live a holy life like him. And at the end of the day, Jesus did not teach us to kill our enemies. He taught us to love them and to bless them.
    I have raved on long enough.

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