What’s Your Red Line?

Why So Syria_

Pardon me for paraphrasing Heath Ledger, but “Why So Syria?”

I mean, why are we on the brink of war in that country?

I know that 355 people died last week, in an attack.

But so what?

I mean, any death is terrible, but a few hundred deaths is a drop in the bucket for Syria.

Since July of 2011, over 100,000 people have died in that country.

Half of them were civilians.

So what’s changed now? What’s pushed us to the brink?

Apparently it’s not just that they died, but also how they died.

The group Doctor’s Without Borders identified what appears to be 355 deaths as a result of a neurotoxin being released. (With thousands injured)

It appears to be iron clad proof that the Syrian government has used Chemical Weapons against civilians.

And so, as I write this, U.S. cruise missiles are poised nearby, ready to punish President Bashar al-Assad for using such a horrid weapon.

You, reading this later will know better than I how it turns out, but here’s a question to ask yourself:

What is your red line?

U.S. President Obama declared last year that the use of chemical weapons was his red line, a point where military retaliation from the U.S. would come into play.

Why so Syria? That’s, in part, why. This was Obama’s red line.

So what’s yours? At what point, if ever, is the use of military force warranted?

Do you measure it by a body count? Or a time line? Or an ethical imperative? Or a vested interest?

These are decisions you and I may hopefully never have to make, and yet, as Christians, these are questions we mustn’t avoid.

At what value do you place human life? At what point is taking human life an acceptable alternative for the sake of preserving it?

If you were in Obama’s shoes, what would your line be?

Christians typically range from pacifism to “just war” thinking. What about you?

I notice that as I get older, I find myself slowly moving from the pacifism side, somewhere into the mushy middle, where ethical considerations like this become so difficult.

I continue to pray for the people of Syria, and for our elected leaders, but I also pray for clarity of my own beliefs.

I pray to know not just “What Would Jesus Do”, but perhaps the more pointed question, “Who Would Jesus Bomb?”

I think I need to know where my red line is. Do you?

One thing is for sure,

that line becomes more and more blurry

when it seems the whole word is seeing red.

Have a good week,



Images from http://images.cryhavok.org/ and http://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/title/452

2 thoughts on “What’s Your Red Line?

  1. Mitch, thank you for addressing this very serious concern and crisis. Your question is the correct one. I so struggle trying to be a peacemaker when hearing on a daily basis the number of people being killed. I just ponder whether the world community has truly engaged in peaceful resolution efforts. We (They) tend to give up easily. AND, how many weapons from the US are being used in this war by the Syrian government and/or rebels? No easy answers.


LEAVE A COMMENT -- Join the conversation!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s