Reject Two Big Lies

 

Especially during military conflicts, propaganda is usually easy to spot and easier to ignore. But two things have me seething over some propaganda we’ve had to endure or likely to hear about Russia’s evil dictator, Vladimir Putin, and a falsehood (among many) we’re likely to hear from Joe Biden on Tuesday night during the annual State of the Union address.

First, I’m offended by the notion that Putin is somehow is a “man of faith” and a great defender of Christian values. No Christian would behave the way he is right now or has with his poisoning and murdering of people in places like Ukraine (its former President, Victor Yuschenko) and Alexander Litvinenko in England. He kills or tries to kill political opponents (e.g., Alexei Navalny, now a political prisoner).

Former Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko was poisoned in 2004 by agents for Vladimir Putin. He survived, but his face was badly disfigured.

And no Christian leader would invade a neighbor based on total lies, accusing Ukraine – led by a Jewish President and the grandson of Holocaust survivors – for harboring Nazism. He further falsely accused Ukraine of genocide, which is rich, given Putin’s predecessor Joseph Stalin’s well-documented history of genocide against Ukrainians in 1932-33. The man is evil. Reason.com details more evidence against this stupid notion, spread too often by fringy, repugnant, and ignorable right-wingers.

Putin, while a self-avowed adherent to Russian Orthodoxy, has been no friend to religious expression. In 2016, he passed a law criminalizing evangelical efforts outside of church walls—a measure that hamstrings religious life in public, in the home, and online, and thus targets many Christians for displays of faith. Those displays don’t have to be overt: In 2019, a Baptist pastor was charged with illegal missionary activity for having the audacity to lead a Baptist worship service, and two members of the same sect found themselves in hot water after handing out religious literature at a bus stop. Jehovah’s Witnesses are often at the center of such prosecutions as well and can face up to 10 years in prison.

The restrictions also likely impact the Orthodox community, as the government requires that anyone sharing a faith have a permit to do so and constrain those efforts to religious sites. In 2017, a year after the law’s passage, Russia earned an unenviable distinction on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s list of countries most hostile to the expression of faith (emphasis added). As of last year, it still sits atop that list, along with Syria, India, and Vietnam—places that perpetuate “systematic, ongoing, and egregious” violations of religious liberty.

You probably missed his recent comments that confirm what a miserable coot he is: “There is no happiness in life, only a mirage of it on the horizon, so cherish that.” He had just finished a meeting with Joe Biden in Geneva. No self-respecting Christian ascribes to that; only a Bond villain. Just read John 15:11. Or perhaps Galatians 5:22.

Joe Biden met with Vladimir Putin in Geneva in June 2021. His comments afterward were more notable than the meeting itself.

Second, Biden, I expect, will lie that he’s responsible for unifying NATO and orchestrating its response to Putin’s war crimes and illegitimate invasion. Hogwash. Putin is responsible for unifying the world against him, followed by Ukraine’s remarkable President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and engendering NATO’s surprisingly bold economic and military actions of the past 24 hours. Biden gave European countries early veto power over US sanctions. Even the Washington Post took note of Biden’s slowness to even keep up with the Europeans.

Surprised by the unusually rapid European decision, the White House scrambled over the weekend to catch up in drafting its own related measures, according to one American and one European official. The latest sanctions mean the Western allies are effectively waging financial war against Russia, matching Moscow’s military offensive in Ukraine with attacks on the foundation of a $1.5 trillion economy.

Biden gets credit for only enabling Putin through badly misguided climate and energy policies and demonstrating weakness and appeasement abroad while jacking up inflation, led by gasoline prices, and catering to open borders advocates at home. Biden, in effect, replaced the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada by making Russia our second-largest importer of foreign oil, then removed sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany, apparently getting nothing in return. Nuts. Germany came to its senses and canceled the pipeline before Biden reversed course.

Biden’s SOTU rightfully should praise Ukrainian courage and resiliency in the face of evil and unjustified aggression and war crimes and reaffirm America’s support. He should invite Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to address a joint session of Congress once his crisis passes (if he survives). Biden should praise NATO colleagues for stepping up the plate – albeit belatedly – to isolate and punish Vladimir Putin and his evil regime.

