[This blog post is the opinion of Greg Nooney and not necessarily the view of the First Unitarian Church of Sioux City.]
One of the criticisms often made against liberals is that we do not have a faith-based world view, and consequently we lack a moral compass. I could argue that humanism is a more viable moral compass than the Abrahamic religions that routinely justify warfare and discrimination, but I will leave that for another time. My concern today is a lack of moral outrage by those with a faith-based world view in light of President Trumps’ ordering the assassination of Qassem Soleimani. His role in Iran is similar to Gina Haspel’s role as the Director of the CIA in the United States. She was the chief of a CIA black site in Thailand in 2002 in which prisoners were tortured. These were war crimes. Now as the director, there is no telling what atrocities she may be authorizing, using the justification of fighting terrorism.
I invite the reader to imagine the moral outrage that would deafen our airways if a foreign country were to assassinate Ms. Haspel as she landed at an airport in Iraq, or Paris, or London. I would guess that the only reason we are not at war with Iran at this moment is because of Iran’s restraint. I would also guess that their restraint is due to the fact that we have nuclear weapons and they do not. Consequently their motivation to obtain a nuclear weapon is now greatly increased, especially as they no longer have to abide by the US/Iran nuclear deal negotiated by President Obama.
There have been arguments regarding whether Trump’s action was strategic, whether it was wise, whether it will do more harm than good. My point, however is that I am not hearing arguments that his action was immoral. So, as a liberal humanist, I am writing to express my moral outrage at his actions. I invite religious folks to join me. Absent such an outcry, in my view, those with a faith-based world view who have been willing to justify Trumps’s other moral failings, have lost whatever speck of credibility they may have had left.