Saturday, March 04, 2006

God told me to

Hundreds of thousands dead because god told me to

A fundamental principle of Christian tradition is that an insane act, even a criminally insane act, done in the name of god is transfigured, ennobled and placed utterly beyond the realm of criticism or reason. The "teleological suspension of the ethical," in the rather pompous lexicon of Kierkegaard, justified Abraham's willingness to sacrifice Isaac. God told him to, and no more reason was necessary. It seems a grotesque vestige of the most primitive antiquity intruding out of distant ages past.

Yet even today George Bush and now Tony Blair justify their invasion of Iraq just so: they did it because god told them to.
Tony Blair has proclaimed that God will judge whether he was right to send British troops to Iraq, echoing statements from his ally George Bush...Explaining how he managed to live with the decision to go to war in Iraq, Mr Blair replied: "If you have faith about these things then you realise that judgement is made by other people. If you believe in God, it's made by God as well."
Not everyone took this "explanation" so well.
Roger Bacon, who has been trying unsuccessfully to meet Tony Blair since his son, Major Matthew Bacon, 34, was killed in Iraq, said last night: "This would explain why he won't see the parents. How can he speak to us when God told him to send the troops out to Iraq so our sons could be killed?"
Why bring in God here? What does it mean for Blair to invoke god as the judge of his invasion of Iraq?

It means that he no longer feels a need to offer rational explanations to mere mortals for what he did. Sure, there were reasons and rationales aplenty, all lies as it turns out, but that doesn't matter because god trumps reason. God has his reasons that reason can not know.

Worse than Abraham, Blair killed other people's sons and daughters, lots and lots of them. The asylums throughout the world are filled with people who killed at the insistence of the voices in their heads. In a rational world, Tony and George would be there too.


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