Biden does deserve credit for helping give Zelenskyy his Churchill moment. From the New York Post:

The US government offered to evacuate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky from Kyiv — but he declined.

“The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride,” Zelensky said, The Associated Press reported, citing a senior American intelligence official with direct knowledge of the conversation.

Zelensky, 44, instead chose to remain in Ukraine’s capital as Russian forces brought the fight to the city streets, where gunfire and explosions were heard overnight Friday into Saturday.

The besieged president said his family had been evacuated to safety.

“I am staying in the government quarters together with others,” Zelensky said in a video address early on Friday. “The enemy has designated me as target number one, and my family as target number two.”

He should also praise and encourage protestors around the world – including Putin’s hometown of St. Petersburg – for their courage in standing up to Putin. About 1,700 Russians have been arrested in connection with anti-war protests. Those sentiments are bipartisan and vital for Americans and the world to hear.

Hundreds of Russians gather in St. Petersburg, Russia – Vladimir Putin’s hometown – to protest his invasion of Ukraine (SkyNews).

It would also be very cool – a stroke of genius – if he offered political asylum and a path to citizenship for any Russian shoulder who lays down his arms and makes their way to a NATO country. Every NATO country should offer that. Yes, I know that qualifies as desertion and is unrealistic, but it might further exacerbate reports of poor morale among Russian troops. It would also be a massive poke in the eye to Putin.

It will be the only genuinely bipartisan if not inspiration items we can expect from a speech that ostensibly is about the “state of the union.” Which isn’t very good, with higher inflation at home; appeasement abroad; failed and confusing policies and pronouncements on the pandemic; education policies that put teacher unions first and students last; and opening our southern border while closing police precincts. I can’t wait to see how he spins that.

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  1. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    It would also be very cool – a stroke of genius – if he offered political asylum and a path to citizenship for any Russian shoulder who lays down his arms and makes their way to a NATO country. Every NATO country should offer that. Yes, I know that qualifies as desertion and is unrealistic, but it might further exacerbate reports of poor morale among Russian troops. It would also be a massive poke in the eye to Putin.

    There have been suggestions he should offer the deal for Russians in various technical fields, to create a brain drain. 

    Flash forward 15 years: the nations bordering Russia have substantial expat communities, and Putin II announces he is invading to safeguard the rights of the displaced Russian population. 

    • #1
  2. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Moderator Note:

    Calling a post or comment “disgusting” is rude and not conducive to good conversation.

    George Bush invaded Iraq on total lies. I guess he qualifies as a total non-Christian as well. [redacted]

    • #2
  3. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Hang On (View Comment):
    George Bush invaded Iraq on total lies.

    Oh, puhleeezze!  GWB didn’t himself lie, because he didn’t know the reports from Iraq weren’t true.  That was entirely on the shoulders of our (we now know) corrupt intelligence services.  GWB has his flaws, but that wasn’t one of them.

    • #3
  4. Adios Muchacho Member
    Adios Muchacho
    @OldDanRhody

    Hang On (View Comment):

    George Bush invaded Iraq on total lies. I guess he qualifies as a total non-Christian as well. What a disgusting piece this is !!!!!

    Huh?

    • #4
  5. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    Kelly D Johnston: . No Christian would behave the way he is right now or has with his poisoning and murdering of people in places like Ukraine

    Yeah, that’s bad…

    But “Christians” do commit crimes and horrors – just like everyone else. Unless you want to deny 2000 years of religious wars and atrocities. How many people are you prepared to ex-communicate? 

    So you are free to claim they aren’t really Christians all you like, but that won’t help your case.

    Maybe you could see that being Christian or believing in Christ is not an automatic path toward a moral life. That who or what you believe in is no guarantee for yourself or for others of right actions. They actually have very little to do with each other.

    • #5
  6. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    Hang On (View Comment):
    George Bush invaded Iraq on total lies. I guess he qualifies as a total non-Christian as well. What a disgusting piece this is !!!!!

