Selective Justice

Loves to see
Justice done
On somebody else
– Bruce Cockburn

I’m not opposed to the death penalty. I think it supported throughout the Holy Writ, in both the Old and New Testaments. I would imagine that until the liberalism of the modern age, it was universally practised throughout Christendom, by Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant rulers alike. I would be interested to read any historical documentation to the contrary.

I think Saddam deserved to die. He perpetrated heinous acts upon countless people.

I don’t buy the conspiracy theories that say the US had him killed to keep him from talking. There’s not really anything he could say that hasn’t been suggested by bloggers, if not the MSM. Everyone knows he killed thousands of people using gas supplied by the US. He was tight with former US administrations. They supplied him with what he needed to kill Persians. As long as he killed Persians, they weren’t so worried that he killed some of his own people. But that’s just geopolitics. It didn’t involve the present US administration, so no one is particulary worried about it. He didn’t have anything new to say.

Saddam would be alive today, but for one foolish mistake: the invasion of Kuwait. If there had been no invasion, there would have been no Gulf War, no sanctions to violate, no excuse for another Gulf War. Otherwise, no one in Washington would have cared about his human rights violations. There are human rights issues all over the world. Lots of people die because of lots of repressive regimes and no one raises an eyebrow. No one in Washington, no one in the MSM, no one except maybe an obscure blogger with an axe to grind.

If you are hoping to become a vicious evil dictator (or if any current vicious evil dictators happen to come across this blog), let me give you some advice. Don’t do anything that requires the US to take action against you. If you invade another country, the UN is gonna get all irritated (well, except for the Russians and the Chinese, who have made a regular business of invading other countries and getting away with it) and they will have to send a force to evict you. The Russians and Chinese, after opposing everyone else in the Security Council (again, for obvious reasons), aren’t going to send any troops. That means the Americans will have to take charge and provide all the money and manpower.

Otherwise, the US couldn’t give one excretal deposit what you do to your own people. If you have ethnic groups you don’t like, genocide is always an option. Washington won’t blink a collective eye. No one would even know about Kim Jong Il starving all of his people if he wasn’t trying to build a nuclear missle.

Yes, Saddam should have just kept to killing Kurds and left Kuwait alone. He’d still be on the other end of the rope.


5 Responses to Selective Justice

  1. greg says:

    Yes, David. I’m with you all the way on this. I’m just a little taken aback at how cynical we’ve both become.


  2. Steve Hayes says:

    Saints Boris and Gleb.
    Source: Fedotov 1960:104.
    Boris and Gleb differed from Greek saints, yet were the first ones canonized by the new Russian Church. Unlike Greek saints they were laymen, not monks, priests, martyrs or ascetics. And the important feature of their sainthood was the character, not of their lives, but of their deaths. The act of non-resistance is a national Russian feature, an authentic religious discovery of the newly-converted Russian Christians.

    A reflection of this evangelical light can be seen in Prince Vladimir’s doubts about the legitimacy of the execution of
    robbers. The bishops who said he must execute robbers would hardly have required from his sons a useless sacrificial death.

    Transformation of Prince Vladimir.
    Source: Zernov 1978:7.
    When prince Vladimir of Kiev was baptized, his life was transformed. Previously he had had little restraint or self-control. His baptism radically changed his behaviour, but he did not become morose or retiring, but helped the poor, the orphaned, and the sick. His court retained its fame for banquests as it had in heathen days, but instead of inviting the powerful and the rich, Vladimir invited the hungry and the afflicted. He built homes for the aged and the invalids, and his attitude to criminals changed radically. He sought to
    abolish capital punishment, and was convinced that torture and execution had no place in a Christian community. Several outstanding rulers followed his example – Prince Vladimir Monomakh (d. 1125), the Empress Elizabeth d. 1761) and Alexander II (d. 1881).

  3. Dave says:

    Thank you for those examples, Steve.

    I still think that four examples is the exception rather than the rule, but it does temper my use of the term “universally”.

  4. “Holy Writ,” sir, as you call it, “supports” a lot of things. Oh, for example, killing big bullies with a stone thrown from a thong of leather . . . it opposes many things, too. SSo, how do you pick and choose those things out of “Holy Writ” that you will agree to “support” or “be against” yourself? Probably like most everyone else, they are things that you would “support” or “be against” ANYWAY of your own volition-“Holy Writ” or not!

  5. Dave says:


    Thank you for your comment and your inquiry into the field of biblical hermeneutics. Of course I support everything that is in the Bible. However, Christians have different methods and criteria for determining how different parts of the Bible apply today. For someone looking in from outside Christianity, this may appear a bit confusing. Maybe as confusing as your liberal use of quotation marks.

    As an Orthodox Christian, I would try to understand the Scriptures in the light of the Holy Tradition of the Church. Holy Tradition does not speak to ever single matter – that would be impossible – nor does it necessitate complete agreement across Church on all matters. There are a variety of views on various matters within the Orthodox Church. For example, Prince Vladimir of Kiev and Steve Hayes might disagree with me on capital punishment.

    I agree that there are many things about which I would agree with many of those who are not Christians nor have any place for any understanding of the Bible in their worldview. I’m sure you are aware that this agreement bears no logical relationship to whether or not the Scriptures are valid.

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