Obama recently changed the United States’ nuclear policy and also signed a weapons treaty with Russia.
The gist of the policy change is that the US will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear powers (with some exceptions). Interestingly, Newt Gingrich and Sean Hannity claimed that under the new policy, the United States cannot respond with nuclear weapons to a massive biological weapon attack. However, this claim shows that these two men are either ignorant of the real policy or simply lying. This is because the policy makes an explicit statement that the United States retains the option of using nuclear weapons in such cases.
If Newt and Hannity are ignorant, then they were acting irresponsibly. After all, they have an obligation to determine the facts before making such claims. This is true of anyone, but as influential public figures (and being on a news program) they have an even greater obligation to get their facts right before making such claims. Naturally, people can miss facts even when acting in good conscience. However, finding out the facts about this policy is a rather easy matter and hence it is reasonable to expect these men to have taken the minuscule effort it would have taken to learn the truth.
If Newt and Hannity knew the truth, but simply lied in order to take shots at Obama and perhaps scare Americans, then they acted in an immoral manner. This, of course, assumes that lying is wrong. However, if one takes the view that lying for political gain is acceptable, then this would be just fine. However, this would mean that the Democrats would be entitled to operate by the same principle as would the “liberal” media.
On a related note, I also happened to catch a clip of Sarah Palin criticizing this policy. She used an analogy to kids fighting on a school yard and there being one kid who says he will not hit back if attacked. Once again, Obama is not saying that we will not hit back. To make a more appropriate analogy, it is like kids fighting on the schoolyard and the biggest, toughest kid says that he will not use his baseball bat on kids who don’t have them. But, if someone hurls a rock at him, he will use the bat. Or if some kids have boards they want to make into bats, he can use the bat on them.
While I am all in favor of hitting people back, this means that I would be a rather bad Christian. After all, Jesus says:
You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. ‘But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Palin and many Republicans like to claim that they are Christians, so it was interesting to hear her blatantly rejecting what Jesus said.
Naturally, it can be argued that the bible is rather inconsistent and that a Christian does not have to follow that “turn the other cheek” thing. After all, the bible is full of passages justifying and allowing killing. Of course, this same sort of “pick and chose” should be extended to others as well, on the pain of inconsistency. So, for example, folks who want to ignore what the bible allegedly says about same sex marriage should feel as free to ignore that as Palin and other Republicans feel free to ignore other parts of the bible.
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