    [redacted – ad hominem ]

    {my edit- Ok he must have been unaware of major international events on 9/11}

    for some reality check read about UN Security Council Resolution 687- which Saddam violated….

    • #6
  7. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Franco (View Comment):

    Kelly D Johnston: . No Christian would behave the way he is right now or has with his poisoning and murdering of people in places like Ukraine

    Yeah, that’s bad…

    But “Christians” do commit crimes and horrors – just like everyone else. Unless you want to deny 2000 years of religious wars and atrocities. How many people are you prepared to ex-communicate?

    So you are free to claim they aren’t really Christians all you like, but that won’t help your case.

    Maybe you could see that being Christian or believing in Christ is not an automatic path toward a moral life. That who or what you believe in is no guarantee for yourself or for others of right actions. They actually have very little to do with each other.

    Yeah, the idea that “Christian” leaders don’t kill people is pretty silly, in my view.  Obama had Osama killed, and while I don’t think that Obama is actually a Christian, I don’t expect that Kelly would complain about it.  W would have done the same thing given a chance, I think.

    What about Trump ordering the hit on that Soleimani fellow?  Now once again, I don’t actually think that Trump is a Christian, but I doubt that Kelly would have complained about this one, either.

    Let’s not even get started on the hundreds of thousands of civilians targeted and killed by the Allied bombing campaign in WWII.  Kelly’s argument would certainly apply to Churchill and FDR, wouldn’t it?

    The world is a messy place.  It’s tough on a Christian leader, I think.  I don’t know what I would do if faced with such responsibility.  I do generally fall back on the “render unto Caesar” line.

    • #7
  8. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    I think most of these people were Christians, including the director and most of the actors:

    Who’s being naive, Kay?

    • #8
  9. D.A. Venters Member
    D.A. Venters
    @DAVenters

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

     

    The world is a messy place. It’s tough on a Christian leader, I think. I don’t know what I would do if faced with such responsibility. I do generally fall back on the “render unto Caesar” line.

    It’s tough on everybody, at times, but thankfully few of us face decisions of that magnitude. Still, refraining from starting wars is an easy call. “Render unto Caesar” gives no cover for that. 

    “I am the good shepherd…My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.” 

    “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I have been doing…If you love me, keep my commands…My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you…”

    -Various verses in John 10-15

     

    • #9
  10. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball
    @DougKimball

    It would be better to describe Putin as amoral, masquerading as Christian, which would put him squarely among most bloody tyrants of the west.  His “Christianity” is political and places him among the “born again” post Soviet Orthodox in Russia.  But one thing is certain, he remains KGB to the core, which means he is a ruthless, sneaky, unrepentant killer.  But like all tyrants, he must have support, or at least order, at home.  That seems to be his great miscalculation and will be his undoing.  The Ukrainians, with support from Europe (and the US) have proven stubborn and will not lay down and submit. No one believes that Ukraine belongs to Russia, neither Russians inside or outside of Russia.  Putin is finding out that his will is subordinate to the will of his people, and he can’t change that.  He is losing the politics and as a result, will lose the war and his power.  The only question remains: how much damage will he inflict as this story unfolds?  Will he come to his senses, be taken out or will he attempt something very, very stupid?  

    • #10
  11. WilliamDean Coolidge
    WilliamDean
    @WilliamDean

    Franco (View Comment):

    Kelly D Johnston: . No Christian would behave the way he is right now or has with his poisoning and murdering of people in places like Ukraine

    Yeah, that’s bad…

    But “Christians” do commit crimes and horrors – just like everyone else. Unless you want to deny 2000 years of religious wars and atrocities. How many people are you prepared to ex-communicate?

    So you are free to claim they aren’t really Christians all you like, but that won’t help your case.

    Maybe you could see that being Christian or believing in Christ is not an automatic path toward a moral life. That who or what you believe in is no guarantee for yourself or for others of right actions. They actually have very little to do with each other.

