< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://www.timothygoddard.com/blog" /> The Flag of the World

The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Friday, April 04, 2003


"Democracy [leads to]! Whiskey! And sexy!"
I'm a little ambivalent about whether to put up this logo made by the esteemable James Lileks up on my site. Normally, I'm a big fan of clever little deals such as this one. And this is nothing if not clever. The words come from, if you have not yet heard, an Iraqi man's answer when asked what the Americans will bring--"around him, the crowd roared its approval." This has gotten plenty of play around the spectrum of people in favor of those three things. Lileks suggests we put it on the 20 dollar bill. Rush Limbaugh asks "What better definition of freedom can you get?" Andrew Sullivan points out that it's "Not quite 'Liberty, Equality, Fraternity' - but a lot more reliable." What do I say? I say "hmmmm..."

This relates very directly to my thoughts on freedom and morality the other day. Again, things the crowd--in Iraq and America--was cheering are the very things that so infuriate the people who fly planes into buildings. And, when misused--which is what always happens, what with people being fallible and all--they should give me, as a Christian, considerable amounts of pause. Do I want to Iraq free just so this guy can go get bombed and look at porno? No!

On the other hand... do I want Iraq free so that death squads don't come after him and his family if he does go get bombed and look at porn? Yes. Do I want Iraq free so that he can make his own moral choices about whiskey and sexy--and for that matter, democracy? Yes. Is it quite likely he will make the wrong choices? Yes. Does that mean the choices should be withheld? No. Freedom without righteousness is a greater sin then forced righteousness, because forced righteousness isn't righteousness at all. Righteousness is a matter of the heart, which no government can stop from sinning, no matter how hard they try--and as they try, and fail, they only increase the sin in the world with their own tyranny and pride.

So I won't put the banner up. But I'll roar in approval with the rest of the crowd, as Iraq begins to make its own choices, for good or ill.
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