As a member of the San Diego County Republican Central Committee, and as a Christ follower, there is no greater indictment on our Party’s lack of principle and faux commitment to the sanctity of human life than the fact that Congressman Duncan Hunter acknowledges without remorse the murder of women and children while simultaneously defending a soldier who has done the same.
Listen to the sound from East County Christians in and out of politics. Crickets.
The lack of response from our Party and Pro-Life partners exemplifies our hypocrisy and the shallowness of our commitment to the ideas that formed our nation. My brothers and sisters are vociferous in discussions about Christianity’s role in the formation of our nation but eerily silent when it comes to standing by them.
We even have a retired Army General telling Hunter on national TV to keep his mouth shut.
It must make folks question Christianity and our gospel when our Christian electeds are silent because they care more about their earthly citizenship than their heavenly. Not a prescription for reform or to “make America great again.”
How do Hunter staffers preach on Sunday and defend this on Monday?
Does Christ have a second ethic for the soldier?
Who is this Jesus who places such a high value on those created in his image yet condones foreign intervention and the killing of civilians?
I’m embarrassed. We’re so completely rudderless that a Mayor from South Bend, Indiana can make national news pointing out the inconsistency of our positions.
This is not just an indictment of Hunter. This is an indictment of my Party. We won’t hold Hunter accountable because we value our role in politics greater than we value our principles. Our highest value is now ‘pragmatism’. Ends justify means.
I’ll tell you what. Neither party is upholding their oath and reform won’t happen without a return to principle. The laws of nature work outside the jurisdiction of the politician and care little for their ideas.
*Update. For those seeking solutions see ‘just war’, Cicero, Aquinas and Thoreau.
Eric Andersen is a former Caucus Chair for the 71st Assembly District, Co-Founder of the Republican Liberty Caucus of San Diego County and im2moro. He is a former Rock Church Citizen of The Year.
Eric Anderson is a devout Christian and I’ve always admired him for that. His character is beyond reproach.
However, his recent commentary “A Condemnation of Hunter’s Murder of Women & Children” is way off the mark. Why make a condemnation without offering a solution? And what would be his solution? To end war? Then we would have a 911 on a daily basis. Women and children die in war. We wish it were not so, but it is.
And when you write a public commentary, you need to be specific and accurate. He states “while simultaneously defending a soldier who has done the same. ” I’m assuming he is referring to the Gallagher trial. Although minor housekeeping details, here are two points: 1] Gallagher is not a soldier, he is a sailor. 2] Gallagher has not ‘done” the same thing but is ACCUSED of doing the same thing.
Eddie Gallagher is on trial for killing an enemy combatant. Hunter’s point (on the podcast) was, as an artillery officer, he followed orders to fire rounds which may, or may not have, killed civilians.
Should Gallagher and Hunter be judged for their actions or should Congress and the Presidents, who ordered them to take those actions be judged?
I think it’s the latter. In fact, I think Hunter’s comments shine a very bright light on the flawed, post WW2, American foreign policy
Thank you for your comments. With regard to solutions I recommend Cicero, Aquinas and Thoreau. Note two of those aren’t believers. I recommend making the distinction between a just and unjust war. These situations can be completely avoided along with the subsequent debt and blowback by following our principles.
If it is just to initiate aggression against a party not threatening our own we may need to apologize to King George III.
Eddie Gallagher stands charged of stabbing a captured and unarmed teenage prisoner of war to death with witnesses, of intentionally murdering an elderly man and a woman by shooting them with a clear view of who they were from a tower, of threatening witnesses to his murders, and of taking and sending joyful trophy hunting photos with the bodies of his murder victims, among other crimes.
Duncan Hunter has now claimed to have done similar things. However, his only specific claims are that he took (but did not send) trophy photos with corpses, and that he sent artillery into neighborhoods miles away based on targeting information from spotters down range. If true, Hunter’s trophy photo is sick, inhumane and illegal. And his artillery fire may indeed have resulted in accidental and regrettable civilian deaths. But these acts are not remotely similar to the collection of war crimes Gallagher is being tried for.
Either Duncan Hunter has made a false comparison to minimize war crimes and obstruct UCMJ proceedings against an accused war criminal, or he is himself a potential war criminal who hasn’t yet come clean on his intentional murder of civilians.
Either way, Duncan Hunter has once again demonstrated why he is unfit to serve his constituents, or our country.