    Fair enough. But you can’t on the one hand praise or sympathize with Putin as a man of faith and a defender of Christian values and then on the other deny that the faith and those values have any higher virtue to be praised for them. It’s gotta be one or the other, man.

    • #11
  12. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    The Just War Doctrine of the Catholic Church:

    2308: All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war.

    However, “as long as the danger of war persists and there is no international authority with the necessary competence and power, governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed.”

    2309: The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:

    – the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

    – all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;

    – there must be serious prospects of success;

    – the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

    These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the “just war” doctrine.

    The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.

    2312: The Church and human reason both assert the permanent validity of the moral law during armed conflict. “The mere fact that war has regrettably broken out does not mean that everything becomes licit between the warring parties.”109

    2313: Non-combatants, wounded soldiers, and prisoners must be respected and treated humanely.

    Actions deliberately contrary to the law of nations and to its universal principles are crimes, as are the orders that command such actions. Blind obedience does not suffice to excuse those who carry them out. Thus the extermination of a people, nation, or ethnic minority must be condemned as a mortal sin. One is morally bound to resist orders that command genocide.

    2314: “Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation.”110 A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons – to commit such crimes.

    Putin is in violation of many of these provisions of the Just War Doctrine. Although he may not be a Catholic, Ukrainian Catholics, and Catholics from other countries, can in good conscience fight for their country, and Ukraine as well.

    • #12
  13. Tyrion Lannister Inactive
    Tyrion Lannister
    @TyrionLannister

    Great post.  This article is attempt to separate Putin from Christianity by making the case that a true Christian wouldn’t do the evil things Putin has done.

    I strongly disagree with some of the comments here which are attacking the author by attempting to draw a moral contrast between our guys and Putin.  There is no moral equivalence between the deaths of Soleimani, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Bin Laden, etc, and the assassinations orchestrated by Putin.  There is no moral equivalence between the invasions of Iraq (or Afghanistan) and of Ukraine.  The differences are profound, and frankly shouldn’t require explanation.

    These “yeah, but” comparisons are attempts to minimize what Putin has done.  Why else are they even brought up?  (“Sure Putin is bad, but we have Presidents who’ve invaded and killed people we don’t like”).  I don’t know why some on the right reflexively defend Putin, but these attempts to draw a comparison to Putin are in of themselves evidence that some people have a soft spot for him.  Some of it is probably driven by respect, some by falling for his dishonest defense of Christianity, and some by his nationalist rhetoric- regardless of the reason there have been many posts and comments on Ricochet comparing Putin favorably to US leaders.  Some have even said they’d rather be governed by Putin than Obama.  

    Putin is the aggressor in Ukraine , and an evil, murderous dictator.  Pointing out that he’s not a man of faith or that he’s a poor defender of Christian values should be an easy thing to agree with.

    • #13
  14. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and
    @Misthiocracy

    Kelly D Johnston: And no Christian leader would invade a neighbor based on total lies, accusing Ukraine – led by a Jewish President and the grandson of Holocaust survivors – for harboring Nazism.

    Who learned that gambit from whom?

    • #14
  15. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and
    @Misthiocracy

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):
    George Bush invaded Iraq on total lies.

    Oh, puhleeezze! GWB didn’t himself lie, because he didn’t know the reports from Iraq weren’t true. That was entirely on the shoulders of our (we now know) corrupt intelligence services. GWB has his flaws, but that wasn’t one of them.

    Maybe Hang On’s comment was in reference to Hill+Knowlton’s PR campaign for the first Gulf War?

    • #15
  16. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    Kelly D Johnston: . No Christian would behave the way he is right now or has with his poisoning and murdering of people in places like Ukraine

    Yeah, that’s bad…

    But “Christians” do commit crimes and horrors – just like everyone else. Unless you want to deny 2000 years of religious wars and atrocities. How many people are you prepared to ex-communicate?

    So you are free to claim they aren’t really Christians all you like, but that won’t help your case.

    Maybe you could see that being Christian or believing in Christ is not an automatic path toward a moral life. That who or what you believe in is no guarantee for yourself or for others of right actions. They actually have very little to do with each other.

