Saturday, March 24, 2007

Back on The Right Balance

I was invited to appear on The Right Balance with Greg Allen again yesterday. We continued right where we left off a few weeks ago, and I was very pleased with the outcome. I hope you will be, too. We were able to talk about the spiritual aspect of the war on terrorism, and how our faith makes us want to serve.

Greg is a member of the Society of Quakers, the other guest, Dave Jeffers, is an Evangelical, and I am a Mormon. But it was an interesting meeting of the religious minds during the segment. Dave's son Eddie is currently serving in Iraq.

We agreed that everyone--Quaker, Evangelical, Muslim, Mormon, so on and so forth--is a child of God, and that we should treat one another as such.

We talked about how it seems, despite the problems with the war in Iraq, caused largely by the mismanagement of the Bush Administration, we feel like we're part of something big, something magnificent that can ultimately bring freedom to the people of Iraq.

We discussed the concept that everyone was born with a conscience, and nearly everyone can distinguish good from evil. And that nearly everyone yearns for freedom, because freedom feels good.

So take a listen. (It's broken up into 3 segments, because my hosting service charges me for larger than 10MB files!)

Segment 1

Segment 2

Segment 3

The best counter-insurgency tactic is to let the people know you care.

The second best counter-insurgency tactic is to let the people know you share their values.


Rich Warnick said...

Frank, I am on a dial-up connection and didn't listen to your discussion, for which I apologize. From the brief summary you posted, I'm confused. How can any religious person support a war of aggression?

I was brought up Catholic, although I have no religion now I'd like to point out that the Catholic Church opposed the invasion of Iraq. The Pope sent a special emissary to Bush beforehand to tell him not to do it. Because it was, you know, immoral and wrong in every way. It's not rocket science.

Today's Salt Lake Tribune notes that the LDS Church still has no official position, however support for the occupation of Iraq among Utah Mormons dropped precipitously since last October, when President Hinckley gave an eloquent speech on the futility of war.

What's your opinion of the Hinckley speech? Do you really believe our invasion of Iraq was acceptable according to the teachings of any major religion?

Frank Staheli said...


I did not support the war, but in retrospect I did relish the opportunity to serve. I have developed a love for the Iraqi (and many other Middle Eastern) people and an understanding and appreciation of Islam that I could have garnered in no other way.

I was at the speech you refer to. I'm sure that some people can infer that President Hinckley was discussing Iraq, but it was clear that he was not. His statements about war were one of a series of vignettes that dealt with (1) the blessings of living the principles of the gospel (2) How the terrible cost of war and death is overcome by the knowledge that Jesus is the Christ, that he suffered for our shortcomings, and that we can live eternally because of his resurrection (3) The dark ages and the plagues that were followed by a restoration of the gospel, including perhaps the second most important event in history, the appearance of God the Father and Jesus Christ to the boy Joseph Smith (4) The importance that everyone, regardless of station in life, be kind to others, and the overwhelming sense of satisfaction at having been able to do so (5) A funny story that illustrates the bonds of love between a father and a son (6) A poem that illustrates the joy with which a parent discovers that their progeny has amounted to something in the world (7) A tribute to the endurance and sacrifices of the Mormon pioneers (8) A reminiscence of a visit with various US service members in Vietnam who were also members of the LDS church, and the reminder that in any vicissitude, our faith can remind us to act with love and dignity (9) The importance of love and brotherhood between men and women of all walks of life, and (10) the indescribable joy of living an upstanding life with a companion by marriage with whom one looks forward with relish at the prospect of sharing one's life for eternity.

My explanation for the drop in support of the war is that George W Bush has had no plan, and Utahns are finally getting around to realizing it.