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Pro Deo Et Patria- An Army Chaplain

I am a chaplain in the US Army, serving in Iraq. I'm keeping a blog to share my thoughts and experiences while deployed. They are my thoughts and they don't necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Army! :)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

News from Baghdad

Well, as I woke up this morning, the news outlets are reporting that Saddam Hussein has been executed. I have mixed feelings about it. One cannot help but feel that justice has been done- inasmuch as a man who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, as well as the tortures and disappearances of even more, has received his punishment. Saddam's effect on Iraq will extend for generations. While many media report that certain vital services were more efficient under Saddam (power, e.g.) what they fail to mention is the price that was paid. Certainly Saddam may have run the nation with a certain degree of efficiency, on a superficial level, but it created a culture of violence and corruption that continues to this day. Yet the problems his rule created in this society go much deeper. He created a culture of violence and fear. Much like abused children take years- even a lifetime- to recover mentally and emotionally- Iraq will take a long time to recover from the culture of fear and corruption that was created.

Yet as a Christian I never rejoice in a death- even of a hardened criminal dictator. My prayer is that somehow, in some way, Saddam might have come to know Christ in his last days. That might sound crazy to some, but that is the radical nature of grace. It is the Truth that God's grace is extended to all people. Whether or not Saddam ever heard or received this Truth is between God and him. His death was, I believe, just. But that doesn't bring joy. It simply reminds us that we live in a sinful world where evil exists. In this face of his death, we should turn all the more to Christ, recognizing our own brokeness and need for a Savior.

On a different note, one of the comments on my last post asked the question of what I believe will be the effect from Saddam's death. A lot of commentators are talking about this, debating it, and offering expert opinions. I'm not an "expert" by any means, but my personal opinion is that nothing will change. I don't say that in a negative or a positive sense. I simply don't think Saddam's death is highly relevant to the conflict at this point, and the issues at hand for Iraq will ultimately have to be solved by the Iraqis.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Mark True said...

Chris:

ABC's 20/20 interrupted its planned broadcast last night to tell us about the execution. During a brief biography of Saddam, they mentioned the "positive" results of his reign but spent a great deal of time detailing the fear that he created and the legacy he passed down to his sons. It was no liberal revisionist history...it was gruesome. I expect the media will do even more now that he's dead.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on his death. I, too, had some conflicting thoughts last night as I started to pray, but couldn't think of how to pray for Saddam. Your words are a good guide. As we know, God forgives everybody who comes to him through his son, Jesus Christ. Only God knows what Saddam did in the last days of his life.

Be safe.

-Mark

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Chris:
It is always good to hear from you. About saddam: There are still people in Germany - mostly the very old and very young and ignorant - who say that things were better under Hitler. Everybody had work, things like that. May God deal with Saddam's soul and judge him. He alone knows Saddam's heart. May God's will be done. I feel more sorry for all the Iraqi people who committed crimes because Saddam told them alot of lies about America. My prayer for the Iraqi people is that they can have a new beginning in this new year. Finally free from the tyrant.

Happy New Year to you and yours. Peace and may the Lord be your help and your shield.
Sonja D.

"No King is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength." Psalm 33:16

2:56 AM  
Blogger Taylor said...

I appreciate your perspective on Sadam. Although many were happy here in the USA,....a part of me felt sad...only because death is never a happy ocasion. Yes I think he deserved it. He has done dreadful things but I hope he found Jesus. Of course only God knows his heart.

Thanks for posting the pictures as well. My family and I enjoyed seeing them.

7:34 AM  
Blogger Taylor said...

My family and I appreciate very much what you had to say about Saddam and his death. Certainly death is never a happy ocasion. I was praying last night here in the USA that somehow in those last moments he would come to know Christ. God loves everyone, even Saddam. It must tear his heart out to see all the pain and sorrow that has resulted from the terrible things Saddam did in his lifetime. But I think it also tears his heart out to know that one of his creations, Saddam, apparently had rejected him. I am so glad God is the judge and not us humans.

Thanks for posting the pictures too!

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Vengeance is Mine," saith the Lord. To kill those who have been rendered defenseless to prove that killing those who are defenseless is wrong is not only irrational, it is also immoral.

3:57 PM  

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