Thank you Eric, for speaking out. We may disagree on policy, but on this we agree. I hope you find broad support and agreement for your position. Sadly, I think that’s unlikely.
Those in the armed forces should think twice before outsourcing their consciences to elected politicians. Can a rational man really shrug his shoulders when innocents “might” be killed due to his actions?
Let’s begin the war crimes investigation and see what shakes out.
Who cares any longer what Hunter thinks.? Yes, that’s a rhetorical question.
Hunter no longer serves on any House Committees and really has no say in this except what the media allows. He’s under indictment himself. No one should be listening to him or even allowing him on the air. It is the charges against him that should make everyone take anything he says with a grain of salt – or not at all.
The criticism of the RPSDC should be that they continued to endorse him after his indictment because they were too cowardly to pull their endorsement and didn’t want the Democrat running against him to win. They need to get ready for when he is removed from Congress and a new candidate has to fill his office and/or run in 2020, which they don’t seem to be doing.
So, let military figure out whether the orders given Gallagher were valid and were executed properly. It’s up to them to determine if he acted against orders or the UCMJ.
This is all very sad. But Eric, to your comment, those of us who claim to be the champions of life should be the first to stand against. I’m standing against. Hard Pro-Lifer and fighting hard for our 50th District have been and always will.
Jo, your courage to stand consistently for the dignity of human life is noted.
Eric, you say: Who is this Jesus who places such a high value on those created in his image yet condones foreign intervention and the killing of civilians?”
As a Christian yourself you must know that this is a red herring. Christ’s role was to be fully man, fully God, and to die for our sins. It is by His Grace that we live other than simply humans.
And so we must ask God daily to forgive us our sins….and He then will forgive us.
Hunter and so many others forget, either as Christians or not, that THEY are not the center of the world God created. And while it’s easy to criticize (as I think you’re doing here) a “man”; it is equally clear that we as Christians won’t ever, ever be able to defend his sins, or our own…no matter the size and perceived severity.
Don’t be embarrassed for your party. Don’t even be embarrassed by Hunter or those in direct conflict with the Bible and Christ’s teachings. God doesn’t need to be protected. He can’t be embarrassed.
Just go forth and be like the mind of Christ. Understand that your role is to be like Christ, stand up for Christ, and be a disciple for Christ. Understand the limitations of a party or a society; even a nation. And then find a way to take some action. (I do believe one of the comments said something like you’re making generalities….what do you want?)
I’d find specific actionable items to be worthy of my attention.
And I find your post to be filled with a great love for God and a great love for your country.
Unbelievable. What kind of logic leads to posts such as these? As a retired USMC officer/aviator and current government contractor for the Navy, let me set a few things straight. First, the terms “just war” and “unjust war” are meaningless. War is war. Your “just” is another man’s “unjust”. Second, people die in wars, combatants and the innocent, deliberately and “collaterally”. Third, military members in the United States wage war at the direction of civilians. Fourth, compared to the horrible things people do to other people in war, taking a picture borders on insignificant (not to mention Americans/others have been doing it since the camera came into existence during the Civil War). Fifth, war is the worst endeavor mankind has ever created, yet we humans average two wars per year of our existence on this planet. Finally, the posters here need to come to the realization that war has but one purpose and means, to bend another to your will by terrible means. In the big scheme of things, America follows the Laws of War more than any other country, most certainly more than our adversaries, currently and in history. Now, if you don’t like Representative Hunter for the policies he votes for (which comply with the wishes of his electorate), then vote for someone else. If you want to somehow plead that what the United States does in war isn’t “Christian”, you are correct, but no “Christian” army in the history of Christianity has acted “Christian”. Stop pretending it is possible.
Note the absence of reference to principle or ethic in your comment.
Will assume you’re a nihilist or progressive.
Rarely do I read such foolishness about human beings and justice. One longs to walk on all fours after reading it. Since I’ve lost the habit for some 55 years, I feel the impossibility of resuming it.
Eric, have you ever had another trying to kill or maim you, simply because of your nationality? I doubt it. You are right about something. War makes humans act sometimes as animals…with an animal’s survival instinct. BTW, my wife is a retired Army nurse, having served in combat zones and at both Walter Reed and Brooke Army Medical Center. Be Christian and visit our combat wounded (and their families) sometime. You are desperately in need of a dose of reality. Try explaining to them the meaning of Christianity…but be prepared to be schooled on the true meaning by a grievously wounded vet and/or his family.
