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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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.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 02:41 pm
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soc: I would not use some of

soc: I would not use some of your words, such as "force" or "shove religion down someone's throat," but I agree with you in general. I think the methods used by most Christian missionaries are much more subtle.
Their proselytizing motives are almost always disguised under the (totally legitimate and laudatory) cover of helping with food, housing, medicine, what have you. I have suggested some of the specific narratives they use in earlier posts today. "Force" and "throat shoving"
are not their style....

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 04:01 pm
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justthefacts: nice! Bet you

justthefacts: nice! Bet you do too, but I understand and accept the fact that "the other side" has many valid points. I would NEVER say "I know I am right" about my point of view in the regulation / market debate. Christians almost ALWAYS say (or have to courtesy at least just to think) "I know I am right."

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

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 04:46 pm
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TheFed: One more time:

TheFed: One more time: "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. I will be perfectly honest about this quotation, TheFed, it makes me crazy and want to puke at the same time. You ferreted me out, you sly one you. Yes, I do have a "deeply rooted bias against the Christian faith." But you underestimate me, sir. I am an equal opportunity bigot. I have deeply rooted biases against virtually all religions. About the only ones I can tolerate, barely, are Sikhism and some Native American nature-based beliefs. I reserve my special dislike for proselytizing religions. Christianity and Islam are the two chief offenders in the world today--they differ only in style. The line in your post which really got me though, was this one: "It is always interesting to hear someone espouse opinions that they are absolutely certain are correct." A classic example of unintentional irony. You accuse me of being absolutely certain about what when on in Afghanistan (despite my repeated disclaimers that none of knows for sure. I'll let that slide to make my point.) At least I am making my claim about a factual state of affairs that at least in theory can be proven right or wrong. You yourself
constantly have challenged me to "prove it." In these matters of fact, I stand ready always to be proven wrong. The other day you proved me factually wrong on the matter of my claim that no federal would find Virginia had standing to sue over Obamacare. Here is the great irony:
Christians also claim to know for certain. But the "truth" of Christianity can NEVER be proved. It is a foundational-based belief. No research, no accumulation of facts, no testimony, can ever prove it right or wrong.
So to spell it out: I claim certainty only on phenomena, assertions of what is true that have the potential to be proven right or wrong. They are worth arguing about since there can be a resolution. Christians claim certainty on things that can never be proven, and thus are not worth discussing.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 04:53 pm
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chascush: I've been called

chascush: I've been called many things, but rarely "ignorant." Very few posters here agree with my views, but I doubt they think I am ignorant.
They may disagree with me, strongly, but I make arguments and back them up with facts, logic, quotations, when I can. Most of my views are liberal. You, in essence, are trying to equate liberal and ignorant. I have, from time to time, read responses to my posts that have forced me to rethink or reresearch my opinions. They make me think. So your remark, which you obviously believe to be very clever, is just silly.
There are a small number of posters here whom I take seriously.
You, sir, are not one of them.

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.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 05:36 pm
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JTF: thanks. It's nice to at

JTF: thanks. It's nice to at least have my efforts here deemed worthy by someone who probably agrees with little I have to say. I hope at least
to make people think, and occasionally leave the comfort of their conservative cocoons. In this area, with the paper and talk shows relentlessly conservative, it's rare anyone hears opposing arguments.
I pride myself on putting the liberal view of issues in a thoughtful, well argued way. That is all I can do.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 05:52 pm
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TheFed: I will make this as

TheFed: I will make this as clear as I can. I have never claimed that I know for a fact that they were proselytizing. I have said I suspect they were, and yes, based in part, but only in part, on the proselytizing nature of Christianity. Add to that that the organization they were members
of is a overtly Christian one. But I have repeatedly gone past those theoretical and circumstantial arguments. I have offered several quotes from PasterDan's posts by individuals who worked with these medical missionaries in Afghanistan. Those quotes suggest strongly these missionaries were aware of, and proud of, the Christian conversions among the Afghans they served. Here is yet another of those quotes: "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.
So, I have argue that WHLE WE CANNOT BE SURE, the fact is that Christianity is inherently proselytizing (You have not denied this. In fact these missionaries would be failing their Christian obligations if they did NOT proselytize....). Their organization is a professedly Christian one. They operated remotely where the organization would have no idea whether the workers were proselytizing or not. And finally, I have adduced a number of quotes from eye witnesses to the results of Christian conversions among Afghans served by these workers. I'd say this is a multi-pronged argument, not a single strand one as you claim.
I think it makes a strong prima facie case.

