October 22, 2011 by John-Charles Duffy
Would folks mind if I addressed myself to God in this post? I don’t presume to be a voice for anyone else but myself. But I want to talk to God about statements that I made publicly; and since those statements were made to the general “cyberpublic,” I’d like to “cc” that same public on this message, for the sake of accountability.
Heavenly Father and Mother–
I’m grateful that Gaddafi is no longer in power. I pray that this can be the beginning of a better life for Libyans. I pray for peace, and justice, and democracy in Libya. I pray for an end to the violence.
I’m not grateful that he’s dead. I’m sorry that he’s dead. I mean that in the sense that I take accountability for being complicit in his death. I spoke out in support of the war in Libya. And that makes me–I was about to say “in some small way,” but I take that back; minimizing my guilt is Your judgment to make, not mine. Let’s try this again: I spoke out in support of the war in Libya. And that means I share responsibility for the vigilante actions of the soldiers who killed him instead of bringing him to legal justice.
Gaddafi’s death should not have happened. I don’t know, really, what You would have regarded as the ideal way to end his regime. I know You hate tyrrany, so I assume You hated the violence of Gaddafi’s reign. I know You also hate war, though I operate on the assumption that You recognize it’s necessary at times. But I also know You would not have wanted things to end like this.
As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that I feel guilty about Gaddafi’s death because that’s the one that’s been publicized. But if I share responsibility for Gaddafi’s death, because of my support for the counteroffensive against his regime, then I also share responsibility for I-don’t-know-how-many deaths carried out by the rebel forces and their NATO allies, or for whatever other atrocities the rebels have committed on the way to power. I also share responsibility for whatever injustices the new regime commits from this point forward.
I started off this message feeling repentant, but now I’m actually feeling rather angry at You for putting us in situations where we have to make these impossible choices, while You sit up there and judge us and cry over our failures.
I don’t want to end on that note. I pray that somehow what has happened can lead to good for Libyans. I pray for all those who are suffering, whatever “side” they’re on.
In Christ’s name, amen.