Wright [the theologian] is falling into a common error, which is to assume the Sermon on the Mount was intended to articulate a political philosophy and blueprint for how the state must conduct itself. In plain fact, the moral duties placed on persons are, in important respects, different from those placed on the state. Indeed, within Judaism and Christianity the state has invested in it powers and responsibilities that are different from, and sometimes denied to, persons....
Collapsing the distinction between person and state represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of government, which has granted to it powers of life, death, and coercion denied to individual persons. And these powers can be used to defend innocent lives and establish social order. They can also create the conditions that allow the church to exist, Christians to minister, and good works to be done. For this reason, the callings of soldier, policeman, and president are not merely permissible for Christians, but honorable.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
The Morality of Killing Osama
Peter Wehner has a brilliant article up at Commentary, in which he refutes a Christian theologian's argument that killing Osama bin Laden was unChristian murder. Here is the key logic Wehner uses, which is an argument that made me really think: