1. I have just finished reading 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars by Kurt Eichen-wald, which describes the response of Bush administration after the 9/11 attacks. Iraq war shouldn’t have happened and has nothing to do with al-Qaeda at all (it is, indeed, a very bad Crusade, since Bush did it in the name of his ‘god’), Bush administration practices torture against the supposedly Taliban/al-Qaeda detainees (with some are not even related to Taliban/al-Qaeda at all), and they should be accounted for both (but not yet). Blair is basically a politician, Bush is this stupid and bad guy, and Cheney is the super mega evil guy. I guess I am really glad that Obama is the US president now, not some hawkish Republicans who would have planned to invade Iran after the Boston bombings (yes, I know that they are not related, but that’s the point). I believe in the universal final judgment, not only to account for whatever I have done throughout my life (I thoroughly deserve the final judgment), but also because of people like Bush and Cheney.
(On the other hand, it might explains why Obama is so reluctant to interfere in Syria now. Although Britain, France, Israel, and the US itself have said that Syria had used chemical weapons, I guess Obama really doesn’t want to repeat Bush’s mistake who invaded Iraq in the name of ‘WMDs’ which was eventually shown to be zilch. A pendulum swings from one end to the other end.)
2. I am also reading the history of Princeton Seminary now. At the 50 years celebration of his professorship, Charles Hodge said, “I am not afraid to say that a new idea never originated in the [Princeton] Seminary. Their theological method was very simple. The Bible is the word of God. That is to be assumed or proved. If granted; then it follows, that what the Bible says, God says. That ends the matter.” Hodge is proud that ‘a new idea never originated’ in PTS. The only theological task is to propagate and defend whatever he has received, as enshrined in the Westminster Confession of Faith. But this is a fallacy, since this assumes that whatever the results of the Reformation are equal to ‘what the Bible says’, forgetting that the Reformation itself is not merely a ‘back to the Bible’ movement but also contains many doctrinal developments themselves. Evolution in doctrine and theology is inevitable as the church continues to face new realities and situations. Back to the Bible, indeed, but also forward to the world. Hodge should know better anyway, as he witnessed the Emancipation of the slaves in America. And, since the Old Princeton has become WTS now…
3. On the arrest of a cartoonist by the Singapore police for alleged sedition. Now, I don’t buy the cartoonist’s argument that his works are only fiction. Fiction is never ‘only’ fiction. Fiction works. Fiction is powerful. If his argument is valid, then let us all criticize the government in the name of fiction. Just kidding! On the other hand, the cartoonist shouldn’t be arrested in the first place. I seriously don’t like how the Singapore government likes to counter dissenting opinions by arresting people or sending them lawyer’s letters. There are many false speeches swirling around, to be sure, but please counter speech with speech. The thing about all these lawsuits is, even if the government is in the right, the public perception will always be that the government is a bully, using its power to silence its critics.