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Thanks, but I can't do that.

Reader comment on item: [Khobar Rampage:] "Don't Be Afraid, We Won't Kill Muslims"

Submitted by Bruce Anderson (United States), Jun 8, 2004 at 21:35

Dear Mr. Pipes,

First, let me say that I love your columns, and appreciate the intent of your latest piece, "Don't Be Afraid, We Won't Kill Muslims." However, please allow me to respond to this one as I believe my Christrian faith requires.

Would I lie and claim to be a Muslim in order to save my own life? As a Navy Chaplain, scheduled to deploy with Marines to Iraq in the near future, the question is not merely an academic one. After serious consideration, I believe that I must never (and trust that I would not) deny my faith to save my skin.

The issue is not the lie, per se. Those Dutch or Danish Christians who hid Jews in their homes and lied to protect them from the Nazis are models of truly Christian behavior. No matter how poorly Christians in general have managed to live up to the ideal, such faith, compassion and sacrifical love are the very core of the Gospel. So, under similar circumstances in a modern Islamo-facist setting, I would be willing to lie to protect someone else. However, while I cannot and do not pretend to speak for everyone on such a thorny issue, I know my own conscience. Denying my faith to save - or, let's say prolong - my own life, would be a catastrophic betrayal of the One I worship and things I believe.

I'm convinced that how I live is more important than how long I live; how I die could be of far greater significance than when I die.
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