Leithner Letter Nos. 102-104
26 June 2008 - 26 August 2008

God didn’t call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war. ... And we are criminals in that war. We’ve committed more war crimes almost than any other nation in the world, and I’m going to continue to say it. And we won’t stop it because of our pride and our arrogance as a nation. But God has a way of even putting nations in their place. 

Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church (4 February 1968)

60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley recently interviewed the president of Iran in Tehran. Here is part of the exchange:

AHMADEINEJAD: Well, is Mr. Bush a religious man?

PELLEY: Very much so. As you are.

AHMADEINEJAD: What religion, please tell me, tells you as a follower of that religion to occupy another country and kill its people? Please tell me. Does Christianity tell its followers to do that? Judaism, for that matter? Islam, for that matter? What prophet tells you to send 160,000 troops to another country, kill men, women, and children? You just can’t wear your religion on your sleeve or just go to church. You should be truthfully religious. Religion tells us all that you should respect the property, the life of different people. Respect human rights. Love your fellow man. And once you hear that a person has been killed, you should be saddened. You shouldn’t sit in a room, a dark room, and hatch plots. And because of your plots, many thousands of people are killed. Having said that, we respect the American people. And because of our respect for the American people, we respectfully talk with President Bush. We have a respectful tone. But having said that, I don’t think that that is a good definition of religion. Religion is love for your fellow man, brotherhood, telling the truth.

Laurence Vance
Ahmadinejad vs. What Passes for Christianity These Days
(28 September 2007)

A recent poll conducted by Christianity Today (apparently not online anymore) asked the question: “Do evangelicals need a time of repentance for the Iraq war?” I am sorry to have to report that 38% of respondents (a plurality) answered: “No. The war in Iraq was necessary and justified.”

If these Christian warmongers would just admit that they were deceived and that they have learned their lesson about trusting the government when it comes to war then perhaps we could forgive them for being stupid. But to continue to defend Bush and his war after all the lies, all the deception, all the folly, all the billions of dollars spent, and all the American soldiers [and Iraqi civilians] killed is more than stupid – it is evil. Yes, warmongering evangelicals need to repent, and in sackcloth and ashes. How tragic it is that these Christians will be among the first to support the next war. Their God is not Christ the Lord – it is Mars the god of war.

Laurence Vance
Unrepentant Evangelicals
(28 September 2007)

Perhaps It’s Not Different This Time, After All

Little more than a year ago, an article splashed across the front page of the business section of The Australian (27 February 2007) profiled the chairman of one of Australia’s most prominent brokerage firms. He congratulated himself, his firm, the financial services industry – and above all the allegedly rude health of stock and credit markets. “I should be beyond being surprised,” the chairman enthused, “but I cannot believe how much money people have available for special opportunities. The level of liquidity amongst private clients is so much larger now than it has ever been.”

The article reassured readers that this chairman “has seen his share of stock market booms and busts – including the 1987 Crash – [and] does not see the current share market boom ending in tears.” To be sure, “some parts of the Australian market are fully valued, but some of the leading companies such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are very good value by any historical and fundamental standards. While global markets might pull back, they are actually quite cheap.” The chairman concluded that the Australian market’s boom since 2003 “is much more sustainable” than its predecessors; and thanks to China’s meteoric rise, it rests upon stronger fundamentals than the booms of the past. “This one looks to be a lot more sensibly based.”

To read the entire newsletter (PDF), click here.

Chris Leithner


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