This morning when I saw the upcoming time magazine cover, with the question, "Was it worth it?" and the picture of Bowe Bergdahl, one thought popped into my head. As Catholics we believe in the sanctity of all human life, not just innocent human life, but all human life.
Does it answer the question? No. There are many factors that must be considered. And I will be humble enough to willingly admit I don't have access to enough information to have in informed opinion on the president's decision. But I am certain that as each of us are forming our opinions one piece of the puzzle must be our belief in the sanctity of human life.
It is easy for us to think of babies and see sanctity. It becomes exponentially harder when the person in question has done wrong.
Are there times when we must lock a person away for the rest of their life? Yes. Are there times when in the name of legitimate defense we must kill? Yes. But the sacredness that human life has because it is created in the image and likeness of God remains even in the worst criminal. It is why we are told that we must love our enemies, because they too are created in the image and likeness of God, they too have souls.
So am I saying we have to love the 5 Taliban leaders? Yes. I can't find where Jesus gave us an out. This is one of many areas where Jesus parted ways with the Old Testament.
Again, this doesn't mean we should have released them. It doesn't mean we should have traded them for Bergdahl. But it does make the calculation more complex. It's what makes being a Christian so difficult. How do we simultaneously love our enemies, and defend our nation?
More than ever we need the spirit of wisdom and right judgement for ourselves and for our leaders. As Pentecost approaches let us pray for that Spirit.