President Obama is in a difficult position, attacked from both sides for his changing position on Syria. Should the United States intervene militarily or not? What are the positive results and unintended consequences of our action or inaction? What if we help the rebels overthrow Assad, but the Muslim Brotherhood or Al Qaeda gains control? What is the basis for intervening in Syria when many nations and dictators have committed atrocious acts, killing millions of their own people? What is America’s responsibility to hold the world to a standard of life affirming behavior?
In regard to the present crisis, I don’t know. I feel compassion for the president in what is perhaps the most uncomfortable decision of his presidency, rightly disturbed by the use of chemical weapons, abandoned by his own liberal base in his plan to “send a message,” attacked from the other side for his indecision, too much telegraphing of what we might do, the changing trajectory as Russia’s Putin inserts himself into the conversation and has the audacity to claim the high moral ground. The president surely feels the weight of his decisions in the evolving scenario.
I have my own opinions about various aspects of it, but this blog’s purpose is not to vent my political views. I wouldn’t say anything that hasn’t already been said by the talking heads in the media. And it’s not my role to advise the president, but to pray for him.
But there is a tragic irony to this discussion that cannot be ignored. How can America be the voice for defending the world’s defenseless children from chemical weapons when we kill far more children than Assad? How can we claim the high moral ground when we allow and defend the right to chemical and surgical abortion? John Knight expresses it well in his open letter to the president, Protect the Children from Chemical Weapons
I know some will protest that these are two distinct issues, a legal private decision to choose an abortion in contrast to a dictator’s brutal decision to kill his enemies, including children, in disregard of international law. I agree there are differences. But the central fact that unites these issues is that defenseless children of equal and precious worth are being killed. We cannot claim high moral ground in confronting the world’s sins as long as we allow our own children to be attacked with no one to defend them. Pray that our president and our whole nation would be awakened to his tragic reality.
A related matter that has created significant discussion and anger over the years is the comparison of Hitler’s extermination of Jews in the Holocaust to America’s Abortion Holocaust. And if you compare the numbers, Hitler comes out looking like the good guy. But, again, there are significant differences that pro-life advocates should acknowledge. But there are similarities too that require consideration. Listen to this episode of Ask Pastor John, Is Abortion like the Holocaust?
Regardless of your views about our president and what you think he should do with Syria, be faithful to pray for him.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 1 Timothy 2:1, 2