Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Let Saddam Live

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Letters for November 14
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Let Saddam live

Along side the recent election was an event barely covered by the news media yet may have deep implications for peace in the Middle East and peace within our own lives. I'm referring to the conviction of Saddam Hussein.

Many will rejoice in the death penalty that was handed down. I say let him live. Not only because I don't believe we have the right to take the life of any person, but because I believe the potential for doing good lies within us all.

Speaking to the court, he cited references to the Prophet Muhammad and Jesus who had asked for forgiveness for those who had opposed them. "I call on all Iraqis, Arabs and Kurds, to forgive, reconcile and shake hands," Saddam said.

His top lieutenant, still at large, former Iraqi vice president Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, has ordered Baath party bosses still in Iraq to cease attacks.

An attempt to sway world opinion and escape the gallows? Possible.

A sincere request for forgiveness? Also possible.

Will we listen? Probably not.

Yet as a Christian, I will follow the lead of Jesus, my radical leader, who preached unconditional love and unconditional forgiveness. Why would we put to death a man who has the potential, within a flawed life (like ours) to end suffering and bring peace to a troubled region of the world. Far out? Yes. But this radical messenger may be our only hope.


DON WIERENGA/Saugatuck

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