    Yeah, the idea that “Christian” leaders don’t kill people is pretty silly, in my view. Obama had Osama killed, and while I don’t think that Obama is actually a Christian, I don’t expect that Kelly would complain about it. W would have done the same thing given a chance, I think.

    What about Trump ordering the hit on that Soleimani fellow? Now once again, I don’t actually think that Trump is a Christian, but I doubt that Kelly would have complained about this one, either.

    Let’s not even get started on the hundreds of thousands of civilians targeted and killed by the Allied bombing campaign in WWII. Kelly’s argument would certainly apply to Churchill and FDR, wouldn’t it?

    The world is a messy place. It’s tough on a Christian leader, I think. I don’t know what I would do if faced with such responsibility. I do generally fall back on the “render unto Caesar” line.

    Or, “by their fruits you shall know them…”

    • #16
  17. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    WilliamDean (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    Kelly D Johnston: . No Christian would behave the way he is right now or has with his poisoning and murdering of people in places like Ukraine

    Yeah, that’s bad…

    But “Christians” do commit crimes and horrors – just like everyone else. Unless you want to deny 2000 years of religious wars and atrocities. How many people are you prepared to ex-communicate?

    So you are free to claim they aren’t really Christians all you like, but that won’t help your case.

    Maybe you could see that being Christian or believing in Christ is not an automatic path toward a moral life. That who or what you believe in is no guarantee for yourself or for others of right actions. They actually have very little to do with each other.

    Fair enough. But you can’t on the one hand praise or sympathize with Putin as a man of faith and a defender of Christian values and then on the other deny that the faith and those values have any higher virtue to be praised for them. It’s gotta be one or the other, man.

    I’m not praising or sympathizing with him. I think it’s a mistake to dwell on his supposed Christianity as an argument either way, or pretend that morality and Christianity are or should be connected. It’s a bad argument.

     

    And jihadis aren’t Muslims🙄… because Muslims believe blah blah blah. 

    • #17
  18. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    Moderator Note:

    Redacted A smorgasbord of insults

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):Great post. This article is attempt to separate Putin from Christianity by making the case that a true Christian wouldn’t do the evil things Putin has done.

    I strongly disagree with some of the comments here which are attacking the author by attempting to draw a moral contrast between our guys and Putin. There is no moral equivalence between the deaths of Soleimani, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Bin Laden, etc, and the assassinations orchestrated by Putin. There is no moral equivalence between the invasions of Iraq (or Afghanistan) and of Ukraine. The differences are profound, and frankly shouldn’t require explanation.

    These “yeah, but” comparisons are attempts to minimize what Putin has done. Why else are they even brought up? (“Sure Putin is bad, but we have Presidents who’ve invaded and killed people we don’t like”). I don’t know why some on the right reflexively defend Putin, but these attempts to draw a comparison to Putin are in of themselves evidence that some people have a soft spot for him. Some of it is probably driven by respect, some by falling for his dishonest defense of Christianity, and some by his nationalist rhetoric- regardless of the reason there have been many posts and comments on Ricochet comparing Putin favorably to US leaders. Some have even said they’d rather be governed by Putin than Obama.

    Putin is the aggressor in Ukraine , and an evil, murderous dictator. Pointing out that he’s not a man of faith or that he’s a poor defender of Christian values should be an easy thing to agree with.

     

    • #18
  19. D.A. Venters Member
    D.A. Venters
    @DAVenters

    Redacted

    It may depend on how you define a “Christian.”  If you define a Christian who sincerely believes in Christ and follows Him, no person like that is going to knowingly cause this kind of death and suffering.  Not without, at least, some major mistake in fact or a mental health breakdown.  Certainly Christians fall short of their calling to follow Christ all the time.  That’s to be expected.  Especially in complicated circumstances or when stakes are relatively low.  But to commit sins of this magnitude – invading a country and killing their people – being so obviously contrary to the teachings and commands of Christ, to say nothing of His example – something has to really be off the rails.  And so, with that definition, I think it’s fair to say that person is not, at least at the moment, a real Christian.

