Urging the government to assassinate someone vs. urging others
mpollack at uidaho.edu
Wed Aug 24 09:50:45 PDT 2005
Well, I'm hardly the list moderator, but I see the subtext of this
discussion as how seriously constitutional law should take religious calls
against certain outcomes, especially abortion.
Professor, American Justice School of Law
Visiting Univ. of Idaho, College of Law
mpollack at uidaho.edu
From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of Samuel Bagenstos
Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2005 6:37 AM
To: JMHACLJ at aol.com; CONLAWPROF at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: Re: Urging the government to assassinate someone vs. urging others
I'm just wondering where our list moderator is to tell us that the question
whether Chavez is properly compared to Hitler, while perhaps marginally
relevant to constitutional law questions, gets beyond our principal area of
expertise and probably generates more heat than light?
Samuel R. Bagenstos
Professor of Law
Washington University School of Law
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
Personal Web Page:
Disability Law Blog: http://disabilitylaw.blogspot.com/
>>> <JMHACLJ at aol.com> 8/24/2005 8:28 AM >>>
In a message dated 8/24/2005 9:15:26 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
RJLipkin at aol.com writes:
I can't speak for the Christian justification of Bonhoffer's action. But if
I were called to do so, I think it would rather easy to do on the
that Christianity is not committed to pacifism or nonviolence as an
inviolable imperative. Hitler was engaged in world conquest and racial
an unimaginable scale. He (Hitler) represents a paradigmatic example where
negotiation, diplomacy, and compromise were impossible.
But the conclusions Bonhoffer reached about the need to remove Hitler
to have been derived while Europe was still negotiating with Hitler. Now,
at home, Bonhoffer might have understood the futility of it. But not
It strikes me as somewhat silly even to say that Chavez is nowhere near
ballpark. But I'll say it anyway. Should the very extremes regarding
assassination be paradigmatic of normal foreign relations, pray tell, what
of Christian love or a decent secular commitment to respecting humanity?
There are differences, undoubtedly. First among them would seem to me to
Bonhoffer's conclusion that the stand he took he needs must have taken from
within Germany, rather than from a comfortable abode in England or the US.
But, please, having spent my youth with the children of Castro's torture
victims, do not tell me that there is any qualitative difference between one
brutal dictator like him or like other who have risen over time and Hitler.
Quantitative, yes; qualitative, no. Mao's murderous regime claimed its
of millions because his qualities as a brute coincided with the quantities
his potential victims. That others have not "outshined" because the
quantities of potential victims is smaller does not make them better humans
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