The Golden Rule of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” comes to us not from some mystical source of secular humanist thinking, rather it was passed down through the generations from that old and curmudgeonly tome commonly referred to as the Bible. It makes its appearance in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 6, verse 31, and is the closing admonition of Christ to his followers in a segment of teaching that requires the faithful to love their enemies, refrain from retaliation, and to give generously to all who ask. The Golden Rule and the verses preceding it are a high calling for sure, but who among us does not intrinsically want to be treated with such compassion, forgiveness, and equanimity?
President Obama and his surrogates (most notably former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and current White House Spokesman Jay Carney) evidently want Americans to treat them in a Golden Rule fashion as related to their response to the Benghazi incident. Gaining increased exposure is the information regarding about what actually happened in Libya on the night of 9/11/12 resulting in four dead Americans at the hands of a band of highly armed al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic terrorists. In this process of discovery, the administration appears at best to have been utterly confused and incompetent in handling this attack and at worst intentionally negligent in withholding help to our consulate personnel in the midst of a horrific firefight.
The administration also looks suspiciously guilty of a cover up in that terrorist aspect of the attack was quite clearly downplayed by senior officials (i.e. Susan Rice) and the President himself (in his address to the UN later in September 2012) in the favor of a false claim that a YouTube video prompted spontaneous demonstrations which got out of hand in Benghazi. A California man, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who reportedly made the non-starter YouTube video, to the best of anyone’s knowledge remains incarcerated in the aftermath of Benghazi, ostensibly at the behest of Secretary Clinton. All of this outrageous behavior by the Obama administration is sinful for sure, and quite possibly criminal in nature. Yet, like all of us who have made mistakes and sinned, the administration would like America to do to them as they would like done to themselves — forgive their errors, forget what happened, and just move on.
Yet what the Golden Rule admonishes us to do is to avoid unjust retribution for mistakes and sins; it does not teach us to withhold of justice from those whose actions (or inactions) lead to the suffering of others. It is not unjust, nor is it political gamesmanship, therefore, for congressmen of any party to investigate Benghazi thoroughly. It is entirely just to expect those entrusted with the reins of government in positions of authority — who could have responded differently to the Benghazi attacks — to own up to their responsibilities in the debacle, apologize for any errors, and suffer professional or legal consequences if in fact malfeasance of duty, obstruction of justice, or other high crimes and misdemeanors are discovered. The American people and their representatives in Congress have a moral duty follow the Golden Rule indeed, but the Obama administration cannot expect to have this rule applied to them if it evades its moral responsibility to put off falsehood and speak in a fully truthful manner about Benghazi (check out Ephesians 5:25 for a moral guidepost in this regard).
By continually dodging responsibility for their decisions and actions which placed Ambassador Stevens and his diplomatic team in harm’s way, which ensured that no help would be forthcoming once the fight was on, and which obfuscated the reporting of what happened to the American people in the wake of the event, the President’s team is pursuing an unjust attempt to get forgiven for the Benghazi horrors. The graves of the four dead American heroes are crying out for this evasiveness to stop now.
If you or I, or any other Joe Sixpack, were to do anything either intentionally or accidentally at odds with the law and we were caught in our trespass, would we not be expected to be completely honest and forthcoming in the aftermath? Would it not be just for us to experience the consequences of our wrongdoings at the hand of the civil magistrate? Imagine if you didn’t file your federal taxes by April 15 and chose not to pay your tax bill. How it would go if you called the nice people at the IRS to ask whether they could just forgive and forget your indiscretions? Perhaps Mr. Faceless Bureaucrat at the other end of the line in the IRS office in Cincinnati would reply to your request for absolution by saying, “Well, you’re right. What difference does it make at this point whether you paid your taxes on time? Besides, April 15 was a long time ago and it’s really just a matter of style whether you file your paperwork by the legal deadline. As well, I’m not familiar with any notion that you wanted to communicate your concern about how your tax dollars are being spent by our federal government. There’s no need to politicize this, so, sure, go ahead and drop the matter. The government is certain you meant well and will file and pay your taxes correctly next year.”
Yeah, that’s just how it would go down…oh, yeah, and if you drive in Los Angeles you’ll never encounter any traffic…ever…
It never ceases to amaze me that those in power act as though there is no need for them to be accountable for policy disasters like Benghazi, even when the evidence abounds that their own gross failures created and/or fostered the disastrous situation in the first place. I choose, however, not to be disheartened that President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and their apologists will very possibly be absolved in the short term for their complicity in the Benghazi. Instead, that old, curmudgeonly holy book gathering dust in the corner tells me this:
“If a man pays back evil for good, evil will never leave his house.” (Proverbs 17:13)
John Steinreich is a researcher, public speaker, and author of “The Words of God,” which is an analysis of the Bible and the Quran found online at www.lulu.com/spotlight/jdsbookstore.