December 9, 2008 by J. Madson
As I have studied history it appears that some of the worst atrocities and horrors have been perpetrated under the guise of good intentions. Wars waged between nations, villages bombed, innocent civilians killed, fellow human beings tortured, weapons amassed and stockpiled, nuclear proliferation, etc; all of this done with good intentions or so we are told.
So yes perhaps many Americans believed the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq were done with good intentions. Perhaps they even believed torture was done with good intentions. After all what could be more important than preserving freedom. Perhaps even Bush and Cheney thought they were doing everything necessary to save the union, although I highly doubt it.
The problem with what we call good intentions is that they all too often focus on the self. the individual. They are all too often selfish tendencies disguised as good intentions. Where in those good intentions did we ever bother to consider our neighbor, to bless those that curse us, love our enemies, or turn the other cheek. Even our good intentions with reference to our families, community and nation make a statement that our circle of love or of good intentions only extend this far but no further. It seems to me that if we are ever to approach Christianity we must enlarge the circle to encompass all. Our intentions must be good for all or they are forms of self-delusion.