My friend Denis Haack, of Ransom Fellowship (awesome people, amazing writing, go to their website, sign up for their magazines, buy Margie's book...) blogged on the film "Zero Dark Thirty" and his thoughts on the Rule of Law and the fight against terrorism.
His conclusion (similar to mine) : "We need to talk"
I am not convinced, however, that as a people we have thought about this issue or discussed it sufficiently. That our leaders could so easily sacrifice our deepest ideals in the name of security is troubling. In fact, just war principles had been raised in the last few decades as justification for conflicts in which American soldiers would be participating. Why did such ethical considerations not enter the picture here? The rule of law in war is vital because without it a nation can win a conflict only to discover that in the process they have sacrificed their souls. Terrorism remains a sad fact in our broken world, the yearning for security still lingers amidst the fears generated by the daily news, and decisions need to be made about fresh threats as time goes by. We need to talk.
Both topics, the use of torture and the use of unmanned drones, are difficult to face and more difficult to discuss with civility. Still, this is a national conversation that is badly needed and that needs Christians as participants. For one thing, civility is not an option for us since the command to love even our enemies requires it. Hopefully that will help.
Dennis' post is deeper and more theological (though worth reading even if you don't share the faith he and I do) than my rants. I highly recommend you read it, all think about it and prepare yourself to contribute to that discussion.