Your comment about Aquinas’s unjust war theory being “meaningless” speaks volumes about your values.
Until you present a thoughtful case for initiating violence against your neighbor your value system places you closer to that of Nietzsche/Hitler than anything Christian/Western Civ.
Indeed, there is nothing “civilized” in your remarks.
You think your nationality is the reason you’re being shot at? You’re more of a fool than you understand. I guarantee you it is not.
You are being shot at because of your immoral ethic. I believe Hitler’s soldiers at Nuremberg used your rationale.
You share “I’m in desperate need of a dose of reality” ?
I share what “reality” is. That which coheres with truth and “truth” coheres with the One who is the Way, the Life and the Truth, our Creator Christ.
Nothing you have shared links your framework with His, Aquinas or my own.
Where you find the the audacity to mix the nature of Christ with your violent approach to life and your neighbor makes you look sophomoric. Any Nazi in WWII could stand by your side and make the statement you just did.
Ah Eric, you see but you do not understand. As a college freshman a religion professor told me I could not be a Marine and a Christian. You accuse me of being a Nazi (thereby using the tactics of “progressives’ while accusing me of being one). Well, my fair weather patriot, let me enlighten you some (as you appear to dwell in a place very sheltered).
I have a Down Syndrome daughter, the love of my life. The enemy that Duncan, and so many others have/do fight convinced two adult Iraqi Down Syndrome women to wear explosive vests into a market, and then remotely detonated them. For that act alone, not to mention the rest of their atrocities, they have earned my eternal hate. The people Duncan and the American military have been fighting are the true modern Nazis and you sit on the sidelines passing judgment on Duncan? You sir, are a fool and verify for me how the central committee has it’s work cut out for it.
The County party chairman, Tony, has a son who recently became a Marine. Sit down with him, call him unchristian and a Nazi and give him a chance to enlighten you.
Christians have fought throughout history for the right to practice their religion and you should understand what the real world is all about.
You’re the second person on this blog who tried to tell me what a real conservative is. It’s no wonder libs are handing us our butt when Republican elected officials and central party members attack other Republicans instead of convincing the public our political opponents have no viable plan or platform.
Here are some simple statements. I’d like to hear from people who disagree. Please be specific about which statement(s) you disagree with, and why.
1) I think it’s morally wrong for any American troops to sit in a tower and intentionally shoot and kill civilians.
2) I think it’s morally wrong for any American troops to stab to death an unarmed enemy prisoner receiving medical treatment and posing no current threat.
3) I think it’s morally wrong for any American troops accused of 1) and 2) to threaten the lives of other American troops who were witnesses.
4) I believe 1), 2), and 3) if proved true in court represent either war crimes under international treaties, or violations of the UCMJ, or both.
5) I believe America derives strength and loyalty and home and abroad when acting from a position of moral authority, and that support for our military depends on upholding high standards of professionalism. I believe that our military and nation are made stronger when we hold accountable people who fall short of those high standards.
6) I believe our civil and military justice systems are generally equipped to impartiality adjudicate crimes. They aren’t perfect; but they are among the best in the world.
7) I think attempts to undermine our civil and military justice systems are generally dangerous, and specifically self-serving when done by people awaiting trial under a 60-count indictment for corruption and fraud.
“Note the absence of reference to principle or ethic in your comment.”
I think you might be missing the point Mr. Russo and I made. Wars are started by civilians and prosecuted by the military. Criticizing Hunter, or Gallagher, for being frank about the atrocities of war are hacking at branches.
Strike the root.
Appreciate your reference to Thoreau.
The root would be the individual citizen yet each party has culpability.
Each denies the proper role of law and the State.
The citizen for voting for an individual unfamiliar with just law.
The Congressman for taking an oath he neither understands nor desires to submit to.
The soldier for placing himself under the authority of an entity that consistently uses violence in an immoral manner outside its jurisdiction. Intention doesn’t sanctify action. See scriptural examples of Uzzah attempting to uphold the Ark and King Saul attempting to offer sacrifice.
Each party neglects principle and ethic.
“The soldier is guilty for placing himself under the authority of an entity that consistently uses violence in an immoral manner.”
Then you are cherry picking. Condemn every active-duty service member and veteran (who served since 3/13/2003) for “touching the Ark”.
