Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President:

I have to say that as an American and a Christian pastor I am deeply disappointed in your administration’s decisions to continue so many of the notorious Bush era policies. The latest of these are the shocking policy of “preventive detention” and the DOJ’s attempt to circumvent the Supreme Court’s decision in Boumediene v. Bush, basically shifting all that was evil in Guantanamo to Bagram.

In regard to preventive detention, you said last May that you would “work with Congress” to make sure this was done “legally.” But we know from the experience of the last eight years that the Courts, not Congress nor legal memos, are the final arbiters of what is constitutional. In regard to Guantanamo, transferring detainees and the whole system to another site thousands of miles away is hardly “closing Guantanamo” and all it represents.

I used to be a proud American. I used to think my country was different, that though attacked, we would rise above the level of those who attacked us because of our commitment to liberty, the Constitution, and the rule of law. Instead, we have sunk lower, much lower than our enemies, as they hoped we would, and so we have justly earned their hatred. For these are the policies of the very dictatorships we have condemned in the past, not of a republic that values justice and fairness. I shudder to think what our Founders would say, they who were so committed to rising above the tactics of their enemy, even when the odds were so viciously stacked against them. I ask you to consider them and the example they set, even in the direst of circumstances.

Only a year ago you spoke of “rejecting a false choice between fighting terrorism and respecting habeas corpus.” I plead with you, please remember this promise.

Like so many of my fellow Americans, I had hope in your campaign commitment to “change.” But I confess, the only change I see so far is the name plate on the Oval Office door. I hope the years ahead will prove me wrong.

Respectfully yours,

Rev. S.J. Munson
Long Island, NY

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  1. Steve M – I am extremely disappointed that you are no longer proud to be an American – and that you believe our actions have become worse than our enemies. I can't believe you are serious. What country would you to prefer to live in? Are you saying there is a moral equivalency between beheading journalists – blowing up innocent people – using women and children as suicide bombers to our actions of being proactive in trying to protect ourselves? Are you aware that President Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War? I think you are listening to too many far-left, American-hating loons. In our short 200-year plus history, we have helped to end fascism and communism, two world wars, come to the aid of Israel, provided food/clothing/medicine/funds to many who have faced various disasters. Americans are among the most generous in the world. There is no doubt that America has its sins – once slavery and now abortion. But to say we are worse than those who show little to no concern for the sanctity for life is naive at best. I would have preferred if you had focused your letter on a grievous sin that we continue to commit – one that is supported by countries all over the world – the Democratic Party (fundamental platform issue) as well as President Obama – abortion – the killing of the most innocent and helpless of life. Better to spent your efforts and ink on an issue that is a matter of life and death. Steve R

  2. Steve, not that Mr, Munson needs to be defended, but I found your response curious and tragically hypocritical. Your words betray what this country should stand for. The reason we are the nation people all over the world look to is because we ARE different than others. We are suppose to uphold international law and not torture, even those who would do us harm – and yes some of them have beheaded journalists. Like Steve, I believe we have a moral obligation not to behave like our enemies, but to live as Jesus would command us to. As for abortion? I don't recall Steve ever saying it wasn't an important issue, just not the only one. Many conservative evangelicals I feel are lost in one dimensional arguments that hit talking points but don't accomplish much in the way of real Kingdom building.

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