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MEMO TO: MEMO TO. Tony Campolo reponds


re: Tony Campolo responds

(MT: Tony Campolo has always been gracious enough to read comments and respond directly to them. One of the reasons why, when I disagree with him, I respect him. Tony recently emailed Memo-To and responded to the Memo written to him here. So I reprint here for all to consider. And the dialoge continues)

Thank you for your thoughtful response to my broadcast in which I commented
on Virginia Tech, Guns and Torture.

First of all, concerning the issue of gun control, allow me to say that you
are quite right. There are a host of laws on the books concerning restraint
and regulation of guns and they need to be enforced. That's the problem.
The same people who vote the laws into effect refuse to put up the funding
to enforce those laws. Check it out and see if it's not true. Over and
over again, this is done. Laws without funding and without the means to
make those laws effective become, in effect, no laws at all. Over and over
again, when the funding proposals are set forth, pressure is applied to
those who make the laws to prevent the funding from being allotted. That's
the problem from my point of view.

My second major issue of concern is this-between 30% to 50% of all guns sold
at gun shows escape all government regulations. The purchasers buy them on
the spot without any checks on their backgrounds. Again, I ask you to check
that out. To add to the case, may I point out that studies done on the
handbooks that are utilized by Al-Qaeda go so far as to suggest that guns be
purchased at gun shows for acts of terrorism. This fact acknowledges that
the case that I have stated is valid. Efforts to create controls at gun
shows and to have waiting periods, etc., have been frustrated time and time
again by lobbying groups.

Moving on to torture, I am sure you must be aware by this time that the U.S.
government has been turning prisoners over to other countries to do the
torturing for them, thus keeping their hands clean. What we do know is that
the photographs that were leaked from the prisons in Iraq are only the tip
of the iceberg. Indeed, that was even reported to the U.S. Congress. Other
photographs in other situations were withheld simply because they would
enflame the public in a far too extensive manner. Torturing people is not
what American society is about.

I think you should look at the most recent study, done by the Pew
Foundation, on the attitudes of U.S. Marines towards Iraqi civilians. What
is so upsetting is that somewhere between 20%-30% of all those returning
from Iraq will need psychological or psychiatric care because of what they
are having to endure in the way of conflict of values. You cited some very
good cases where military men were prosecuted. However, there are many
complaints that only lower level people are being punished and those who are
higher up (i.e., all the way to the Department of Defense executives) have
not taken responsibility for what has been happening. In short, GIs, who
are perhaps the bravest people in the world right now, are having to take
the brunt of the argument.

Thank you for taking the time to write. I hope there is room for
differences of opinion within the American society and within the context of
the Christian community. If we all have to sing the same song and look at
things in exactly the same way, we will never get to the truth. I am sure
there is much truth that I need to consider from the other side of the
arguments that I have presented, but I believe that there is much truth on
my side as well. It's only as we listen and learn from each other that we
will ever become the kind of positive society that America needs in the
years that lie ahead. I am sure that you would agree with that.

Keep the faith. Believe in America, and more importantly, believe in the
values articulated in Scripture.

Tony Campolo

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