I can’t stress this enough; the words we choose matter. Hunter spoke an inconvenient truth about the atrocities of war (on that podcast) and was rebuked by a retired general officer for saying what few veterans in politics will say. That doesn’t make him a murderer; it makes him a truth teller.
I think we agree that Congressman Hunter should not seek reelection but politics doesn’t have to be about beating a man down. This article suggests that you are more interested in injuring Hunter than illustrating why he isn’t the right choice in 2020.
I remain consistent. Holding my Congressman responsible for his character and voting record.
Ethics are transcendent. “Laws of nature and Nature’s God.” They are the same without regard to place and time.
That being true every man, soldier, falls short to the degree he fails to uphold his neighbor’s life, liberty and property.
Christ not only doesn’t sanctify our action by our intention but he doesn’t hold the American or soldier to a different ethic than the Iraqi or Russian.
Hope that isn’t a news flash.
I hope my words matter but I doubt they’ll be remembered next week. I speak out as an elected because I believe as a Christ follower I must be “salty” and be the change I desire to see in others. I accept the consequences whatever they may be.
If you have an ethic that better coheres with truth and reality please share.
“If you have an ethic that better coheres with truth and reality please share.”
You called Duncan Hunter a murderer. I am wondering if you listened to the podcast in question:
He defended smoking.
He defended DUIs.
He indicted the bureaucracy not understanding what combat-deployed service members do.
He defended a soldier who attacked a pedophile.
He discussed some of the evidence used to indict Chief Gallagher.
He defended Gallagher’s actions against a declared enemy combatant.
He asked to be judged for his actions as an artillery officer in Iraq (you should listen to that; his interviewer defended Hunter’s actions).
It starts at 25 minutes and ends around 35 minutes. The follow-on commentary (about 10 minutes) is squirming at best and a support for the status quo at worst by a bunch of “ark touchers”.
There is evil in the world and it needs to be confronted with violence. We know this because we have a Second Amendment. We, as American citizens, delegate that use of force to an all-volunteer military which agrees to follow the orders of civilian politicians. Most combat veterans I’ve met believe that war is such an horrific act that it should be used sparingly and, when used, be prosecuted with overwhelming force so that the hostilities come to a swift end.
You don’t like Hunter. You’ve never liked him. You’ve made that clear over the years on this blog. I know, you know, and I imagine that Duncan Hunter knows that his career in Congress is over. Your parting shot is to call him a murderer. Let that set in.
I don’t understand how your verse helps this dialogue.
Let’s not quote Scripture and then defend the initiation of violence. That type of duplicity does nothing for Christ, the gospel or to bring the end we desire – peace and justice.
Mt 7:12? Doing “good” on the Sabbath?
Your definition of “good” is to lob bombs on women and children who pose no threat to our liberty? How would you feel if Iraqi’s entered Arizona and lobbed bombs on your mother?
Would that be just?
What if their Colonel commanded them to do it? Is it okay then? (Nuremberg Excuse).
What if they went to Mass first and said ten Hail Marys?
If you feel Imperialism is sanctified by the involvement of a loved one or an American so be it. When believers set aside the 6th Commandment to accomplish their personal desires they are no longer serving Christ. They have carved God into an idol. They worship a god created in their image and not vice versa.
A better Matthew verse. Blessed are the peacemakers …
“Your definition of “good” is to lob bombs on women and children who pose no threat to our liberty? ”
Of course not. Let’s remember that we BOTH cheered the Iraq invasion on when it happened and BOTH realized, some 5 years after the Iraq invasion that it was flawed at best and insidious at worst.
“If you feel Imperialism is sanctified by the involvement of a loved one or an American so be it. ”
I’ve said no such thing but I am mature enough to separate the civilian leadership’s decision to junior officers’ actions. We can both agree that Vietnam was another flawed conflict but I am unwilling to call Ron Paul a murderer for his participation in it.
Have you listened to the podcast?
Peace. I haven’t listened to any podcast. Let’s not bore any of the few still following. I don’t want an end as Cicero’s. (His head and ears were nailed to the Rostra. Believed he could slow Rome’s decline from Republic to tyranny).
We applaud you on the discussion. Since Eric brought it full circle to the Rostra, we will also attempt to do so with a reminder of Cicero’s final words… “There is nothing proper about what you are doing, soldier, but do try to kill me properly.”