The President and the Killing of Americans
It is abundantly clear to most folks by now that President Barack Obama has claimed the authority to kill American citizens without a trial. One of the qualifications for such a determination is that the person have posed “an imminent threat” to the United States. The same Department of Justice (leaked) document that exposed all of this also says that the government is not required to “have clear evidence that a specific attack on US persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.”
Some have responded by noting that this just makes it more important to elect the right president in future elections. Surely we want to elect someone who won’t decide that WE are an imminent threat!
This just misses the real point, though, doesn’t it? Responding in this way simply concedes that the government has the authority to make such declarations and judgments. It makes the Executive Branch not just judge, jury, and executioner, but also legislator. The point is not to vote in the person who will do the least harm with authority he shouldn’t have, but to elect someone who will acknowledge and give up the supposed authority the office had previously claimed.
The point, moreover, is that the Church and the Christians who constitute her need to speak prophetically to such abuses of power and false claims on authority that only the Triune God can exercise and delegate. And, we must do these things regardless of whether the Supreme Court–which sits comfortably in the pocket of the Executive–says the Executive has this right Constitutionally or not.