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November 01, 2011

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Wayne Northey

Thanks to Steve for a very sensitive response to the Omnibus Bill. And thanks to Henk for your comments. "The fog of war" is an expression of battlefield confusion that aptly applies to all Western Christian attempts to justify a nation’s engagement in war according to “just war” criteria; criteria that have been neither biblical (from St. Augustine onwards who first proposed such), nor met in any Western Christendom war (according to John Howard Yoder – see: http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=107). Errol Morris did a documentary by the same title in which former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara openly admits the Western Allies committed massive war crimes that could have found them guilty at a War Crimes Tribunal – had they lost the War!
Since President Nixon’s administration first coined the expression “war on crime” to promulgate same, and a subsidiary “war on drugs”, there has been a similar “fog of war on crime”. No scientific criteria from any criminological/juridical realm justifies such violence; no credible biblical view of justice can ignore shalom (as Henk suggested) as ultimate goal.
Despite this, a current Conservative Christian cabinet member told me approvingly in good faith that thirteen Conservative Christian MP’s totally support the current government’s anti-crime initiatives because they are “balanced”. (Though “balance” is hardly a biblical category of a God who indiscriminately lavishes rain and sun on the evil and good!) Though there is not a shred of evidence to support the legitimacy of most of this government’s anti-crime initiatives. As to this second point, I encourage people to peruse a collection of evidence-based responses to the Conservative government’s anti-crime initiatives by clicking on this page, http://m2w2.com/wp/about-m2w2/restorative-justice/, and cursoring down to over two dozen articles and counting under the title: “Responses to the 2011 Omnibus Bill C-10, “Safe Streets and Communities Act”, and similar legislation”.
There appears to be at work in this case indeed a “fog of war on crime” that is at once profoundly anti-scientific, and profoundly anti-Christian. (See my article, http://www.clarion-journal.com/clarion_journal_of_spirit/2011/10/m2w2-and-enemy-love-as-core-gospel-by-wayne-northey.html, on this website as one brief pointer to the biblical issues.)
Even more blaring “fog horns” are needed to “whistle-blow” the “nofar” (no facts, no analysis, no research) and the ethical bankruptcy ("pharisaism" in Jesus' world) of these anti-crime measures. Steve Bell showed us however how to “blare the truth in love”. May thousands “Go and do likewise”!
A good place to begin is a visit, phone call, letter, etc. with/to your MP, and your MLA. Tell the latter that you want the province to refuse to pay for any of the Conservative crime bills unless they meet rigorous scientific and biblical ethical scrutiny.

Henk Smidstra

Thanks Steve. I too am very concerned, and see the issue as a lack of ethics on the part of the Conservatives; they will not look at evidence, or look to the South where mass incarceration has not worked. They are pragmatic politicians and using this issue and the human beings involved for their own political advantage. The crime bills have for quite some time been a handy tool to gain votes...sadly in todays world, and even in many churches, votes are not won by being percieved to be soft on crime...whatever that means. Politics can be brutal, the realm of principalties and powers and politicians of all stripes in Ottawa need our prayers and our prohetic voices calling out for justice...oh that word has been so abused, lets call for shalom.. Henk S.Surrey BC.

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