Faith is not a crime

With one voice, world should condemn slaying of Christian aid workers

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All anyone in the media can talk about in the case of 10 aid workers slaughtered by the Taliban is what the aid workers were up to.

Were they spies? Or worse -- gasp! -- were they Christians proselytizing?

Even entertaining the question is acceding to the enemy's insidious slander against Americans and Christians.

Surviving aid workers have felt compelled to deny any Christian motives on the part of the murdered health-care workers in Afghanistan, six of whom were angels from America.

We have little doubt the medical volunteers were simply tending to people who desperately needed health care. But we say: What if they were missionaries? Is that a crime now?

Yes, in certain Muslim sections of the world.

To aid workers wherever you are in the world: We don't care what your motivation is, as long as you are helping others. But if you are doing it because of your Christian faith, you shouldn't be made to feel ashamed about it, or deny it three times before the cock crows.

In effect, radical Muslims want to criminalize the spreading of Christianity. Radical Muslims love to throw the word "martyr" around, claiming they can become one if they just kill enough infidels. What a perverted world view.

But truly, in the sight of God, it is people such as these aid workers who are martyrs -- especially if they were acting out their faith!

Those wearing their faith on their sleeves will be judged by their actions. Judge the Taliban's, and judge the aid workers' however you like. One set of actions is from another century, like the savages who perpetrated them.

Regardless of the motivations of those involved, the killing of aid workers may be the most heinous crime known to man. If one could harness the wind and the earth and the water, one could scarcely commit a more despicable or tragic act.

The enemy loves to point the finger to any American combat error as a war crime -- even as our enemies cower like clucking chickens behind their women and children and other innocents, baiting our forces to attack. Much of the world is prone to fall for the ploy, putting American forces on the defensive in world opinion -- while our enemy, with impunity, employs the scythe of 7th-century tactics.

Where's the world's condemnation for our enemy's many war crimes?

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chascush
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chascush 08/11/10 - 11:00 am
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Anyone that will defend those

Anyone that will defend those animals are no better than they are.

Pastor Dan White
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Pastor Dan White 08/11/10 - 11:03 am
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Heather Mercer, who along

Heather Mercer, who along with Dayna Curry was held captive by the Taliban for 105 days nine years ago, said the aid workers who were killed recently in Afghanistan were an example of what it means to love a forgotten people.

Indeed, Mercer did know Tom Little and Dan Terry, two of the men who were killed when a group of gunmen surrounded the team after they had trekked days in the mountains to provide medical care to Afghans living in a remote region.

"They were unwavering. They were not afraid to give their lives," Mercer said of Little and Terry. "Their hope was in Jesus. Their hope was in the promise of heaven. They could do what they did because their hope was in Jesus. I hope when my life is through that I can have lived the same way, wholeheartedly and fearlessly for the Gospel."

There are so, so few in the world that would do what they did, so few that would literally give their entire lives to serve in a place like Afghanistan," Mercer said of the aid workers. "They are heroes of the faith.

"Whether they were ever sharing the Gospel directly or if they were sharing indirectly, they were displaying who Christ is in a place that is desperately in need of the tangible witness of Christ," she said.

Mercer said she was moved by the news that five of the eight foreign aid workers in the group will be buried in Afghanistan.

"I think that's such a testimony of where their hearts were. These people weren't just foreigners serving in a foreign land. They were Afghans," she said. "These were foreigners who so loved the Afghan people that they became Afghan themselves. And even in their deaths, they will stay there. It's a picture of how much they have given their lives for these people."

The aid workers are a testimony for the Christian world of what it looks like to follow Christ to the world's hardest places, Mercer said, and she urged believers to pray for their families.

"They will be very missed, but we know that what they've done for the land of Afghanistan will not go unremembered," she said. "There will be an inheritance in that country because of what they've given their lives for."

Not a day goes by, Mercer said, that her experience as a Taliban captive doesn't cross her mind as inspiration to continue the work in the Middle East.

