The UCC also posted a church wide prayer for Middle East peace on its Web site [available here --bb] that included the following passage: “While leaders in Tel Aviv and Damascus, Tehran, Washington, and southern Lebanon pander to ancient fears, claim the mantle of righteous victim, and pursue their little empires in the name of gods of their own devising, the people of Lebanon and northern Israel are made captive to fear.”The great failure of Liberalism is the complete failure of seeing the lessor of evils. Reinhold Niebuhr wrote about it in 1940 in Why the Church is Not Pacifist,
The Reform movement’s Pelavin criticized the prayer’s grouping of the governments of Israel and the United States with the leaderships of Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. “It feels not unlike the old ‘Sesame Street’ game, ‘Which of these things doesn’t belong here?’” Pelavin said. “Two of those countries are vibrant, healthy democracies.”
One of the most terrible consequences of a confused religious absolutism is that it is forced to condone such tyranny as that of Germany in the nations which it has conquered and now cruelly oppresses. It usually does this by insisting that the tyranny is no worse than that which is practised in the so-called democratic nations, and however serious may be their failure to conform perfectly to the democratic ideals, it is a sheer moral perversity to equate the inconsistencies of a democratic civilization with the brutalities which modern tyrannical States practice. If we cannot make a distinction here, there are no historical distinctions which have any value. All the distinctions upon which the fate of civilization has turned in the history of mankind have been just such relative distinctions.
--page 139 of Josoph Loconte's, The End of Illusions.