    • #19
  20. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    Redacted

    It may depend on how you define a “Christian.” If you define a Christian who sincerely believes in Christ and follows Him, no person like that is going to knowingly cause this kind of death and suffering. Not without, at least, some major mistake in fact or a mental health breakdown. Certainly Christians fall short of their calling to follow Christ all the time. That’s to be expected. Especially in complicated circumstances or when stakes are relatively low. But to commit sins of this magnitude – invading a country and killing their people – being so obviously contrary to the teachings and commands of Christ, to say nothing of His example – something has to really be off the rails. And so, with that definition, I think it’s fair to say that person is not, at least at the moment, a real Christian.

    After being redacted for a “Smorgasbord of insults”, I’m now in a worse mood than before. I even forget what I said. I guess I offended someone’s religious sensibilities. 

    There is no claim Christians or Muslims or whoever, can make to being moral based on their  religion. We know that there are immoral people in every religion. and we also know that many claim that their religious beliefs give them justification for their actions. This is politics 101.

     

    I’m not bashing Christians or Muslims or anyone. I’m bashing the conceit that religion and morality are connected. They are not. There are moral people who are religious, immoral people who are religious and moral people who are atheist and immoral people who are atheists, agnostic or whatever. The claim that Putin is a religious man and therefore … somehow justified and acting in ‘good faith’, is absurd. Claiming Putin is evil and therefore not a Christian is also absurd. He claims to be a Christian. So what? 

    Putin calling himself Christian is meaningless, and the way to combat that is not to say Putin is not a “Christian” because Christians don’t invade countries … (not a good argument going back to the Crusades) but to say Putin is immoral. Period.  

    Because, who is the arbiter of what is Christian? You? The Pope? Which Pope? Do I need to provide a history lesson? 

    • #20
  21. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Franco (View Comment):
    (not a good argument going back to the Crusades)

    Except of course the Crusades were not an aggressive action, they were a response to muslim conquest.

    • #21
  22. Kelly D Johnston Coolidge
    Kelly D Johnston
    @SoupGuy

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):

    Great post. This article is attempt to separate Putin from Christianity by making the case that a true Christian wouldn’t do the evil things Putin has done.

    I strongly disagree with some of the comments here which are attacking the author by attempting to draw a moral contrast between our guys and Putin. There is no moral equivalence between the deaths of Soleimani, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Bin Laden, etc, and the assassinations orchestrated by Putin. There is no moral equivalence between the invasions of Iraq (or Afghanistan) and of Ukraine. The differences are profound, and frankly shouldn’t require explanation.

    These “yeah, but” comparisons are attempts to minimize what Putin has done. Why else are they even brought up? (“Sure Putin is bad, but we have Presidents who’ve invaded and killed people we don’t like”). I don’t know why some on the right reflexively defend Putin, but these attempts to draw a comparison to Putin are in of themselves evidence that some people have a soft spot for him. Some of it is probably driven by respect, some by falling for his dishonest defense of Christianity, and some by his nationalist rhetoric- regardless of the reason there have been many posts and comments on Ricochet comparing Putin favorably to US leaders. Some have even said they’d rather be governed by Putin than Obama.

    Putin is the aggressor in Ukraine , and an evil, murderous dictator. Pointing out that he’s not a man of faith or that he’s a poor defender of Christian values should be an easy thing to agree with.

    I am very grateful for your comment. I noted that no one challenged my critique of Putin’s alleged “Christianity” based on my three criteria – the obvious false premises of his invasion, his poisoning and killing of opponents, and his weird claim that there is no happiness in life. They instead resorted to “whataboutism,” granting moral equivalence not just to Bush’s ill-advised invasion of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, based on faulty intel, but even Trump’s hit on Qassem Soleimani. I will defer to families of lost and maimed US soldiers from Soleimani’s IEDs for their reaction. Such moral equivalence to Putin’s war crimes borders on insanity.