"I've often thought Afghanistan is the place that Jesus would live. If He were walking the earth today, I think Afghanistan would be the place that He would live," she said.

"I've been to about 50 countries, many of them in the Muslim world, and Afghanistan by far is the darkest place I have ever been. Those are the places that Jesus loves to move."

"There are amazing testimonies of people's lives being transformed by the person of Jesus and the power of God. A lot of people are experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus and He's appearing to them and people are following Him. So it's a very exciting yet a very dangerous and sobering time to be working in that part of the world," Mercer said.

Pastor Dan White
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Pastor Dan White 08/11/10 - 11:08 am
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The Gospel of the love of

The Gospel of the love of Christ for all people will continue on in this world even in "forgotten" places where these Christian martyrs served.

The Roman empire couldn't stop love under the atrocities committed against Christians by Domitian.

Hitler couldn't stop it in spite of his takeover of the German church. For there were pastors like Dietrich Bonhoeffer who willingly gave his life for the life of Christ for the sake of the persecuted Jews and Christians who dared disagree with Hitler.

The Taliban can't stop the love of Christ and neither can the vitriolic posters on this board stop it.

Love is stronger than hate.

chascush
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chascush 08/11/10 - 11:21 am
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effete lib, ‘Foreign medical

effete lib, ‘Foreign medical missionaries should come home and donate their skills pro bono to America's medically needy.’
I stand behind my post, ‘By the way, being ignorant does not equate to being ELITIST.’

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 08/11/10 - 11:33 am
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dani Wednesday, Aug. 11 1:24

dani Wednesday, Aug. 11 1:24 AM My understanding is that the mosque is not intended for religious ceremonies only. There will be 15 floors and some will be used for "Charitable works". I think we are nuts to let this happen, the mayor has offered them other land, if they want to get along, they will com promise. Perhaps a zoning law??
We are being led down the primrose path, not by Muslim officials, but by our own radical left-wing who wants to convince the public that it is about religion alone.
Take off the blinders...please!
-----------------------------------
Say what? Many churches are built for more than just religious ceremonies. Many have playgrounds, schools, gyms, coffee shops, theaters, and the like. The 1st Ammendment is for all Americans not just Christians so what is the difference other than being hypocritcal?

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 08/11/10 - 11:42 am
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effete elitist liberal

effete elitist liberal Wednesday, Aug. 11 9:12 AM Yes, a distinction should be made between Islam's brutal, deadly methods and Christianity's subtle, conniving ones.
---------------------------
LOL! Study history.

TheFederalist
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TheFederalist 08/11/10 - 11:48 am
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eel, please enlighten me sir.

eel, please enlighten me sir. It is your belief then, that anyone who is a Christian, and performs charitible works in any country, regardless of whether or not they try to prosthelytize, are then guilty of causing, in your words, "emotional and psychological violence."? Would you care to expound on that thought?

momster59
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momster59 08/11/10 - 12:01 pm
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EEL - I think baron agrees

EEL - I think baron agrees with you. He was pointing out the history to others. Hence the LOL.

TheFederalist
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TheFederalist 08/11/10 - 12:28 pm
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Would it make any difference

Would it make any difference to you then, if the facts are that despite your beliefs to the contrary, these folks were NOT trying to proselytize, as it is forbidden by their charter and the grounds under which this agency has gained permission from the government? Here is their statement: Officials of the International Assistance Mission, a Christian-supported program that has operated in Afghanistan since 1966, rejected the claim and insisted the project was purely humanitarian, noting that government permission was secured (the Afghan government does not allow religious proselytizing in aid missions) and that its activities were always conducted with the approval of local communities. Yes eel, since 1966 this organization has been doing this kind of work in exactly the same area, accompanied by muslim guides, who would immediately report any effort to convert the locals. Besides, given that worldwide condemnation has fallen on the taliban, they would have already trotted out, "converts" by now, I would think, to support their, "prosthelytizing" claims. I think sir, that you are trying desperately to convince us that they brought this on themselves by performing overt religious acts, instead of accepting the widely held belief that their murders were simply the despicible acts of cowards. I find your disbelief to be somewhat amusing, given that you are usually so open minded, especially when you have no solid facts to back up your argument.

afadel
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afadel 08/11/10 - 12:36 pm
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There are a lot of side

There are a lot of side issues involved here, but at its root, surprisingly for me, I have to agree with the ACES. Killing unarmed medical relief personnel is a vicious crime which should be condemned universally.

