Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
December 15, 2003
RELIGION: Sympathy for the Tyrant

Jason Steffens reminds us to pray for Saddam rather than exulting in his humilaition, which is a more Christian impulse than I've been able to muster . . . it's very good advice, although I'd point out two things:

1. Saddam's abject humiliation may be a good thing even for Saddam, and is certainly a good thing for the rest of us, because it presents the only practical hope for triggering some remorse on his part. Yes, we believe that the Lord can soften the hearts of the worst sinners, but our faith also tells us not to rely too heavily on miraculous intervention. I've always thought that the most important moment in law enforcement -- and this applies as well to international affairs -- is the point at which either (a) the defendant finally admits that he did what he's accused of, it was wrong and he's rightly punished for it, or failing that (b) the point at which society makes him stand and accept that judgment. Saddam needs to be brought to that point and broken of his defiance, and abject humiliation is a good way to do it.

2. This is a different point, since it relates less to Saddam's humiliation than to the appearance of the same, but of course we need to publicly humble Saddam not only as vindication and relief to his former subjects but as an object lesson to other dictators and tyrants. Taking joy in that lesson is, as well, a positive good.

UPDATE: These guys would agree.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:34 AM | Religion | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

which is a more Christian impulse than I've been able to muster

Me too.

Posted by: Jason Steffens at December 15, 2003 8:57 AM

See a very strong case that Judaism disagrees:
http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0302/articles/soloveichik.html

Posted by: Yobi at December 16, 2003 9:30 AM
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