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The humanity of the enemy2 min read

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The Evangelical Outpost has a nice post on the balanced, Christian perspective regarding the enemy we face in the War on Terror.

Some tend to want to “humanize” the terrorists to the point where we dehumanize the victims. If we constantly seek to “understand” why the terrorists want to kill and have killed many, we tend to downplay the results of their behavior, regardless of the cause.

Justice must be balanced in that it sees the value of all human life – that of the killer and that of the victim. Both must be considered in determining how to apply justice, not just the humanity and value of the accused.

Others, particularly on the right, seek to treat our enemies as worthless and non-humans. This too is dangerous and something that I can be guilty of myself.

As many on the left have pointed out, if you treat others as non-humans you lose much of your own humanity.

The Christian worldview recognizes that human beings are both created in the image of God and fallen in sin. The terrorists are just like us, but their actions are not like ours. They are no more or no less human and are no more or less deserving of judgment and punishment for their actions.

Joe closes with a type of classic final line that has become a trademark of his better posts:

If we are to preserve our own humanity we must not forget that our enemy differs from us in degree, not in kind. Like us, they are human, all too human.