This does not change my personal belief that we should withdraw our forces from Afghanistan and cease the drone attacks in Pakistan quickly. But this belief is not based on an illusion that the insurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan are better than the corrupt and violent Afghanistani and Pakistani governments. I just don't think that increased violence will improve things, and I think there are better ways to use our resources.

TheFederalist
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TheFederalist 08/11/10 - 12:40 pm
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"Oh ye, of little faith".

"Oh ye, of little faith". Methinks the difference between a closed mind and a realist, is simply which side they tend to favor. Guess that since in your words, "I doubt we will ever know for sure.", then your opinion is just as valid as mine. However, I do find it interesting that you condemn so smugly, the intentions of those that do charitible works. Is it all religions, or just Christianity that you dislike?

justthefacts
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justthefacts 08/11/10 - 01:39 pm
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EEL, how are you? You've

EEL, how are you? You've really been busy on here lately. Without taking either side, I was wondering. You say that the missionaries were taking the position that Christianity is superior to their religion. Is it possible that they were just exposing their religion to the Afgans? Shouldn't those who have an interest in a higher being know of all the possibilities? I don't really know, but I don't think they were trying to force Christianity on these folks. Maybe just letting them know of other ideas and then let them decide.

sociologyedu_one
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sociologyedu_one 08/11/10 - 02:14 pm
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first of all, i'm a

first of all, i'm a Christian. However, these people knew what they were doing and the risks that they were takings. The people of the land they were in have a much longer history of their religion than do that that got killed. It has been the work of Christians to force their religion on others without noting that the faith of everyone should be honored. Meaning, 'to those who have a hard time comprehending', don't shove religion down someone's throat, and honor people for who they are. That is the teaching of Jesus Christ. Christians are the ones to blame for their self-glorifying nature.
SHAME

justthefacts
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justthefacts 08/11/10 - 02:40 pm
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EEL, I hear you. BTW, I bet I

EEL, I hear you. BTW, I bet I know how you felt about the clean air debate your professor put forth. But, that's another subject for another day.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/11/10 - 04:08 pm
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Grouse said, "I find it

Grouse said, "I find it amusing that The Chronicle used the the phrase, "angels from America" as "Angels in America" is a play about homosexuals and AIDS."

You mean the Chronicle is secretly supporting homosexuals and no one picked it up but Grouse. Son of a gun. Amazing that he deciphered that coded meaning. It is so obvious that angels from America really means Angels in America. That's the same thing, isn't it? Son of a gun...again.

TheFederalist
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TheFederalist 08/11/10 - 04:17 pm
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It is always interesting to

It is always interesting to hear someone espouse opinions that they are absolutely certain are correct. I have read several threads, in several places today, and only here have I encountered those who actually blame these aid workers for their own demise. It is difficult to imagine anyone being so convinced that these unfortunate folks were covertly trying to convert the local afghans, or that somehow, by their very presence, that they were guilty of displaying Christlike qualities that were so offensive that they deserved what they got. What compassion! One goes so far as to say they should be ashamed. That by the very name Christian, they are all guilty of trying to force their religion on others. What misguided presumption! Well, I make it a point not to argue with bigots, so I will just close with this...had there been any evidence of these murdered innocents trying to convert the locals, where is the proof? Where are the witnesses who claim that they were prosthelytized? Why is it that since this charitable agency has been doing this type of care in that area since 1966, there have been no converts, because if there were they would already be coming forward. No..as hard as you try, you are convinced of their guilt, because in some way you detractors dislike Christianity, pure and simple. Shroud it in layers of logic if you will, but in my opinion, the real reason for this entire exercise in verbal futility is much simpler to explain. A deeply rooted bias against the Christian faith.

