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12.27.2006    |    "I will be with the merciful God"
Thus wrote Saddam Hussein, in an epistle penned when he was convicted in November. According to this story in the Toronto Globe and Mail, Hussein
called on Iraqis not to hate the U.S.-led forces that invaded Iraq in 2003 in a farewell letter posted on a Web site Wednesday, a day after an appeals court upheld the former dictator's death sentence and ordered him to be hanged within one month.

[He also] said he was writing the letter because his lawyers had told him the Iraqi High Tribunal which tried his case would give him an opportunity to say a final word.
Of course, being who he is, he couldn't resist adding this:
But that court and its chief judge did not give us the chance to say a word, and issued its verdict without explanation and read out the sentence — dictated by the invaders — without presenting the evidence.
It is fascinating how a brutal dictator might, just might, be mindful of who is the final Judge. As for the message of "do not hate," this strikes me as being too little, too late to have any ring of truth to it.

The truth is that Saddam is a man who had given himself over to evil. Lock, stock, and barrel. Now that he is in the dock, and it would seem soon to be killed by the state, perhaps he is finding God and will truly repent of his sins? Perhaps. So far, however, Saddam has not admitted his guilt, nor has he publically requested forgiveness of those people and groups he has tortured and attempted genocide on.

Despite what you might hear from the pulpit of some churches, forgiveness must be preceded by sincere repentance. As for whether one should execute Saddam, I would not do so. His life belongs not to us, but to God.

This being said, my punishment for one such as Saddam would be to place him in solitary confinement for the rest of his life, and give him no chance to communicate to the outside world.

To those who demand his head on a pike because that's the sort of thing that Muslim Arabs do all the time, well, we are different from them, now, aren't we? Saddam may be a monster; our job, now that that he is removed from being able to harm others, is to let him live out the rest of his natural life in the misery of his own tormented soul.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.