    • #22
  23. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    (not a good argument going back to the Crusades)

    Except of course the Crusades were not an aggressive action, they were a response to muslim conquest.

    Oh, oooookay… it was a response…. got it….

    Everything is a ‘response’. Every conflict has a history. I’m not taking sides here or condemning anyone. Everyone believes they are acting ‘in good faith’. And innocents get killed. It gets very dicey when you connect religiosity with morality. Do I have to invoke the Inquisition?  I really don’t want to offend good Christians, but really, have some humility.

    • #23
  24. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Franco (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    (not a good argument going back to the Crusades)

    Except of course the Crusades were not an aggressive action, they were a response to muslim conquest.

    Oh, oooookay… it was a response…. got it….

    Everything is a ‘response’. Every conflict has a history. I’m not taking sides here or condemning anyone. Everyone believes they are acting ‘in good faith’. And innocents get killed. It gets very dicey when you connect religiosity with morality. Do I have to invoke the Inquisition? I really don’t want to offend good Christians, but really, have some humility.

    Some people will claim that whatever they do is a “response,” but many of them are lying.

    • #24
  25. D.A. Venters Member
    D.A. Venters
    @DAVenters

    Franco (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    Redacted

    It may depend on how you define a “Christian.” If you define a Christian who sincerely believes in Christ and follows Him, no person like that is going to knowingly cause this kind of death and suffering. Not without, at least, some major mistake in fact or a mental health breakdown. Certainly Christians fall short of their calling to follow Christ all the time. That’s to be expected. Especially in complicated circumstances or when stakes are relatively low. But to commit sins of this magnitude – invading a country and killing their people – being so obviously contrary to the teachings and commands of Christ, to say nothing of His example – something has to really be off the rails. And so, with that definition, I think it’s fair to say that person is not, at least at the moment, a real Christian.

    Because, who is the arbiter of what is Christian? You? The Pope? Which Pope? Do I need to provide a history lesson?

    You don’t have to guess who the arbiter is. That is answered in the passages I quoted above and all the surrounding passages. He lives.

    And anyway it’s not a label, or a description, or a category – it’s a belief and the actions that correspond to it. Again, I would refer you to those verses and many others like them.

    • #25
  26. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    Kelly D Johnston (View Comment):
    I noted that no one challenged my critique of Putin’s alleged “Christianity” based on my three criteria – the obvious false premises of his invasion, his poisoning and killing of opponents, and his weird claim that there is no happiness in life.

    No one can challenge you because it’s your definition. Are you the arbiter of Christianity? Still it seems reasonable, until you look at actual history, then it doesn’t hold up very well.

    Be Christian. That’s fine. I’m glad tyou noticed that Vladimir is a thug -( like so many!)

    Why is this a religious issue? Can’t someone just be a tyrant?

    Putin could call himself a Scientologist for all I care, and even with my low opinion of that religion, I don’t think I would associate his actions with the core tenets of that cult. If other Scientologists went on record saying Scientology doesn’t believe in false premises of invasions, poisoning of opponents and that there’s “no happiness in life”, it wouldn’t make me feel one bit better – probably worse that they were so insecure as to feel obligated to verbalize such a thing.

    I will defer to families of lost and maimed US soldiers from Soleimani’s IEDs for their reaction. Such moral equivalence to Putin’s war crimes borders on insanity.

    I’m glad he was offed. But I can’t pretend it was “moral”. I honestly don’t know. I thing it was a ‘good’ thing though. The problem is that we don’t have all the facts. 

    • #26
  27. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    (not a good argument going back to the Crusades)

    Except of course the Crusades were not an aggressive action, they were a response to muslim conquest.

    Oh, oooookay… it was a response…. got it….

    Everything is a ‘response’. Every conflict has a history. I’m not taking sides here or condemning anyone. Everyone believes they are acting ‘in good faith’. And innocents get killed. It gets very dicey when you connect religiosity with morality. Do I have to invoke the Inquisition? I really don’t want to offend good Christians, but really, have some humility.

    Some people will claim that whatever they do is a “response,” but many of them are lying.