chascush
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chascush 08/11/10 - 04:40 pm
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eel, ‘And excuse me, but I

eel, ‘And excuse me, but I have no idea what your last "By the way...’
I was just pointing out that you seem to be ignorant thus leading you to believe you are an elitist . Just trying help out.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 08/11/10 - 04:45 pm
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AC, and several others, thank

AC, and several others, thank you for saying what needed to be said. How can any decent human being blame a person's murder on them?

..."out of the mouth, speaks the heart"... JC

TheFederalist
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TheFederalist 08/11/10 - 05:05 pm
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Eel, I am never going to

Eel, I am never going to argue religion as that IMHO is up to the individual, and everyone has that freedom. Agnostic, monotheist, Satanist...I really don't care. However, my point, which you have argued today, is that it is your belief that they were guilty because due to the very nature of the Christian faith, they had to be guilty of prosthelytizing, if not overtly, then covertly, even possibly unintentionally, due to the simple fact that they were Christian. That is our only bone of contention. I submit that it is entirely possible, perhaps even likely, that they were simply trying to provide medical assistance to the needy, and were executed by animals lacking any shred of human decency or compassion. That indeed they were innocents, brutally murdered by a horrible evil. This horrible evil entity has a name. Taliban. Can you not concede this possibility, or do you insist that since they were Christians, that somehow they had to be contributors to their own demise?

justthefacts
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justthefacts 08/11/10 - 05:05 pm
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EEL is one of the few

EEL is one of the few Liberals on here who will actually debate. Most are drive by flame throwers. IMO, she is definitely not ignorant.

follower
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follower 08/11/10 - 05:55 pm
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EEL, over the few months

EEL, over the few months posting, I can agree with justthfacts as to your willingness to openly and civily debate issues with detractors.

EEL, a several post back, [sorry, I'm late getting in today] you made the statement [paraphrased] "Christians think their religion is superior".

Truly, don't you believe that what you believe is correct? Would it be safe to say that, "it is more probable all religions are wrong, than to say all religions are right"? The law of non-contridiction prevents two opposing views to both be right. A dogmatic statement is pointless on a personal view where faith is involved. The agnostic "believes" there is no God, just as the Christian "believes" there is. The atheist states dogmatically there is no god, but to do so requires comprehensive and infinate knowledge of the entire universe. That would make them...God?
So they must default to the agnostic position.

The problem with many "christians" [little c] and detractors is that it is not enough to think you're right, you must bash and debase the one with whom you disagree.

I appreciate that you consider your replies before posting. It definately points to a "thinking" individual. Like you, I enjoy someone that engages the mind, but really feel tested when someone hurls personal attacks.

TheFederalist
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TheFederalist 08/11/10 - 05:56 pm
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Ok, point made and accepted.

Ok, point made and accepted. I will no longer belabor the point. We will most likely disagree on many more issues, but so far I have enjoyed our verbal sparring. I totally agree JTF, but perhaps due to my piggy nature, I have been addressing her as sir, and if you are of the female persuasion, then Eel, you have my humble apologies ma'am. I also applaud you for not being the usual brand of liberal, and presenting logical arguments, instead of tiresome rhetoric. I look forward to many more civil discussions of the issues. Thank you Eel!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/11/10 - 06:08 pm
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It simply doesn't matter even

It simply doesn't matter even if they were proselytizing Muslims to Christianity. That's no reason to line up altruistic, unarmed medical workers who are treating your own people for free and MURDER them. Debating whether they should have been in Afghanistan tends to blame those killed for their own deaths and to justify the murders in some strange fashion.

It is like the Hindus murdering Mother Teresa.

