Friday, January 01, 2010

Compassion for the underwear bomber?

As I understand it, in the process of trying to blow up over an airliner full of innocent people in the skies over Detroit, the "underwear bomber" inadvertently started a fire in his own lap which burned for a while before it was put out. I would imagine that this left some pretty serious (third degree?) burns on his stomach, thighs and genitals (ouch!).

Perhaps a suitable punishment would be to put him in a prison cell with no medical attention to allow him to suffer the full consequences of his satanic hatred. In fact, we could even video tape his excruciating agony and make this available to other jihadists worldwide as a warning that this could happen to you too if you try to blow up a plane.

But no, what we Americans actually do is put this jihadist in a hospital and provide him with powerful pain-killing medication and the best medical treatment money can buy--all at American tax-payer expense, no doubt.

Why would we do this? Why would we spend thousands of dollars to ease the suffering and provide healing to someone who mercilessly tried to kill so many innocent men, women and children?

Could it be a due to a remnant of our Christian heritage and the teachings of Jesus who said, "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you" (Luke 6:27)?

Compassion for ones' enemies certainly doesn't come from our secular culture. While there are many atheists who, fortunately, are kind and compassionate individuals, there is nothing about atheism as a philosophy that would necessarily require anyone to love ones' enemies. In fact, atheist philosophy in China, North Korea, Cambodia, Cuba, the former Soviet Union, etc. led to the deaths of more than one hundred million people in the last century!

If the situation was reversed--e.g. if a non-Muslim, American suicide bomber (the very idea silly!) had tried to blow up a couple hundred people in a fundamentalist Muslim village--I'm quite sure the Muslim response would not be to provide medical care. I've read the Qur'an from cover to cover. There are no commands in the Qur'an to love or do good to ones' enemies. Precisely the opposite.

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