    Most people just lie to themselves to justify their actions. It’s not just dictators. Clergy, academics, politicians, lawyers, just about everyone. I include myself. We all do it. Accept that basic psychological fact and you will have more understanding (or less?) of what’s going on… 

    • #27
  28. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Franco (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    (not a good argument going back to the Crusades)

    Except of course the Crusades were not an aggressive action, they were a response to muslim conquest.

    Oh, oooookay… it was a response…. got it….

    Everything is a ‘response’. Every conflict has a history. I’m not taking sides here or condemning anyone. Everyone believes they are acting ‘in good faith’. And innocents get killed. It gets very dicey when you connect religiosity with morality. Do I have to invoke the Inquisition? I really don’t want to offend good Christians, but really, have some humility.

    Some people will claim that whatever they do is a “response,” but many of them are lying.

    Most people just lie to themselves to justify their actions. It’s not just dictators. Clergy, academics, politicians, lawyers, just about everyone. I include myself. We all do it. Accept that basic psychological fact and you will have more understanding (or less?) of what’s going on…

    Sure.  And that means that the muslims claiming the Crusades were aggression, rather than attempting to take back areas the muslims had conquered, was and is a lie.

    • #28
  29. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    (not a good argument going back to the Crusades)

    Except of course the Crusades were not an aggressive action, they were a response to muslim conquest.

    Oh, oooookay… it was a response…. got it….

    Everything is a ‘response’. Every conflict has a history. I’m not taking sides here or condemning anyone. Everyone believes they are acting ‘in good faith’. And innocents get killed. It gets very dicey when you connect religiosity with morality. Do I have to invoke the Inquisition? I really don’t want to offend good Christians, but really, have some humility.

    Some people will claim that whatever they do is a “response,” but many of them are lying.

    Most people just lie to themselves to justify their actions. It’s not just dictators. Clergy, academics, politicians, lawyers, just about everyone. I include myself. We all do it. Accept that basic psychological fact and you will have more understanding (or less?) of what’s going on…

    Sure. And that means that the muslims claiming the Crusades were aggression, rather than attempting to take back areas the muslims had conquered, was and is a lie.

    I have no way of knowing. 

    I lean toward the Christian preference personally. For a lot of reasons. But we are victims of the stories we tell ourselves, so everyone is vulnerable.

    The only thing that makes us less vulnerable is the understanding of how vulnerable we are.

    Any religion that would claim I am a saint or Messiah, I would reject outright. If you call that low self-esteem, so be it. Silly but true, and most everyone of sanity would say the same.

     

    But anyone has to acknowledge that looking through history many actions were taken believing in better outcomes, but these outcomes are eventually imposed by force. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

    • #29
  30. WilliamDean Coolidge
    WilliamDean
    @WilliamDean

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    (not a good argument going back to the Crusades)

    Except of course the Crusades were not an aggressive action, they were a response to muslim conquest.

    Oh, oooookay… it was a response…. got it….

    Everything is a ‘response’. Every conflict has a history. I’m not taking sides here or condemning anyone. Everyone believes they are acting ‘in good faith’. And innocents get killed. It gets very dicey when you connect religiosity with morality. Do I have to invoke the Inquisition? I really don’t want to offend good Christians, but really, have some humility.

    Some people will claim that whatever they do is a “response,” but many of them are lying.

    Most people just lie to themselves to justify their actions. It’s not just dictators. Clergy, academics, politicians, lawyers, just about everyone. I include myself. We all do it. Accept that basic psychological fact and you will have more understanding (or less?) of what’s going on…

    Sure. And that means that the muslims claiming the Crusades were aggression, rather than attempting to take back areas the muslims had conquered, was and is a lie.

    350 years is an awful long statute of limitations for reconquest to be considered “non-aggressive.” That’s about the length of time between the Muslim conquest and the 1st Crusade, after all. If the Brits tried to invade the US now (don’t laugh), would you not consider that an act of aggression? Or would that be merely “taking back” areas they had lost to the traitorous rebels?

    • #30
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