DaddyFrog
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DaddyFrog 08/11/10 - 06:14 pm
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Here's some information for

Here's some information for all concerned on the 10 people killed in Afganistan. First from CNN WORLD:
" Among the dead were 6 Americans,2 Afgans, a Briton, and a German said Dirk Frans, Dir. of International Assistance Mission.He said two other Afgans on the team were killed.
Aqa Nwor Kentoz, the police chief in the province,says the gunmen stopped the group on the road,took their belongings,and shot them one by one.An Afgan was released because he was reciting excerpts from the Quran,Kentoz said.The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
Hans Ronnlund, the assistant to the executive director of the mission group,denied statements by the Taliban that the medical staff was carrying Bibles.Ronnlund said the IAM is a humanitarian development organization formed by various Christian groups,but said the medical staffers do not carry Bibles.
Libby Little(wife of one of the murdered) was similarly insistent that IAM
was not a missionary group.She said IAM is a Christian group,but that it focuses on providing services such as teaching English or providing medical care.She noted that IAM was invited by the Afgan government and points out that its workers received visas allowing them entrance to the country.
And from "THE HUFFINGTON POST":
"Dr.Thomas Grams,51,quit his dental practice in Durango,Colorado four years ago to work full time giving poor children free dental care in Afganistan and Nepal.
Grams twin brother,Tim,said his brother was not trying to spread religious views."He knew the laws,he knew the religion.He respected them.He wasn't trying to convert anybody", Tim Grams said."His goal was to provide dental care and help people."
Khris Nedam,head of a charity called ' Kids 4 Afgan Kids' that builds schools and wells,said Grams and others were " serving the least for all the right reasons."
Nedam said the medical group had never talked of religion with Afgans."Their mission was humanitarian,and they went there to help the people," said Nedam.
Dr.Karen Woo,36,the lone Briton among the dead,gave up her job with a private clinic in London to work in Afganistan.She was planning to leave in a few weeks to get married,friends said.
"Her motivation was purely humanitarian.She was a humanist and had no religious or political agenda," her family said in a statement. "

FYI: There's more about these gallant, caring people if any of you want to go to the trouble to look it up.

dani
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dani 08/11/10 - 06:20 pm
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The Taliban is not selective

The Taliban is not selective when it comes to religion. You might be Jewish, Christian, (yes, even atheist) - if you aren't of the Muslim faith you are a target.

momster59
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momster59 08/11/10 - 06:26 pm
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The taliban kills all

The taliban kills all religions, even Muslim, if they do not agree with them. Two of the aid workers were Muslim and they were still killed.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/11/10 - 06:49 pm
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DaddyFrog, thanks for that.

DaddyFrog, thanks for that. Sad as their deaths are, maybe it will do some good. The free world, including peace loving Muslims, has been steeled with resolve to eliminate the Taliban by this horrendous act.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/11/10 - 07:07 pm
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EEL, I agree with you that

EEL, I agree with you that Church groups in foreign countries can be a problem with their enthusiasm to convert those to a religion, but this is the wrong thread to express those concerns. This thread is about murder.

You asked how angry I would be if a Muslim physician were treating a family member and trying to proselytize at the same time? If I were paying for the care, I may say something to him, but, guess what, I wouldn't shoot him. If he were performhing his medical services for free as these people were, I wouldn't say anything except to thank him for the free medical treatment.

Nightwing
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Nightwing 08/11/10 - 08:30 pm
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They may have been murdered

They may have been murdered simply because they were Americans. I feel that if the US was to stop all humanitarian aid to these rouge nations, the UN's Humanitarian mission would stop.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/11/10 - 08:49 pm
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I will never rationalize that

I will never rationalize that anyone is making themselves a target by doing something humane such as giving medical care to the poor. In addition, if the medical team was trying to convert Muslims to Christianity, they deserved nothing more than a "get out of here" from the Taliban. When we start to justify illogical and horrific behavior we are taking the wrong Marco Polo trail.

Some things you can't justify on any level.

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