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.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 06:28 pm
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Riverman1: If you go back and

Riverman1: If you go back and read my earlier posts today, you will see that I have consistently and strongly condemned the murder of these obviously compassionate medical missionaries. There is no excuse for the murders. If the murderers were religiously motivated (and not just robbers, which still remains a possibility according to the news reports), they were Allah-besotted thugs deserving unequivocal condemnation.
But I have also said that some Christians feel the need or obligation, responding to the inherently and openly proselytizing nature of Christianity, to go to Muslim countries and inform people there, with various degrees degrees of subtlety, that the religion they were raised in is faulty. I'm sure you can understand how angry that might make some of the less stable locals. You might not resort to murder, but think about how angry you would be if you discovered a Muslim physician treating a member of your family was trying to indoctrinate that family member into Islam, in part by denying the Truth of Christianity? So I guess what I am saying is that Christians who go to places they know may have lots of really crazed Islamic radical zealots, and attempt to convert people, either are pretty careless about their safety or have martyr complexes.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 06:44 pm
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follower and TheFed: thanks

follower and TheFed: thanks at least for taking me seriously.

TheFed: don't worry, gender is a pretty fuzzy concept anyway! I prefer
"human being."

follower: I am either an anti-foundationalist or a relativist, whichever you prefer. I reject all absolutest thought. The only things to which I will assign the word "true" to are experiential, and even then the assignment is tentative, subject to revision or rejection. We humans have experiences. We can test ideas against our experiences. We can start,
for example, with a claim of economic "truth": government regulations are the way to confront polluters. We can try regulations. We can observe if they "work." Some our experiences will validate an idea, others will not. This sort of truth is always a work in progress. In this respect, all truths are human creations. I believe that. I reject all foundational "truths," based on the idea that there is a foundational reality "out there" that never changes (God and a moral code) and it is just waiting for people to discover it and act in accordance with it. One of the biggest problems with foundationalism is that not everyone can agree on any one foundation. Hence multiple religions. The other problem is that we cannot design tests of foundational "truth." This is a big subject. That will have to do tonight. If you are interested in further explanations, remind me sometime.

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.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 07:28 pm
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Riverman1: Your answer to my

Riverman1: Your answer to my question has, I think, an unintended consequence for your argument. You would be upset, but civil in your treatment of the proselytizing physician. Good. But that is not the way some crazed Islamist radicals behave. That's the reason the issue of Christians operating in certain foreign countries IS relevant to this thread. It is just because you would treat the provocation of a proselytizing outsider so differently from the way Islamist radicals treat proselytizing outsiders that Christians should think long and hard about how they behave in places like Afghanistan. Of course some of the Taliban are so crazed they might murder simply because workers were Christian. But giving them the added provocation and, their warped minds, justification of Christian proselytizing to kill, is foolhardy. If these workers were so foolhardy as to proselytize in lawless, remote parts of Afghanistan, then I say they contributed to their own deaths.

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.

TheFederalist
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TheFederalist 08/11/10 - 08:50 pm
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If.....sigh...

If.....sigh...

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 08/11/10 - 09:31 pm
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sociologyedu: "first of all,

sociologyedu:
"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
_______________________________

SHAME????

Please tell me where Jesus said this. Book, chapter and verse, please.

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 08/11/10 - 10:11 pm
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TheFederalist Wednesday, Aug.

TheFederalist Wednesday, Aug. 11 5:05 PM That indeed they were innocents, brutally murdered by a horrible evil. This horrible evil entity has a name. Taliban.
---------------------------
If you want to minimize your chances of being murdered by the Taliban then don't walk into the Taliban's home. Actions have consequences. American laws have no jurisdiction in Afghanistan even if the Christians running America want to invade a country that has neither attacked nor threatened America, so if you want protection under American laws....don't go to Afghanistan. It is quite simple.

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